ISAN – Mary Ting

This book was incredible. I have to say, I had no clue what to expect when starting it. It’s not a well known book, so I didn’t really have any expectations, however, this completely blew my mind. I finished it in a matter of days (pretty much one day), and couldn’t put it down. The story was captivating and addicting and I felt stuck in the pages of the book and completely in love with the characters. 

Plot

This book follows our main character Ava who has suffered through the loss of her mother and an abuse foster home, only to end up in juvenile detention. From there, she is offered the chance to start a new life at a program called ISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network). 

ISAN injects an experimental serum named HelixB77 into Ava and all of the girls in the program which enhances pretty much their five senses and all of their abilities. It makes them stronger, faster, and more like an assassin, which gives them the ability to go on missions and take out important people to the program. 

On a mission, Ava is kidnapped by a rebel group and taken to their base. There, she is told that everything she knows about ISAN is a lie. They’ve been lying to her the entire time. Not only are they her friends, but ISAN has wiped her memory so she cannot remember them or a time when she tried to escape from the program. 

Ava finds comfort in the rebel group and they become a sort of family for her. It’s only until she’s forced to go back to ISAN to save her friends there, and find her family that she realizes the hate that she holds for the program and she’ll stop at nothing to bring them down. 


“Books were my escape from reality. They took me to places beyond my imagination, and some of the characters became family. Books gave me peace, sanity, and hope.”


Characters

Ava was a pretty great main character. She was easy to follow and she seemed genuinely smart. Along with that, she was way stronger than she knew which is was really cool. After finding out a ton of information, we find out that Ava actually has some sort of map in her head wherever she goes and I have to say that it’s pretty cool to have that ability when she doesn’t even realize how strong she is. She also takes charge of her life and even though she’s been through some serious trauma, she’s able to control herself and do everything with a level head. She’s just an overall great character and I really liked her.

Rhett was probably one of my favorite characters. I mean, who doesn’t love a good book boyfriend? He was just so cute and his love for Ava was adorable! I couldn’t stop smiling every time he was super goofy or kept glancing at Ava, like come onnnnn. Adorable. He was also a super strong character and could hold his own ground which I loved, and the fact that he was able to pull himself together enough for Ava was really cute to see too. 

I feel like I didn’t get to know enough about our other rebel friends, however, I’m hoping we find out more in the next book (which I’m super excited for)! 

Finally I have to mention Brooke because she was just so bubbly and it was clear that she really loved Ava. Brooke was constantly a character that stuck by Ava and it was nice to see that she had someone who would care for her. Along with that, she noticed when Ava wasn’t herself and was able to kind of help her with it even though she didn’t know what was going on which I think showed great loyalty. She was such a nice, bubbly character that made the book that much better. 


“We were a family, not by blood, but by loyalty and true friendship.”


Setting

This book takes place on Earth, however, the United States has been “disbanded” due to meteor showers that devastated the planet. Instead of the United States, the land was split into four quadrants – North, South, East, West – and is governed by the Remnant Council. 

I have to say, they mentioned the setting a few times and the Remnant Council was mentioned a bit too but I feel like I need more information on it. I didn’t get a ton of information from the little bits that were said except that many organizations (ISAN included), are trying to overtake the council. Overall, I do like the setting and I think it fits the intensity of the plot. It seems like the right place for something as complicated as ISAN to take place. 

Writing

I’ve never read Mary Tings writing before so I didn’t really know what to expect going into the story, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed her writing style. It was so easy to fall into the story, and while the plot was super intense, the writing constantly kept me engaged and interested in the storyline. I don’t really have any complaints about the writing. It kept me interested which is exactly what I want from a book as intense and action packed as this. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, sometimes I was even brought to tears, and at times it also made me laugh. 

It’s exactly what I’m looking for in this type of book. 

In Conclusion… 

I loved this book. It was unexpectedly amazing. I fell in love with the characters that I met, I was addicted to the writing, and I loved the intensity and faced paced plotline. I can’t get enough of this book! I absolutely can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: 5/5⭐

About the Author

Maya

Maya is an eighteen-year-old psychology student that loves to read a range of genres of books. She also loves to write her own stories and is working on the second draft of her first novel.

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