by: Stacey Kade
I'm not going to use a lot of the synopsis provided by the publisher for this novel, because I'm not sure that it's a great reflection of the novel. Basically, our dear Ariane is an escaped hybrid alien human science experiment. She's still living a few short miles from where she was grown, raised, and went through awful stuff. Her adopted father is a security guard for said evil science lab, and broke her out when she was young to replace his dying daughter. Ariane (not her real name, but the name of the girl whose identity she's adopted) keeps a low profile, keeping the very strict set of rules made by her father. And then stuff starts to change.
I was pleasantly surprised by The Rules. This is my first introduction to Kade's work, and I thought that it was compelling, interesting, and surprisingly emotional. Having read and not been impressed by other escaped science experiment novels (see Origin), I went into it with relatively low expectations.
There was something about Ariane that I really liked. I loved her motivation to look out for the weak and helpless. I also liked her insights into being an alien masquerading as a human (i.e. setting up a routine, and making small adjustments to appear more human-like). She's obsessed with freedom, and yet isn't much of a risk-taker. Very savvy, which I liked.
But, there is also the dual perspective of Zane Bradshaw, the son of the over-zealous police chief that is dying for a way into spooky science lab. On the surface, he appears to be rich, snotty, hangs out with the A-listers and a jerk. But, by getting his perspective, it reveals a whole new side of him that I really liked. Otherwise, the romance would have been a no-go.
The Rules has a lot of heart. But, it wasn't perfect. First, I am weary of the "scientist are immoral" plot line. So, thankfully, very little had to deal with the actual scientists running the experiment. But, I feel like it should be noted that scientists are actually a very moral bunch for the most part, and it would be nice to see some variety in their portrayal in media. Second, is the very flat character of Rachel. She was just flat out mean. No motivation, and very little deviance from her villainous role.
I'll definitely be checking out the sequel to The Rules and recommend it to anyone looking for a page turner! And, check out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy!