The Progeny by Tosca Lee
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
What do you do when an ancestor’s actions threaten your very existence? You disappear. Emily, or at least that’s what her name is now, must begin a quiet, hidden, new life in Maine. It’s one of those small towns with a couple of hundred residents, some shops/eating establishments, an unexplained interest to tourists and not much else. The sign must say Greenville, population: a handful of moose.
The beginning just reminds me of home, with the gorgeous trees, lake, the phrase “wicked cool” and Emily’s Red Sox cap. The action quickly takes over the plot, as Emily must flee Maine with a man she doesn’t know if she can trust…. from a guy who had been following her for years with one goal – to kill her. With her memories gone Emily, or Audra as she finds out, doesn’t know who she can trust. Is Luka the one who wants her dead? Or did Rolan lie and he’s the real threat?
The unique plot is intriguing and the mystery won’t let you put the book down. Danger lurks around every corner and Audra must rediscover what she forced herself to forget, at all costs.
The characters are intriguing and develop over the course of the novel. The Progeny are secretive and with good reason, any knowledge they have of their brethren can be taken upon their deaths. Their minds put countless others at risk unless they keep themselves isolated. While her comrades are decently well described, they don’t quite feel like fully realized people. We need to now more of their dreams and fears, history, relationships and motivation.
The “big-bads” are sort of a generic evil villain type that I wished was developed more. What turned him into a zealot? What is his history with Audra’s mother? How did he rise in the Court? I know Audra lost her memories, so we’re in the dark like her but it just makes the novel feel less realized than it could.
The one relationship that feels authentic is between Audra and Luka. Even though she’s not initially sure she can trust him and questions herlself throughout the novel – she still can’t imagine going through everything without him/ I’m glad to learn that it isn’t one long-running deception. The end of the novel is still completely unexpected in regards to the two of them.
Claudia and Piotrek are so close but he feels like such a mystery. We get to experience some of Claudia’s emotions, like her confusion and hurt at being left or her anger about Ivan’s death. Piotrek just seems flat in comparison. He’s very protective of Claudia and painted a picture once. For all we know, he could have been an artist and it was just one of his many works. Its just as likely that it was the one and only time he attempted to be creative. I wish Piotrek was more develop as I”m very interested to learn more about him.
Audra travels to a number of foreign locations and they are described well enough that you can imagine them beautifully. They may not be the most glamorous villas or rich cities but you want to learn more about them nonetheless.
The book ends with a lot of revelations and so many more questions. Traitors are unmasked. Confessed or accused killers may not have been the murderers after all. Lovers are in peril. And time is running out. I know I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what happens.
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