Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review: Girl from Above- Betrayal by Pippa DaCosta

Book Blurb:

WARNING: 18+ only. Adult content. Including sex, drug use, violence, & swearing.

"My name is #1001, and I am not ready to die." I’d only just begun to live.

When Captain Caleb Shepperd is released from prison, all he wants to do is keep his head down and earn a living smuggling illegal cargo through the nine systems. So when a synth stows away on his ship, and brings with her a crap-ton of problems, including guilt-ridden secrets he thought he’d escaped, he’d prefer to toss her out the airlock. The problem is, she’s priceless tech, and he’s fresh out of credit.

#1001 is not meant to exist. Created for a single purpose, she has one simple order: to kill. But not everything is as it seems. Buried deep inside, she remembers... Remembers when she was human. And she remembers what Shepperd did to her. She’s not ready to die, but she is ready to kill.

My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Aliens, Another-World, Space, Supernatural, Survival--

Captain Caleb Shepperd tries to fly below the radar, not so easy when you are a smuggler of illegal and stolen goods with a reputation that precedes him. Caleb is trying to outrun his personal demons as well as stay away from the government, with a life altering secret weighing him down. When a stowaway boards his airship, Caleb may be in more trouble than he could ever predict. #1001 is a synthetic life replica that should not exist. The government was contracted to create 1000 synths to fill the void that the passing of loved ones causes for the wealthy. #1001 is defective, her protocols are missing and she was sent out with one mission: to kill.

I started this book with no expectations, and I was blown away with what I got. I have never read a book by Pippa DaCosta before, but if this is what her books are all like, sign me up to read them all! I kinda sorta feel like this book is what would happen is HBO made a love child between the shows Firefly and Killjoys, with all the gratuitous sex, drugs, violence, lack of morality and tons of drama that HBO loves. This was intense! That is the best way for me to sum up what I read. I was on a roller coaster of a book and I had no intention of getting off the dangerous ride. I gave the book 5 stars because it blew me away, and I have not read anything recently that I have been in love with. That alone may have skewed my review to as high as it went, not to discredit the book at all but in the face of full disclosure.

I found it interesting that none of the characters in the book could be classified as good guys. They all have something wrong with them, do shady things, and are self serving murderers, addicts, sexual deviants... You name it, it goes on here. Don't read this book if you like good people and morals, because that is not this book. The closest person to a good guy was the Commander, and that may be pushing it a tad. The story and the characters were the definition of gritty and if you are easily offended by shady things, maybe don't read this book. I on the other hand, loved every demented minute of the story and can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.

The book narration alternates between points of view at each chapter, switching from Caleb and #1001. I would like to say that Caleb is the hero, but in actuality he is a haunted alcoholic who pays for sex to forget and will smuggle/fix anything for the right price. We may as well call him the anti-hero archetype. But on the other hand, he tries to do the right thing and help the underdog/victim while calling himself soulless. His secret is revealed, and man was it a doozy. I can understand why he would make him think less of himself, because it made me think less of him. #1001 was an interesting character, half unfeeling analytical robot, half confused almost-person with scattered memories that don’t make sense. At times I felt like I understood her, but then I was thrown for a loop when robot mode took over.

There are also tons of side characters that were well developed and unique, able to stand on their own as people. Fran is Caleb’s 2nd who is a drug addict that Caleb desperately wants to sleep but has dark secrets of her own. The Commander, Caleb’s older brother who seemingly abandoned him yet shows up now at the worst possible time. Jesse, Caleb’s favorite prostitute, that wants Caleb to “fix” the issue of her pimp. And there are a ton more of random side characters like the evil Dr who uses #1001, the head of Ganymede, the bounty hunter, the 9, and so many more. Big hint here, don’t get attached to anybody because nobody is safe in this story…

Overall, I am sold on this series as well as this author. The world building was amazing and descriptive, the characters were real and flawed, and the plot was instantly engaging. Sign me up for some more adventures with this messed up crew, STAT!

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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