Review: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring

Posted July 28, 2014 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 6 Comments


Author: J.L. Spelbring
Series: Perfection #1
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Historical Fiction/Alternate History
Format: ebook
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Source: Received egalley from publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 3 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This
has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my
open and honest opinion.***

from Goodreads:

The personification of
Aryan purity, Ellyssa’s spent her whole life under her creator’s strict
training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was
genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent,
unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn’t perfect.

Ellyssa feels emotions–a fact she’s spent her life concealing. Until she
encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades
hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her
telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of
such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.

His unspoken words and visions of a place she’s never visited make Ellyssa
question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered,
Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to
her than perfection.
I was browsing around Netgalley one day and spotted this book.
As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I had to have it. Set in an alternate
history where Hitler won the war, this one was sure to be interesting. I
requested it and Spencer Hill approved me. Thanks! This book was just as
interesting as the synopsis promises. But I did have some issues. Let’s start
with the bad.
The point-of-view. It was third person omniscient. How I
despise this POV. I’ve read books where it has worked. But more often than not,
it doesn’t. For me personally, that is. I have a really hard time connecting to
any of the characters with this POV because we aren’t in any of their heads and
we keep jumping around from person to person. I always feel like I’m all over
the place. And this book, unfortunately, was no exception to that feeling.
The world. While the world was interesting, there wasn’t
enough world-building for me. There was so much potential with this premise. We
are in a world where Hitler won. Years later (after Hitler’s death) his world
of Aryan perfection still reigns supreme. It’s not that we didn’t get any
information. We did. I just wanted more. How did Hitler win? How long did it
take to convert the entire world to his new way of life? Why did the US
citizens accept this way of life? How did everything happen? It didn’t seem
like it was too far in the future from the current time and I just kind of had
a hard time believing that this huge conversion had happened in such a short
time with zero explanation.
The romance. Insta-love. The main character goes from an
unfeeling robotic-type human to being in love in a matter of a couple weeks. I
understand the intensity she must have felt releasing all those emotions, but
she wasn’t the first one to use the L word. It was the romantic interest, a
perfectly normal human being who had honestly barely spoken to her before using
And one more thing. There was a lot
of disturbing violence. I mean, I guess that fits in with the whole idea of
this book, but SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read): There was a rape scene in this book that honestly
felt completely unnecessary to the story. I’m not sure why it was put in there,
but it made me pretty angry. There were also a few sociopaths so be warned,
this book is violent. End spoiler.
Okay, now for the good.
The premise really was interesting and exciting. There is an
intricate story and lots of twists and turns. There are some really extreme
ideas in this book which fit perfectly with Hitler’s vision of the future. Even
with him dead, you could still feel his influence ruling over the world. I found
myself turning the pages quickly, wanting to find out how it was going to end
and what Dr. Hirch’s ultimate plan was.
I did like the main character Elyssa. She developed a lot
and I think she has a lot of potential. I just wish I had gotten to know her better.
And I loved the other members of the resistance: Jordan, Matthew, Woody, even
Candy. They were all so warm and welcoming. I am looking forward to seeing what
comes next and will definitely be reading the next book. Happy reading all!
Have you read this one? What did you think? I loved the idea of an alternate history. Does anybody know any other books like this that I should read? 

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6 responses to “Review: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring

  1. I read this book, not sure when, and I cannot remember it at all. I have the worst memory! This is why I have to reread every book in a series. I do remember liking it, not loving it, but that's about it. And insta-love…I liked how you mentioned that it makes sense for her but not him. And the fact that they had barely spoken. That makes me crazy. Sometimes I read a book and realize that they fall in love over a period of about a week or something but it doesn't seem like insta-love because they spend so much time together and go through so much, etc. It's the books where they've had maybe two conversations and they're already declaring their undying love that make me crazy. Since I really don't remember this one, not sure if I'm reading the next one. Glad you liked it! ~Pam

  2. I hate when super cool premises lack enough world building. 🙁 This one sounds especially interesting. I'm with you on 3rd POV omniscient as well. Sometimes it can work really well, but most of the time, I really prefer first person. Great review!

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