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Thursday, March 13, 2014

REVIEW: Fractured Innocence, by Julia Crane

Kaitlyn and Erik are sent on a mission to track down Vance Dasvoik, a ruthless monster. His latest thrill—abducting and selling young women.Vance's current victim: Aaliyah, a seventeen-year-old who never imagined walking her brother home from school one evening would change her life forever.The mission quickly turns personal for Kaitlyn when she finds Aaliyah beaten, her mind and soul fractured from abuse of the worst kind. Kaitlyn knows firsthand what it's like to be haunted by the past and resolves to bring justice to the elusive Dasvoik.

**This is book 2 in the IFICS series. The first book, Freak of Nature was reviewed on January 9, 2014.

Again, cover art that's actually relevant. It's a pretty miraculous thing, sometimes.

Crane delivers, again. I LOVED Freak of Nature (Who wouldn't?) and Fractured Innocence is a sequel that stands up well. Readers need to understand, though, that this story is very different from Freak.

Kaitlyn is on her first mission, and it's a tough one. Gone is the search for self-awareness story line, the struggle to balance cyborg and human. Understand, the struggles are still there, but that's not the story anymore.

It's pretty gritty. Pretty darn gritty. Aaliyah is abducted by a human sex-trafficking ring. That fact is not glossed over. You know what's happening to her even if it isn't described in specific detail. In other words, you can paint a picture in your mind very easily of the sex scenes and even more easily of the torture scenes (Dasvoik--the ringleader--is sadistic, to say the least). Nothing in those scenes is sugar-coated. Crane has done an amazing job portraying the fear and seriousness of this in the world today. She's made a connection for YAs.

I think the best part of this story is the way Kaitlyn and Aaliyah wind up relating. Don't want to give it away, but their relationship couldn't have been written any other way. I'm looking forward to more in this series, to see how this friendship plays out.

I was hooked in this story from the get go, and not simply because I enjoyed the first book so much. The romance between Kaitlyn and Lucas is still there, just played down some, as it's not central to the story. All of the characters deepen and develop (except Quess, who has a minute role in this book). It's really some masterful characterization. 

My only "cons"--- First, I can't hand this to my 9th and 10th graders. I've got some "young" 11th graders I can't hand this to. Second, the first 70% of the book (according to my e-reader) was build up--which is great. But the last of the story, from the climax to the end just went too quickly, and wrapped up a little too neatly, even knowing that there's more to come. It moved so quickly I re-read it this morning to make sure I hadn't missed something.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book for my personal collection. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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