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Char :)

Monday, 13 May 2013

***Review*** Blood Ransom (Blood Ties #2) by Sophie McKenzie

Clones Theo and Rachel now live thousands of miles apart. They keep in touch regularly via the internet, but things just aren't the same.

When Rachel discovers that evil scientist Elijah is still working in secret for a section of the government and about to murder Daniel, she sets out to rescue the little boy, but her plans backfire with disastrous consequences.

Across the Atlantic, Theo becomes suspicious when Rachel misses their weekly internet chat. He discovers a report online saying she's killed herself and travels to Scotland to find her, certain that she's been kidnapped. A clue leads him to Elijah's mysterious clinic,  where the sinister Aphrodite Experiment is underway. But why does Elijah need to track Rachel down so badly? And what is the ultimate ransom that he demands for her.

I'm Choosing This Because:

I read the first book a few years ago. It was actually the first Sophie McKenzie book and it made me a fan. Ever since then I've gone out of my way to buy her books when I have the money and always thoroughly enjoy them. So when I noticed I'd bought this one and not read it I instantly wanted to and put it at the top of my pile. So I did what any sensible blogger does and subjected it to my Page 99 Test, which you can find here: and that spurred me on even more to read the book but I've been busy so it's taken ages.

Judging a Book By Its Cover:

My Page 99 Test Analysis: It’s very red isn’t it? And if you have a physical copy you can feel the bumps where the title and author name are. I like this bit, I’m a child. I like brightness and texture changes. I have to say that the cover did draw me to the book. I would’ve bought it anyway, but an attention grabbing cover really helps. The boat and the sea have me wondering about the contents of the story.

Do I still agree with this? Yes I do. I've also just noticed that  that the path on the beach turns into veins at the bottom of the page. What an excellent idea and adds to the intrigue even more when it comes to the story and also ties in with the "blood" that's in the title. It's certainly a very action-packed cover and I'm wondering how on earth the actual book is going to live up to that.

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

Well I have searched Amazon for this and I can tell that it's £5.24 for the paperback and for the Kindle edition you pay £4.98. Now I realise that it's not a major difference but if you want to save money go for the Kindle but if you've got the first as an actual book then pay the extra few pence. It's not like you can buy much with it anyway...

I've just finished this and I have to say that, even though it's 23:53 here in the UK as I type this, the story has managed to inspire thoughts. I'm truly staggered by the ideas Sophie McKenzie has put together to create this story. I'm struggling to actually create actual sentences to describe how I felt about this. So I'll just pick out a few things.

Chapters - this is something I talk about a lot but it's important to me as a reader. I like them to be short because I don't want to get bored and chapters that never end have me struggling to continue. I'll find reasons to do anything except read the words. That definitely isn't an issue here. The chapters are rarely more than 3 or 4 pages long. I also like how they alternate between our two main characters meaning we get a fuller picture.

The action - It never lets up. There are so many twists and turns and you're never entirely sure of what people are really up to. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this but due to the way we learnt things there are a couple of times during the book when it seemed like we'd got all the info we needed and the book was finished. Now that can be cool and everything, but when you're only halfway through it's not cool.

The idea - now the actual premise of this book and its predecessor, Blood Ties, is one of the best I've come across when it comes to YA thrillers. The whole idea of human clones and what would happen if they existed is so intriguing. While I enjoyed hearing what it was like for the clones I'd have loved to hear the story from the POVs of those who are on different sides. RAGE and Elijah would have both been particularly interesting for me.

Rachel - Rachel is one of our two hero clones and I have to say I love that she isn't one of those YA leading ladies that allows everything and anything to defeat her. Her spirit and her loyalty and her refusal to give up hope in bad situations are what draw me to her and enjoy reading her story. She does what she needs to in order to survive and I truly appreciate that.

Theo - Theo's our other clone and another character I liked. He keeps finding himself drawn into these situations and yet his love for Rachel means that he refuses to give up fighting for what he believes in. There are moments when he frustrates me slightly by wallowing in self pity but he always pulls himself back up and works hard. He's another character that I like overall but when it comes to our heroes I will admit that I much prefer Rachel. She's just more my kind of character but Theo is great.

Milo - He's an interesting character. One that makes me think a lot. He's not the kind of character you like as a reader but you do pity him. That's exactly the emotion he inspires. I have to say that I was zig zagging when it came to my opinion on him. One moment he'd do something and I'd be like "Go Milo" and the next he'd be a total doofus and I'd be shaking my head in despair. However, credit to the author for being able to create a character that has the ability to do that.

Overall this is an exciting, action-packed ride. It has everything from moments when our main characters are being reunited and being all mushy to creeping around like ninjas. Well I say ninjas - what I actually imagined was characters creeping around in the dead of night with stockings over their faces looking like bank robbers that have got lost. The writing was the high quality that I've come to expect from McKenzie. It kept me hooked and wanting more,  the short chapters conspiring with the need of keeping me glued to the book. I definitely enjoyed this one but I do want to point out that you should definitely read book one before delving into this.

This is just a genuinely good story. It has everything you could possibly want from a YA thriller. It actually has everything you could want from a thriller in general actually. While I highlighted a few things in my review that stopped me from giving this a 5, they're really small things and definitely aren't enough to make me penalise this too heavily. I definitely think fans of YA mysteries and thrillers should check this out... and Sophie McKenzie's other books as well.

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