by Margaret Fortune
Expected publication: June 2nd 2015 by DAW
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend. Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.
The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am. My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.
And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.
I am very far from your typical Sci-fi lover. I find deep space exploration and interplanetary travel a bit boring and pretty cheesy however, Nova was unlike ANYTHING I have ever had the pleasure of reading. There was some space stuff but this felt more like an espionage-ish race against time. I ate up every word of it. I am so very thankful that Penguin allowed me to review this title!
Lia Johansen thinks she is just another prisoner of war from the Tiersten Internment Camp. Things are always a bit fuzzy for her and she always has the feeling that there is something she should be remembering. Then it clicks and she gets it... She is a human bomb who was set to go Nova on the New Sol Space Station. All is going according to someone's master plan until her clock suddenly stops.
My name is Lia Johansen, and I am a clone of a prisoner of war. Created for the purpose of destroying the New Sol Station, I believed myself a failure when my clock stopped and I didn't go Nova. My life changed forever when i met a boy named Michael, and he became my friend.Ahhh yes, isn't it always about a boy. Lia doesn't care about anything except why she didn't blow when she is recognized by a childhood friend, Micheal. This is where the story became so intense for me. Lia (which is her name simply for all intensive purposes) isn't supposed to have feelings or emotions yet somehow parts of the real Lia seems to leak into her being. She has memories of this boy and the life they had together a long time ago when they were just children. It's very rare to have a dual perspective in a first person narrative but it was done here. Lia ping pongs back and forth betweening feeling like a human and the seeing humanity from the eyes of a genetically engineered being. So very clever!
The icing on the cake was the race against that persky internal clock which would randomly start due to emotional stimulation whether good or bad. The longer she keeps herself from going nova, the more humanity seems to take root in her being. This sounds like a pretty cut and dry scenario but it was the complete opposite. It was a nail biter ALL THE WAY THROUGH! After all it isn't only her growing attachment to Michael and his family that she must contend with but, the threat of being discovered by the PsyCorp (basically psychic police officers) & being relocated to a unknown location with the rest of the refugees from her camp. There is so much chance and danger that I couldn't stop reading!! The ending near ripped my damn heart to shreds and trust me it is nothing you will see coming! If you are any type of Sci-fi or suspense fan, I beg you pick this one up!