Saturday, 19 March 2016

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch

Title: Tarnished
Series: Perfected (#2)
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 1st December 2015
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for the previous book in the series*

Having made it to Canada, Ella is now free and no longer seen as a Pet. But in reaching freedom she left behind her owner's son and the person she loves; Penn. Ella knows that going back for him could be dangerous but if she wants to change things then it's something she has to do. But Pets are turning up dead and there is more afoot than Ella could have ever imagined.

So I re-read my review of Perfected so that I'd know exactly where to start with this one. And I still agree with that review; the concept is creepy. The idea of genetically modified humans to be kept as Pets is really scary, and this book just grows that concept. Instead of focusing just on Ella Tarnished looked more at the fate of Pets in general and it was bad. I can't say too much because I wouldn't want to spoil it but there were definitely uncomfortable moments.

I enjoyed Missy's contribution to the book. As a Pet like Ella she worked well, but she was also more aware of the world and more of a realist. She tempered Ella's over optimisim and revealed some of the less savoury aspects of life as a free Pet. Without Missy I'm not sure Ella could have got anywhere.

There was some real character development for Ella in this book. Though at times she could still be frustratingly naive, she was coming into her own in realising that she was her own person. I loved that she felt she could stand up to Penn when he got all protective and argue that she is her own person.

Penn and Ella's relationship took a little bit of a back seat in Tarnished. They were already established at the beginning so other than daydreaming about him, and a few kisses, there wasn't much changing for them. Instead the focus was on what they were doing and trying to achieve which I liked.

This was a good sequel. I'm interested to see where this goes next, though I think it could surprise me!