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Review: Cipher

by Aileen Erin

cipher pamsfour

“He thought I was surrendering. Not going to happen.” – page 303

Title: Cipher
Author: Aileen Erin
Published by: Ink Monster
Book:  1 of The Shadow Ravens
Genre: YA/NA/Sci-Fi
Found: Amazon
Rating: 4 Voodoos

In the not-too-distant future, the colour of your helix tattoo shows exactly how your DNA was modified—green for super-smart scientists, black for pumped-up warriors, white for the immortal Seligo—but Cipher’s red helix is a death sentence. It’s a sign of unstable DNA, which is probably the reason she can manipulate electricity.
When she was eight years old, Cipher made the mistake of showing her uncle the tattoo. In return, he killed her parents and tried to kidnap her.
She’s been on the run ever since, and twelve long years later, Cipher is tired of hiding. Survival isn’t enough anymore. She wants her life back.
Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn’t seen him in person since she started running, and Knightly 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile.
For a girl like Cipher, trust doesn’t come easily, but Knightly makes her yearn for a life she knows she can’t have, especially when every secret she reveals endangers them both.


I really liked this. It was fast paced and the chemistry between Cipher and Knight was Red hot. Haha, see what I did there? The writing kept me reading even when I shouldn’t have been…and the world was super fascinating in a dystopian we’d-totally-do-that-to-them kind of way. l think my favourite was Knight, he is most certainly the loyal type, he’s dedicated his life to this cause of his and he’s not giving up for anything. I thought this was headed more in a NA direction, but it never quite got past YA. I’m not sure if this is due to the time scale and story line or if it’s intentional (if it will hit NA later, when they’ve not spent all their time just getting to safety etc)

I do have to say, it was perhaps a little too fast paced however, it could have done with more filler, more world explaining and more Cipher and Knight time…especially back story development and certainly more detail would have been appreciated.

What’s interesting though is that this is the first of a series that’s a collaboration between Aileen and two others. They created the world and then each created a heroine, which they will write a story about, which may explain the lack of world detail. It’s easy to forget that everyone doesn’t know what you do when you’ve created a colab world, having spent so much time talking about it with others.

 Books 2 and 3 will be the other two heroines and book 4 will be all of them together and I’m assuming this will cover all the second halves to each story. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series, unfortunately I had a hard time tracking down book 2, but don’t panic, it’s all pre-ordereed now! haha



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