This series is only two books! Genre: young adult dystopia. I would consider this review spoiler-free in that you can read it to see if the book series is anything for you.
Book one – Uninvited: four out of five stars. Pages: 384
Book two – Unleashed: three out of five stars. Pages: 368
Uninvited is an interesting twist to the YA dystopian story with the (US) government going after and locking away people with a specific gene, nicknamed the kill-gene. It’s supposed to make a person predisposed to becoming homicidal and violent, which is why they’re removed from society before they do something illegal. The main character Davy started out as a normal girl, a musical prodigy with a bright future, and has all that taken away from her along with her family when she tests positive for the gene and is sent to be amongst others with it. It forms a really interesting setting with characters on different places on a sociopathic spectrum everywhere, which felt similar to Divergent’s Tris first meeting with the Dauntless group.
There’s an on-going moral struggle and dilemmas through the two books about whether Davy thinks of herself as a killer, and what it would take to make her kill someone. If it really is okay to ban all these people from regular society, before they’ve done harm, even if some of them are obvious lunatics. It also has the usual YA romance aspects, made more interesting by the fact that sociopathy and manipulation is surrouding them and making it so much more difficult to trust.
I liked the second book as well, but it took a different turn and reminded me more of Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host”, with an underground hiding place with a certain hierarchy – only filled with persecuted, possibly dangerous people. In some parts the plot had easy and predictable ways to resolve things, which is why it got a lower rating. My favourite thing about this series is how Davy isn’t the “nice girl” even if she started out normal. She adapts and nearly turn ruthless, but then she also holds on to her moral qualms. She’s very clearly a survivor, because it all pushes her down and she still keeps fighting, and I loved that about her through it all. In general this series is all about a person’s nature VS how societal persecution and expectations affects behavior and choices. With some cheesy things and YA romance, so be aware of that. It doesn’t go that deep, but it does bring a new dimension to the usual dystopia. Would absolutely recommend!