I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Chimera by Vaun Murphrey
Series: The Weaver Series,
Published by Artemis Femme on July 29, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
If you witnessed your parents killed at age five for reasons unknown only to endure eight years of isolation in captivity, what would you do with your life when you were suddenly rescued by family you never knew you had? What if you yourself were even more than you seemed? The universe can be both a terrible and wonderful place to live if you have the courage to explore it. Enter an alternate reality of civil war, secrets, murders and betrayals that transcends space and time with CHIMERA, Book One of the Weaver Series.
Chimera reads like the set up to an intense psychological thriller. The story begins with the heroine Cassandra being held prisoner in a strange facility by people she doesn’t recognize. She has no memory of how she got there, and is completely ignorant of why they want her. Her captors never speak to her, and everything looks medicinally clean. To escape the abuse she suffers, Cassandra withdraws into her mind. As the story progresses, Cassandra gets rescued by her uncle and thrust into a strange community. Everything is strange, and no one will give Cassandra answers to her questions. I really like Cassandra. Her past has made her tough, and now that she’s free, she refuses to be anyone’s victim. Despite her 13 years, Cassandra is very mature. She knows her own mind after depending on it for years, and sticks up for herself. Along the way she learns about her long-forgotten past, makes a new friend, finds a potential boyfriend, and discovers things within her new home aren’t exactly what they seem.
James, Cassandra’s love interest, is similar to Cassandra. Like her, he finds himself thrust into a situation that has made him grow up before his time. He also is very bright and analytical. Whenever he and Cassandra talk to others they always seem a lot older than they are, but when they’re together you get a glimpse of the teenagers they are. I really enjoyed how the pair seemed like equals. Neither was there to “complete” the other. I also really enjoyed that there didn’t seem to be a love triangle in sight. Hooray!
The other characters Cassandra (and readers) meet in Chimera are also likable. Save a few meanies who don’t like Cass because of her past. James’ sister Kara is pretty cool, and I loved her budding friendship with Cassandra. I also really likes Cass’ aunt Maggie. She seems like the caring mother figure Cassandra greatly needs after everything she’s endured. Class’ uncle, Gerome, is a bit of a wild card. I like to think he cares for Cass, but the verdict is still out on him. I would like to read more about them, as well as Cass’ enemies.
“Secrets, however long they are kept, usually still manage to be brought to light. The best you can hope for is that you’ll be in control of when a secret gets out, not if it does.”
― Vaun Murphrey, Chimera
The dystopian society author Vaun Murphrey wrote is intriguing. The Weavers seems to have cool abilities, and I love the concept of a civil war brewing. However, like most first novels in a series, everything was focused on character development and world building, and the story lacked action. Aside from a fight at the end of the book, anyway. I’m sure going forward this will change.
Aside from the dystopian society aspect, Murphrey threw in another science fiction trope at the very end that seemed like a bit too much. I would have prefered if Cassandra’s “savior” had different origins. The world building throughout the rest of the book didn’t appear to support this reveal.
Do I Recommend?
Yes. Despite my reservations about the ending, I did enjoy living in Cassandra’s mind for the time I read Chimera. Her family, the political dynamics, and budding romance really blended well, and held promise of better things to come in the later novels. However, since I didn’t like the reveal at the end, and thought it was a bit extra, I only give Chimera 3.5 out of 5 stars.