Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Helix by Mary Ting! This is a fast paced series, full of adventure and espionage. It’s a wild ride, that’s for sure! Thank you so much to Xpresso Book Tours for hosting!
First off, let’s take a look at the first book in this series: ISAN.
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Series: International Sensory Assassin Network #1
Published By: Vesuvian Books, May 1, 2018
Blurb: The world has changed.
Scientists warned it would happen.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
Review: From the very beginning, I was already drawn into this world. I love a good dystopian tale and this definitely doesn’t disappoint. You are instantly curious about ISAN and what they do, other than bringing in troubled teens and training them to be government agents. And assassins. Like one does.
Ava is a great character and you just can’t help cheering for her. She is definitely a kick ass heroine, but she has a softer side as well. She cares about the members of her team (except for maybe Justine, because Justine is terrible), she cares about her instructors, but mostly, she wants to prove herself and her team to be the best. It makes it all the more difficult for her when the reality of what ISAN does comes crashing down.
And then there’s Rhett. We are still learning about Rhett in this book, but we get so much more from him in book #2. Which leads me to . . .
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Series: International Sensory Assassin Network #2
Published By: Vesuvian Books, September 10, 2019
Blurb: Alliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.
With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.
But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.
The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.
Review: In this second book, we get to see things not just from Ava’s perspective, but also from Rhett’s. As such, we get to learn a lot more about him and the rebels. Second books in series are often tricky, since you have to answer some questions from book #1 (but not TOO many) while also setting up events for the next book, leading up to your grand finale. This book did all of those things and more.
Getting more of Rhett’s story really made the story world of this series even more rich and varied. I love that it is so complex and interesting. Not only do we have ISAN and the rebels, there are also counter insurgents who are fighting against both. The conspiracy is much more vast than we originally thought, stretching across the entire remnant of the country. It’s a whole bunch of twists and turns, which keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Oh, and some of these rebels – children as young as ten. And they are badasses! That’s what you get when you experiment on DNA, but there are also other reasons why some of these superpowers exists, some that we are still discovering.
Great story, great characters, great action and adventure – these books have it all. Definitely check them out!
About the Author
International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.
Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.
Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.
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