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Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1)

Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Christine Manzari
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

About the Author

The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2903 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Deviation 12 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I have two cut off times for when I'm reading - one is when I 'should' go to bed and the other is the one when I know I NEED to go to bed if I'm going to have any chance of keeping up with my two girls the following morning. I blew both of those cut offs out of the water last night!!! Even though there were chapters - it simply didn't have a good place to stop reading. So I had to carry on. It just had to be done. So, that being said, I'm trying to write this review with brain fog caused by lack of caffeine this morning!

Deviation is a good, long book - enough for you to sink your teeth into and get lost in the pages. Dystopian Sci Fi isn't a genre I read much of as they can all seem similar to me. This book isn't like that. From the start, I liked Cleo and wanted to know more about her. She is so individual in a world where you are put into a box at a very early age. She makes friends with the outcasts when she is thrust into a world that she wasn't expecting or prepared for.

The relationships between Cleo and the others is both warm and caring whilst also being protective, sarcastic, argumentative. The relationship between Cleo and Ozzy however is all of the above plus heat. There are some incredibly funny lines between Cleo and Ozzy which I loved. But oh how my heart broke for these two. Every time something happened to weaken the trust between them, I was hoping that they would be able to work it out. It's so easy to see both sides when you're reading a book but not so easy to write about it in such a deceptively easy way. The whole book is written from Cleo's POV but somehow, without breaking that or making the reading disruptive in any way, you also get Ozzy's/Sterling's/Arabella's POV too.
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Format:Kindle Edition
The action-packed, character-driven story of Clementine (Cleo) and the other Sophisticates (genetically altered individuals created to be smarter, faster, and stronger for the purpose of protection against terrorists) takes the reader on an adventure that, well, reminds me of riding with my daughter when she was a teenager learning to drive. At the start it seems harmless enough, but there's that nagging voice that keeps telling me to watch out. I do. Sure enough, things start shifting around, and it becomes a little alarming. That all changes to fear because of several how-is-anyone-going-to-get-out-alive moments. Then, there comes a sigh of relief when it looks like everything is going to be all right, but suddenly...
Yes, it's that kind of experience.

The list of characters, on the surface, appears to be typically behaved teenagers. Cleo, Arabella, and Sterling are misfits among the other St. Ignatius Academy students. Quinnie is the popular socialite with her little group of followers. Her goal is to make the lives of the misfits miserable or, at least, try to. Ozzy is the good-looking, easy-smiling, secret-holding guy who splits his time between the two groups and who, of course, Quinnie has a "thing" for. Because of the attention Ozzy gives Cleo, Quinnie is even more determined to bully Cleo, Arabella and Sterling. It is the classic adolescent story, but it takes a very definite twist and many interesting turns as Ms Manzari leads the reader through a maze of teenage life wrapped in a world of secrets, lies, and misdirection that only The Program (government), scared for its self, can create. When it is revealed that some of the Sophisticates (12 to be exact) have been given special powers that turn them into human super weapons, the plot definitely thickens.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 28 Sep 2013
By Tahlia Newland - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The idea of genetically modified teens being used as weapons is not a new idea. Kimberley Kinrade wrote a series on this theme some time ago, and I've read quite a few YA books recently about teens with genetic modifications. It's not surprising since genetic modification for humans is emerging as a very real possibility in our society, and I expect we will see more fiction in this vein.

Although it shares many overly common elements of YA fantasy, for example a new school, a supposedly bad boy that is hard to resist, and the resident bully who seems to need little inspiration for their nastiness, Deviation is still an excellent, well-crafted story that keeps you hooked in and has a surprising twist at the end that leaves the story nicely set up for sequels. I think this book will be well enjoyed by YA speculative fiction fans.

Cleo lives in a world of the future where terrorism has made huge scars on the American people and cities. She is a sophisticate, someone genetically modified while in utero, and raised without their parents by The Project who developed the technology, paid for the modification and owns the result. Parents are called donors and have no contact with their offspring, so the children's friends are of great importance to them. They're the closest thing they have to a family, so when the project moves Cleo away from her best friend Cassie, she is devastated.

Cleo and Cassie have been together their whole life, they've been genetically designed to be super intelligent, so why does Cleo find herself taken to a different kind of school, one where the Sophisticates are designed for warfare more than intelligence. Could it have something to do with the fact that she set her room on fire? Yes, Cleo discovers that she has a deviation. She was modified more than the usual Sophisticates. They designed her as a weapon with the qualities of a Malaysian Fire Ant. She can make things explode. This is not something she wanted, and she certainly doesn't want to hurt anyone with her talents, but will she be able to escape what The Project has planned for her?

The romantic interest is Ozzie. He also has a deviation (perfect aim) and knows more than he should about Cleo. He tells her that she is one of twelve given a similar kind of superhero deviation. Cassie is also one. She will turn up at the military school once she starts to display her talent. The only way to not become used as a weapon is not to display your talents, but that's difficult when others attack you.

The story revolves around the relationships between Cleo and Ozzie and her other new friends and enemies, and the unfolding mystery of the Deviant Dozen. Ozzie is an unknown quantity. Can Cleo trust him? Just when she thinks she can, something happens to make her withdraw from him, then her hormones draw her close again.

The characters are generally strong, well portrayed and very real. The only one that comes across as being somewhat underdeveloped is the electric eel. For her to escape the generic baddy syndrome, we need more insight into her motivations. Other than that, the book was well written with a sleek, well paced plot. The story ends with as many questions unanswered as it began, but they are different questions.

All up, it's well done, and though not ground-breaking or thought provoking as such a subject matter could be, it's a good solid story for its genre.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I reviewed this on behalf of the Awesome Indies and the book makes the grade without a doubt. 4.5 stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New and Interesting Concept 12 July 2014
By novelstosong - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Even after reading only a few pages of this book, I knew it was going to be fantastic. BA female leads blowing things up with their mind? Sign me up!
The main character, Clementine (cool name, btw) didn't annoy me at all, and I love her snarky attitude. Arabella and Sterling are so adorable I just wanted to hug them the entire book. And then there's Ozzy. Although sometimes I wanted to slap him for being so cryptic all the time, I couldn't stay mad at him for too long. And apparently, neither could Cleo *wink wink*. Basically, all of the characters are fantastic, and I love the character development that happens just over the course of book 1 (especially with Cleo)!
There is only a couple of reasons why I didn't give this book five stars:
1) There were some concepts that were introduced in the book (view spoiler) that I felt were unnecessary to the plot and kind of confusing. I just hope that book 2 will change my mind and better explain these events.
2) There were a few times when this book got a tiny bit boring, but it was easy to look past these parts. I might have only felt this way since I've been reading a lot of intense action books lately, and this wasn't like that.
Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely, and I can't wait to recommend it to all of my friends! I also can't wait to read the second one... I have a strong suspicion I'm going to like it even more than this first book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this book down! 15 Aug 2013
By mitchell - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For a first time author Ms. Manzari nailed it. From the moment I started reading I became immersed in the story of Clementine. I stayed up late into the night to finish and was sad when it ended because I wanted there to be more. If your a fan of the Other world series you will love this book! Looking forward to reading more by this author!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story 23 July 2014
By Kayla M - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
From the very beginning this book was filled with suspense, wonder, as well as a little action and romance.

The story starts off with Cleo trying to access a site she previously hacked into and now she keeps getting the message 'access denied.' She became furious that she no longer had access. Then she receives an email from school security that they're aware she hacked in to their system and she was not allowed to know who her birth parents were because she is property of the Program and her parents were just donors. This made her even angrier. Then all of a sudden her computer exploded. Then the TV exploded and before she knew what was happening her room was on fire except for a circle around her.

After that we meet her best friend Cassie, whom she considers her sister. They have been inseparable since they were 8. At the end of first class Cleo gets called to the Dean's office and she's not sure why, did they already know what happened in her room? On the way there she tells Cassie what happened and Cassie didn't really believe her, there had to be some other explanation. She didn't get to continue the discussion with Cassie because the Dean was sending her to another school in 15 minutes.

At the new school the first person she meets is Sterling. I loved his character, he was sarcastic and blunt but not hurtful. After getting a tour from Sterling she meets Arabella who happens to be best friends with Sterling. Arabella is a feisty girl with colorful hair and interesting clothes. All 3 of them become good friends quickly. They have a bond that they don't know about yet.

Cleo also meets Ozzy on her first day there. He is a good looking popular guy that for some reason seems to be interested in Cleo. He is known as the guy with perfect aim, which makes him very cocky. He also is very mysterious, which lures Cleo in.

In Cleo's first class of the day she sits in front of a pretty blonde girl named Quinnie. Quinnie immediately dislikes the new girl, so Cleo becomes the outlet for Quinnie's electric bullying. Since she is the popular girl at school she gets away with being a bully to everyone. I really did not like Quinnie, but I think that's the point. I just wanted Cleo to make her explode like the computer.

The current situation the country is in is a little confusing in the beginning. I didn't understand what the Sophisticates were and why they were special. As the story goes along you get bits and pieces of the history and why they now have Sophisticates. By the end you know the history of the country and how it became what it is today. I liked when the author used the history class to give us an idea of what the country had become.

This book was a great read and I will definitely be reading the next book.

This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars created to be genetically superior, the intellectuals 16 July 2014
By Davey's Mommy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Deviation takes place in the future, in a United States that has been devastated by terrorist attacks. The Sophisticates program was created in response to the biggest of these attacks, Wormwood. The Sophisticates are a group of elite humans, created to be genetically superior, the intellectuals, the soldiers. Cleo is one of the intellectual Vanguard Sophisticates at the University, but when she accidentally blows up her room, she finds herself transferred to the Mandate training school, St. Ignatius, where she meets the coolest sidekick/BFF ever, Arabella. Seriously, I love this girl. But on with the plot. Cleo also meets the mysterious and hot Ozzy and finds herself attracted to him, though her new friends warn her to stay away from him. Cleo has to learn to survive in a school for soldiers, despite having been the intellectual her entire life, deal with the bitchy queen bee Quinnie, and attempt to understand and control the new power she finds slowly building inside herself. She then finds out she's not alone; there are others with different abilities...

I loved this book. I loved it so much, I finished it and went looking for the sequel, found it, bought it, and already finished it. Now, I'm waiting eagerly for the third installment. The world-building was fantastic, though I would like to know more about the Wormwood attack and just how it made the Sophisticates program possible. Something about the whole thing just reeks of government corruption. I'm hoping this will be revealed later.

The book does start off a little slowly, but when the pace picks up, it gets really good. I loved the characters. Cleo is a strong main character, and her interactions with the other characters was realistic and mostly fun. I loved how snarky she could be. And speaking of snark: Arabella! This girl is made of snark. I just loved her. She's funny, bold, and so loyal. Her interactions with Sterling were great, too. At first, I wasn't sure if they just didn't really like each other, but it quickly became apparent that they're really good friends and that's just how they communicate. It seemed flirty, though I'm sure they both would deny it! Quinnie, of course, was the bitch I loved to hate, but a part of me couldn't help wondering the reason for her bitchiness. I hope her character will be fleshed out a little. Something about her was really interesting. And then there's Ozzy. Like Cleo, I was a little attracted to him right off the bat. It had to be that whole mysterious thing he had going for him. I just wanted to find out more and more about him. Honestly, he reminded me a little of Four, from Divergent: mysterious, hot, exudes authority at least in some way, yet flawed, insecure, and a little vulnerable. So hot.

Overall, excellent characters, excellent plot. As I said, I've already read the second book, Conviction, and I'm waiting eagerly for the third.
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