*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author or narrator.
Sigrid's parents sell her to Kimura due to the debt they own. Kimura has found Sigrid has a rare genetic code, and it's perfect for their program. Sigrid grows up in the academy, taught to take care of herself and becomes stronger mentally and physically. Sigrid and the other girls don't realize they are a secret experiment. But when the secret gets out, Sigrid will have to fight to save herself, her love, and those she's grown to see as her sisters. Finding out who's behind the attacks will be harder than Sigrid expected, and safe harbor is needed for all the girls like her.
I do love listening to Kristin's voice(s). Each character truly feels as though they have their own voice and personality as I listen to her bring the characters to life in voice. Oh the music leading in at the title, wow. Seems to fit the image of the cover. I really liked it! There are a few accents in the story as the girls are from different places, a Kiwi one for Suko and Kristin voices it true. The little extras that are added to voice effects is a bonus for me. Kristin does this like when in water and water muffles talking as it covers a characters mouth.
There are many young girls brought together at Alcyone at a young age of 8-9. We see the girls grow closer as they are trained and suffer from the abuse of other girls bullying them. I found the beginning slow with this growing of the girls. The beginning is all about Sigrid and Suko at the academy and how others were cruel to Sigrid and how Suko came to her rescue. Other than Sigrid not wanting to be at the academy, I don't know what the direction of the story was. I guess that they are growing into and trained to be mercenaries?
Then things pick up. When the girls find trouble during a training exercise, men trying to take the girls, that's when the story started to pick up, which was in chapter 6, 2 hours into the 10 hour book. Then it calms again. When things go sideways for Sigrid and others like her, that's when the story became more interesting for me. There is a good bit of action in trying to take Sigrid and others along with how they react to stay free. This is the last third of the book. It feels as we get a lot of growing up and friendship and enemy bonds made in much of this book. For me, it's a bit slow in moving for all of this even though it's showing the world as a vast place and setting it up for the troubles that will come. I found the book moved better after the halfway point of the story.
Most of the book is Sigrid's POV. Then we start getting POV's from Carl, Suko, Selene, and a few others to see the different sides of the story. We also get views from the scientific side of the researcher through Dr. Lisa Garrett's journal entries. This tells us what they are doing to the girls to make them stronger, faster, and more enhanced. We also see how the enhancements work with the girls through Sigrid's story. It seems all done to the girls doesn't harm them, which is what they were looking for in the genetics so that none are harmed.
I found the book a space opera with the direction of Sigrid living a life. It was a soft story as everything Sigrid comes across in troubles, she easily dominates and works through it. Things seem to be easy for her, like the bully in school and how she just disappears. Then taking over a small vessel that was trying to capture her. Sigrid is powerful, but it doesn't seem like there is a challenge out there for you. I didn't have the worry of danger going into these scenes and for that didn't feel invested with Sigrid.
At the beginning I could have seen this story being a wonderful YA sci fi opera story except for the sex scenes that are present. Then as Sigrid and the girls grew up and ventured out on their own, the story aged too. They experience things and we start to see the conspiracies forming.
Oh, about the book description. It mentions that Sigrid and Suko are two special girls with a rare genetic structure. It's true, they are. But they are not the only two. The girls at Alcyone are all found to have the rare genetic coding. So there are more than these two, it's just that we see these two more closely in the story. Also, I took the fighting done by these two as they were a team together. Not always. Most of it is actually Sigrid and Suko's not aware of what's happening out in the universe as Sigrid is learning all the information.
By the end of the book, it was exactly what I wanted from my space operas. I am curious to see if the next book keeps up the pace that this book ended on.