(Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi)

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Folks, read responsively.


This review must be read in the movie trailer voice

In a world filled with humans who don’t have superpowers, humans who do have superpowers, humans who glare, and alien-like robotic humanoids who just . . . do things, little Sai’s superpowers awaken. She gains new abilities, but destroys an entire block in the process, killing both of her parents.

As a result, she’s emotionally traumatized.

Like, seriously traumatized.

But in this world, traumatized little girls do not get to recover through conventional means. In this world, they are taken in by GNW, a pharmaceutical corporation turned government, who train them to become perfect assassins to carry out their deeds as they see fit. Because

If you owe GNW a debt of gratitude, it’s their privilege to keep only the strongest.

And Sai is one of the strongest. In fact, she’s what they call a Rare, in possession of abilities of such immense power that GNW can only drool and covet in their wildest dreams to lay their hands on.

Which is why Sai’s new mentor Bastion insists she keep her Rareness a secret. And just so she doesn’t slip up, he assigns to her Dom, an alien-like robotic humanoid, who is a rare of sorts among his brethren, too.

And you know what happens when a Rare meets a rare . . . wiiiink.

Sai. While it would be a lie for me to claim she’s my all-time favorite heroine, she comes pretty damn close. I appreciated the subtle interplay of insecurity and anti-damsel-in-distress-esque thing she has going. She doesn’t need you to save her. She’ll come and save YOU. . . All the while wondering if she even deserves to do it.

GNW. I mean . . . it’s not a huge secret when you first start reading the book that they’re not what they seem to be. But it’s the extent that is unknown. And mind-blowing.

It absorbed me like a sponge soaking up spilled wine
– Amazing world-building done through very subtle exposition. It’s a post-apocalyptic future, and so the people and their relationships, the technology and its usage, the weapons, the communication style—all of it is profound, intricate, almost pedantic, yet insanely entertaining to read.
– Sai’s inner turmoil is presented really, really well. I LOVE tarnished heroes and heroines. I like ‘em imperfect and insecure, doubting every word and action, mistrusting every relationship they have . . . But I also want to feel empowered through them as they overcome all that and get to some awesome ass-kickery. Sai does all that and more, and I love it! That said . . .

No amount of wine could redeem this
– Some characters . . . I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the presence of some of the characters (ahem, Zach, looking at you, buddy!), but I presume, since Chameleon is the first in a series, we’ll get to know them more intimately when the time comes.
– This one’s more subjective than all the other points I’ve made, but the third-person present-tense . . . not a huge fan. It somehow stands out to me more than I’d care it to, getting in the way of the story and all that. Just a preference of mine.


I need this more than I need another glass of wine
What in the world happened to Dom?!! What was his “illness?” Why didn’t I get more on that? MUST. KNOW. NOW.

Bottom Line
Nikita-like post-apocolyptic novel with a heroine that would give Katniss a run for her money.

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