Tor Maddox: Unleashed – Liz Coley

Hey all!

I won another Arc giveaway 🙂 !!! I love these giveaways; I always discover great new titles I wouldn’t otherwise see. This time, I received the first in the Tor Maddox series.

Summary (Goodreads): When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.

Non spoiler review: I have to admit, I was hesitant about this one when I first read the summary. It seemed a little boring and even childish for YA, but I think what really won me over was the writing. It was young and fresh, and I’ve got to say the fun teen voice really drew me. I also found that the plot was better than it seems. This book really makes you suspicious about the government, though, so beware. I give this book 8 stars, and recommend it to all mystery YA readers, like pretty little liars with less suspense but a lot of drama. It’s a perfect light, quick read for when you’re in a reading slump. Also recommended for animal lovers; you guys are going to fall in love with Tor and her story.

One more thing – Tor starts out fifteen and turns sixteen later in the book, despite what the summary claims. I’m sorry, I know that isn’t at all important but it was annoying me and I just needed to put it out there.

Spoiler review: Who else was shipping Rick and Tor?

I felt like he disappeared towards the end of the book, which disappointed me. I wanted thre to be some sort of romantic “16 is close enough to 20” thing, but I guess in real life 16 isn’t close enough to 20, but that’s a shame. I still ship them, but there are two more books so we’ll see…

I also felt like the parent reactions were a little off. I mean, your daughter just ran away from home. You had no idea where she was, and your other son isn’t cooperating with you. Don’t you ground her for life? They only got upset the second time she ran away, and even then they let go of it a little easily. Wasn’t Tor sorry at all? If I were her mom, I would not let her walk around thinking what she did was okay. Besides, her dog was SICK. Not just fake sick, really sick. She could have easily caught it. So basically, I think Tor is nuts, but sometimes nuts is fun to read about. This wasn’t a completely acceptable kind of nuts, but there was still some fun in there.

As I said above, I love the voice, and even the plot got interesting. I don’t trust the government so much anymore, but I’m sure I’ll get over that eventually. It had the elements of a dystopea in a contemporary, and I loved that because it really shows how these things can happen. Even though it did seem a little middle grade at times (she sensors her swears in the weirdest way. Freaping and spit? But then she throws in a damn – if you’re going to sensor some of it, why is damn okay?) but it had enough elements of YA (hot college guys) to make up for it. My favorite characters are Rick and Rody; they brought in a lot of humor.

Before I finish this review, I have to talk about how much of a genius Tor is. She really is a police prodigy (I know that’s not a thing, but if it was a thing Tor would definitely qualify). She cracked this case all by herself, and did a great job at teaching me biology in the process.


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