by Candace Kade
Lee Urban is living a lie.
In a society where everyone’s DNA determines their destiny, being a Natural means automatic relegation to the gritty and dangerous Outskirts. With the harnessed power of gene-editing, the ability to create a super-human race has transformed the world and offered the opportunity of a genetically enhanced life. But only to those who can afford it.
Born a Natural, Lee Urban was adopted into the Enhanced high society of the Asian Federation and forced to conceal her genetic roots. When her dream of attending Peking University becomes a reality, she is determined to go despite a warning from a mysterious source.
Targeted by a hacker bent on exposing her true DNA, Urban faces off with an Artificial Intelligence Game that puts her—and her lies—to the test. What was supposed to be a dream come true turns into a lethal gamble of hide-and-seek with her genetics. Can Urban continue the act, or will the cracks in her story expose her and endanger her family?
Enhanced is a solid start to The Hybrid Series.
The characters were well-developed and layered. I look forward to getting to know them more in the rest of the series! I also appreciated the sisterly bond between Lillian and Urban. Sibling relationships make me happy.
Initially, there was something about Kade’s writing style that kept me from feeling like I was in Urban’s head. Maybe it was the third-person POV, maybe it was just me. However, as the story went on, that distance faded and I was soon as wrapped up in the secrets and danger as Urban was.
The worldbuilding is super fun. While I am not a science person, I appreciated that Kade did have her worldbuilding for the Enhanced based in science, and seem like an actual possibility for the future. The Chinese culture elements were great–I loved all of the descriptions of food. 😂 In her bio, Kade says that she grew up in China, and you can tell so while reading Enhanced.
The plot was great. I liked how Kade balanced the general difficulties of school, hiding Urban’s true identity, and the mysterious hacker–and tied all of the threads together. Be warned, there is a point where everything in the plot really gets rolling and it will be hard to put the book down!
The ending, while not a dreadful cliffhanger, will definitely leave you eager to find out what happens next in the series!
Cautions: one kiss; moderate romance; moderate violence
I received an ARC from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own! Enhanced releases from Enclave Publishing in March 2023.