4 out of 4 stars
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Replaced Parts is the first book of the Transformed Nexus series by Stephanie Hansen. Set in a dystopian world more than 100 years in the future, Sierra has the potential to become a great doctor or scientist, following in the footsteps of her father. Sierra dreams of being reunited with her father, who inexplicably disappeared when she was younger. When she discovers a clue that could lead to her father’s whereabouts, Sierra changes her identity in order to board a spacecraft headed to another planet. Planet Vortex might be known as a research and technology epicenter, but it is far from the utopia that Sierra had envisioned. With residents having little more freedom than prisoners, a revolt is brewing. Sierra soon finds herself responsible for saving not only her father, but also herself and the other residents of the desert planet.
I cannot begin to stress how much I enjoyed this book. It’s an excellent story that contains a nice blend of dystopian science fiction and innocent, young adult romance. I especially enjoyed the scientific descriptions that were incorporated into the plot; I have read other stories that become extremely complicated with such inclusions, but that did not happen in this book. The science behind all of the technology was very easy to follow, and it transformed the story into a more speculative science fiction category. Even though it is science fiction, it is easy to imagine that the future portrayed in this book is possible. The book contains space travel and medical research for organ implants, which we already have to an extent, and this book takes that reality and stretches it just a little bit further than what we can already do. It never reaches a point of unrealistic or unbelievable, which kept me hooked and questioning what kind of scientific advances we might expect within our own lifetimes.
There were a few surprises within the text that will keep me thinking about what might happen in the next book in the series, which I certainly plan on reading when it is available. This book could work as a standalone novel, but there are still quite a few unanswered questions and loose ends that were not tied up by the end of the book. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it has a cliffhanger ending (which I don’t like), but I know that some readers may not be satisfied with the sudden twists that occurred at the end of the book. I personally loved the ending of the book, and that’s a rare compliment to come from me.
I also enjoyed the characters and their complex personalities that developed throughout the story. Although Sierra is only sixteen, she comes across as a mature teenager, but with just the right amount of innocence and naïveté that we expect from someone her age. She has flaws and makes impulsive decisions, but I enjoyed that she (or any other character in the book) was not perfect. It was easy to relate to her and to cheer for her during her adventure across the universe.
On top of all of the great points of the plot and characters, the writing itself is also worth mentioning. There were only a handful of extremely minor errors throughout the book; they are easy to overlook, and they do not hinder the reading experience at all. I also appreciate the relatively “clean” content of the book, aside from a few well-placed swears. There are some scenes that contain pretty graphic imagery that may not be suitable for those with a weak stomach. Overall, I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I strongly recommend this book to young adult and adult readers who are looking for an unforgettable dystopian world.
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