Altered by Marnee Blake is a new adult sci-fi romance. A little reflection of real life in that there’s something in the water. What’s in the water and why is an entire town dead? Waitress Blue Michaels isn’t sure. She’s also not sure she wants to find answers. For a wild ride that involves genetic manipulation and a ragtag crew of survivors on the run, Altered delivers in a way that keeps you glued to the pages…and lamenting the last few paragraphs.
When “normal” ends, survival begins…
The sickness came on suddenly and violently. When it was done, waitress Blue Michaels was different in a really strange way. And the entire town of Glory was dead…except for her.
Only that’s not exactly true. A handful of people made it, including U.S. Army Specialist Seth Campbell, who was caught in the wrong town at the worst time. He’s fierce and protective, and way too good-looking. As much as they need a leader—as much as Blue wants to trust him—there are too many questions and not enough time for answers. Now they are hunted. But what their pursuers don’t know is each of them has strange new powers. And they’ll use their “gifts” to survive…no matter who stands in their way.
Blue wakes up from a crazy illness only to find her grandmother, and the rest of her town, dead. A little shocky, Blue begins to search for some other survivor. Army specialist Seth Campbell was only passing through town. It was his luck to stop at a small town B&B and wake up to a dead town. When Blue and Seth find each other, their suspicion gives way to an intense and immediate attraction. I think extreme situations breed serious and intense connections, just in the nature of the situation. So, the palpable attraction between Blue and Seth made complete sense to me. Then, when Seth becomes a sort of de facto leader due to his alpha tendencies and Army experience, he only seems yummier to me. Who wouldn’t want a hot practical dude with amazing survival skills leading the way?
The group dynamic factors heavily into the survival of the survivors (what a mouthful!). I like that there is a dissenting voice. He may be an asshole, but that only adds to the action. There always has to be one fool with no experience that tries to do things his own way. Add in the fact that all of the survivors have somehow adopted crazy skills, and you have one hot mess. The group is running from something, and they only have a vague idea of what that something is. My money is on the super-soldier, just saying. Some high school sports star twerp doesn’t hold a candle to a tested and tried American soldier (note, that is solely my opinion based on the yummalicious factor of said soldier).
There was so much about Altered that grabbed my attention…and kept it. Fantastic build-up, interesting plot (resulting in so many questions!), and just a great beginning to a series. Altered is set in a contemporary world, but the genetic manipulation element really throws a wrench in things. Events are relatable and entirely too believable. I want to know so much more about why and how. The ending isn’t quite a cliffhanger, but maybe it sort of is… One part of the action is wrapped up, but we end with so many questions!! I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but I really did love this story. Altered reminded me of a cross between Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series and Alyssa Cole’s Off the Grid series – fantastic.