Tuesday 23 April 2024

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1

The Naturals
The Naturals Book 1
ISBN 9780316540629
eISBN 9781423181187

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1

I picked a copy of this a couple of years ago because my niece was reading it at the time. However, it got lost in the plethora of books on my kindle and I never got around to reading it. This year my youngest, 13, picked it to read in class for school reading and a book report. She has to read the physical copy and read it in class. She debated between this and the Inheritance Games series, both had come highly recommended, but a few other girls in her class were doing Inheritance. While picking it up I read the prologue and was hooked. My daughter is a little mad that I read it in 1 days and she has to wait and read it in class, but oh well!

The description of this volume states:

“Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.”

This series started just a year after Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers series which I read as they were releasing. I absolutely loved killers. This volume has a somewhat similar feal, except it is a team of ‘naturals’ young adults with special abilities, such as: human lie detector, ability to read emotions and feelings almost exactly and of course natural profilers. Cassis is brought in as the newest member of the team. She is in training and then the team typically works on cold cases. But when a killer starts sending Cassie very personal gifts the whole gig changes. 

Cassie has spent years trying to find here place in the world. Since the murder of her mother and being dumped with her father’s family. She has never really felt like she fit. She could pretend, and she could try and please family. But it was always work for her. Now in the program with the other Naturals she is finding she just might have a place in this world. And she is not sure if she can navigate the young adult angst of the team living in close quarters and doing the work they do. But when things change the stakes are higher than she ever expected. And her own past just might be the key to solving the current killing spree.

This story is very well written. The characters are crafted to near perfection. The cases they are reviewing might be dark and grim, but they will train them to help prevent future cases like these. Cassie really feels she could play a role here, an important role. The story moves at a quick pace, with the whole story taking place over a short time span. They is a huge plot twist.

Overall, I was impressed with this story. I am surprised it took me almost a decade to hear about this book. Especially since when it released, I was reading and reviewing a lot of Young Adult books. This story is a great beginning of a series, and it leaves you wanting the next instalment. But because of the serial killer investigations absolutely not for all readers. Now the question is do I really upset my daughter and read the next volume or do I wait for her? A great read for mature teens and young adults, or even some of us older folks.

p.s. both my niece and daughter really prefer the original covers. And I admit I lean that way as well. Fortunately the eBooks have the original covers for the first three still.

Books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:
The Lovely and the Lost (2019)
Nobody (2013)
Every Other Day (2011)

The Naturals Series:
All In (2015)
Bad Blood (2016)
Twelve (2017)

The Inheritance Games Series:
The Inheritance Games (2020)
The Hawthorne Legacy (2021)
The Final Gambit (2022)
The Brothers Hawthorne (2023)

Debutantes Series:
Little White Lies (2018)
Deadly Little Scandals (2019)

The Fixer Series:
The Fixer (2015)
The Long Game (2016)

Raised by Wolves Series:
Raised by Wolves (2010)
Sweet Sixteen (2015)
Trial by Fire (2011)
Taken by Storm (2012)

The Squad Series:
Perfect Cover (2008)
Killer Spirit (2008)

Tattoo Series:
Tattoo (2007)
Fate (2009)

Golden Series:
Golden (2006)
Platinum (2007)

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1  Reprint Edition

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2  Reprint Edition

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4  Reprint Edition

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5  Reprint Edition

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