Author: Karen Sandler
Published: April 2013
By: Lee and Low Books.
First line: Everything hurt.
Last line: In the next moment, everything turned to black.
Tankborn was one of the first books that I read for review when I started writing for Midnight Reads so I have a soft spot for this series. It’s probably also why it feels as though I have been waiting forever for the sequel to be released.
In the first book in this series Sandler really focussed on the story of Kayla, how her place in the world changes, her budding relationship with Devak and throughout the story we see her develop to become a stronger independent woman by the time the story draws to its temporary close. In Awakening the story takes on a much wider viewpoint. The disease, Scratch, which affects and kills GENS, is spreading wildly and even as those around her are dying a political uprising seems to be taking hold as the phrase Freedom. Humanity. Equality. begins to appear through the sectors that Kayla works in with Risa. When you look even deeper it would seem that even those individuals who claim to be pursuing equality for GENS like Kayla are actually using them for their own benefits whether they wish to see it or not.
There is an interesting mix of characters in the Tankborn series. I particularly like reading about Risa and Kayla. They both portray a strength that I wish more female protagonists had. I also liked Abran and the little fliratations between him and Kayla, although I found some of the plot surrounding him to be a tad obvious. For me it was the complexity of his situation and the reasons behind his behaviour that I found intriguing and I kind of hope he pops up again somewhere in the future. I also liked Junjie, mainly for the loyalty he displays to those he cares about. The one person who disappointed me was Devak. At the beginning of the book his budding relationship sours and whilst he argues that he isn’t with Kayla purely because he wants to protect her I can’t help but feel that his behaviour is most triggered by his own fears of the potential repercussions he might face. I hope he sorts himself out for the next book or I won’t be pleased!
It took me a while to get into this book, mainly because of the gap between the two publications and the unique language that Sandler has developed that does give it an ‘other-wordly’ feel but also means that you might be flipping back to the glossary from time to time to remind yourself of the meaning of certain words phrases etc.
The story winds along at a slow comfortable pace until you get to the final couple of chapters and then everything begins to take off at a lightning pace, indeed I think it’s the final chapters that really up the ante for this sequel. After the ending, well I can’t wait until the next instalment is published. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait as long next time around.
Rating: 3.5/5 If you enjoyed Tankborn you will enjoy this sequel. Now book three is due out when exactly?