Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: The Naturals

The Naturals
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: November 5, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

My review:

I am a fan of Jennifer Lynn Barnes but I have only read her paranormal teen fiction (Raised By Wolves series and Every Other Day). Here she writes about teens who do not have paranormal abilities. They just have natural gifts that the FBI is interested in such as being able to profile people, read emotions, and tell when someone is lying.

Cassie is new to the program which allows readers to learn about it from an outsider's perspective. There are four teens in addition to Cassie who are part of the program. Sloane is Cassie's roommate and she is gifted at working with statistics and data as well as computer hacking. Lia is a little crazy and she lies all the time but she can tell when others are lying or telling the truth. 

The guys are sort of love interest for Cassie although it is kind of clear who she is going to end up with. I still found the love triangle aspect really irritating. Thankfully the romance is used as a way for Cassie to figure out who she trusts if anyone and it doesn't really overshadow the plot.

The serial killer story line and how Cassie and the others work the case are really what drew my interest. I found it fascinating to see how they used their abilities to look at a crime scene and try to figure out the killer's motivations and other clues. I really had no idea who the killer was until they tipped their hand (though I did figure it out before the main character does). 

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It does focus more on the plot rather than character development unlike the Raised By Wolves series (which manages to give more depth to the characters) however I still found it entertaining. While I could have done without the minor love triangle, I found the writing to be suspenseful and the characters are suitably mysterious. Though the main story is wrapped up, not everything is resolved at the end so I hope there will be a sequel. I think fans of Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder and similar books would certainly appreciate The Naturals.

Note: I received an ARC for review courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge fan of Derting's Body Finder and this definitely sounds similar. I like how they have these extraordinary abilities and use them to solve crimes. I will definitely be checking this one out. Thanks for the great review!


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