Note: This ARC was provided by TRSoR Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Specimen is a standalone science fiction novel with a dystopian lean to it by bestselling author Shay Savage, and this also happens to be my very first read from her, although I was able to purchase her other works when they went on sale last year and will make my way through them once my reading schedule lightens up. This book was a highly original one and definitely a nice and appreciate change of pace from my usual fare. There's a hint of romance in it, but I hesitate to label it a sci-fi romance simply because the story wasn't really about the romance between Specimen 79, otherwise known as Sten as nicknamed by his attending doctor, and the aforementioned doctor and scientist, Riley Grace. I dare say that the book had more of a mystery slash suspense thriller feel to it since Sten and readers try to find what's really going on.
The story begins with Sten waking up in a laboratory without any idea of who he is and why he's there. His memories appear to be completely wiped out and the one person he's drawn to--Riley--gives him an explanation: he's there of his own free will and has been altered to be exactly what he's become--a specimen that's leveled up compared and he isn't the only one. But it's clear that there's more to the story than that and when Sten starts to recall certain things because of dreams he's no longer supposed to have, he isn't sure if the woman he wants and needs is someone he can actually trust to give him the truth. My heart went out to Sten because I'd hate to be in his shoes--completely at a loss as to what's happened and what continues to happen to him and not knowing if the person who I feel most for is a manipulative liar.
This isn't an overly lengthy novel and it grabbed me from the very beginning. If you're looking for lots of romance and touchy-feely moments, I'm going to come right out and say that you aren't going to get much of that with this book. What you will get, however, is a really unique story, one that isn't exactly the norm but that, especially when it comes to a book like this, can be a good thing. I totally get now why Shay Savage has the following that she does. She's an excellent writer who has weaved together a story that makes you contemplate and analyze. Like I mentioned, this isn't a swoony kind of romance, but I am recommending that you check it out, romance reader or not, because it's worth reading. That ending though...Gah! Evil. Pure. Unadulterated. Evil. Why, Shay Savage, WHY?!? I'm giving Specimen four stars. ♥
Date Read: 28 February 2016
Learn more about Shay Savage.
Purchase Specimen on Amazon.