The Blemished is a futuristic, action-packed, thrill ride from start to finish. The story is set in England in the future. Society is now separated into two classes, the GEMs and the Blemished. The GEMs are so called because they are genetically modified to have no diseases. Parents pick out the characteristics they want and science creates a baby that exactly matches your choices. The Blemished are those who were not created in a laboratory, but the old-fashioned way. GEMs are society’s elites who get all the opportunities. Blemished are the servant class and are not educated, but trained to serve GEMs.
As the story opens, we are introduced to Mina, Angela, Daniel, and Sebastian. Towns no longer have names but are labeled as Areas. Mina and her father have just moved from Area 10 to Area 14. They are Blemished. On Mina’s first day of school in Area 14 she has a run-in with one of the GEM girls and is put on warning. She meets Angela, also Blemished, and they soon become best friends. Mina also has a secret, when she becomes very angry she can disturb her surroundings. Objects around her start to rattle and if she focuses hard she can send things flying through the air. Soon she meets Daniel, a young man who has grown up as Angela’s brother after his parents abandon him, and he is taken in by Angela and her mother. Sebastian goes to the same school but he is a GEM. He quickly shows an interest in Mina and she begins to trust him when he offers her a way to escape the inevitable fate of Blemished women.
Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Mina finds herself in more and more trouble at school every day. When she insists on going with Daniel to vandalize her teacher’s house, they quickly find themselves being wanted by the Enforcers (police), and being chased and shot at.
I really enjoyed this book right from the start. I immediately liked Mina and Angela, two teenagers frustrated by the rules they are forced to live under. Sarah Dalton did a great job of setting up her futuristic society, and drawing the reader into the lives of her characters. Since these are teenagers, there’s a love triangle that develops and complicates the relationships between the young people. This book is the first in a series, so you are a left with a bit of a cliff-hanger, but the ending also seemed appropriate. I found myself a little breathless with worry for these kid before I reached the last page. The primary audience for this series is young adults, but I think anyone who likes reading about futuristic worlds would also enjoy it.
The Kindle edition of this book is free. The Blemished (Blemished #1) (Blemished Series)