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Flawed - J.L. Spelbring

4/5 stars

The book's blurb intrigued me - a future world shaped from an alternate history of events dating back to World War II. Although this is the second book in the series and I haven't read the first, I had no trouble picking up and understanding what was going on. I would like to read the first book so that I can see the evolution of the characters.

At the beginning of book two, we find many of the renegades dead or captured. Ellyssa, Rein, Woody, and a few other friends spend most of Flawed planning a raid on the West Texas concentration camp to free Mathew and the other prisoners.

I like Ellyssa. I like her inner struggle with the cold, austere, soldier instilled in her by der Vater's eugenics and DNA experiments, and the girl who is learning to feel emotions for the first time. Her words are often clipped and robotic and seem very realistic given the circumstances.

There is no love triangle, but there is unrequited love. Bonus points for that. Lots of YA that I have read build tension by allowing for misunderstandings and unclear boundaries in a love triangle or pseudo love triangle. J.L. Spelbring didn't do that. Ellyssa clearly and emphatically states that she loves Rein after Woody tells her he loves her. She is not cruel but she is clear. Her honesty is refreshing.

Ellyssa is unaware that her brother and sister, Xaver and Aalexis are still alive. Their mission is to bring Ellyssa back to continue der Vater's work. They remind me of these two:

Aalexis can even cause pain just by thinking it. With one thought she can make her victim think he is burning alive. Xaver is a shield, but he can also hurt you with his icy touch. Their relationship is strange and squicky. Kind of like this:

The middle dragged a bit for me, but the pace picked up a lot at the end. Chapters forty-six and forty-seven were brutal. I look forward to reading the next book in this original series.