#loveozya :: Kindred Ties :: Marita Smith

August 06, 2018

Ok, I could not tell you why this review has taken me so long to get written, because I have been talking to EVERYONE about these books since I finished them! But I've finally managed to get my most of my thoughts down to share! I have also been  in touch with the author, Marita Smith, and she was kind enough to answer some questions for me about the books and her writing - make sure you pop back on Thursday to check out my very first author Q&A!

When Harbour Publishing approached me to see if I would be interested in checking out Marita Smith's Kindred Ties series I was immediately intrigued - #loveozya scifi, with genetics and animals and adventure and queer rep? YES PLEASE!
I don't think I had even read the first chapter before I was in love - the start of the book is set at Australian National University (ANU) here in Canberra - where I studied science (including genetics) myself!

Let's start with the synopsis of Convergence (book 1 in the series) 

For scientist Robyn Greene, her laboratory is a second home. Here she searches for the ancient gene that is supposed to enable humans to communicate with animals. After years of failure, she’s beginning to wonder if the gene is a myth. But when she stumbles across a strange genetic mutation, Robyn’s world turns upside down. The man posing as her boss is, in fact, an operative of the mysterious international organisation, the MRI. Worse, they have dark plans to exploit her discovery.

In a race against time, Robyn must track down the individuals with this rare gene before the MRI turns them into lab rats. But when she meets the three teenagers, she realises that protecting them from the MRI is not only about saving their lives. Fletcher, Ariana and Eli are capable of more than anyone realises; they are part of an ancient cycle designed to keep the Earth in balance. A terrible future awaits the planet if the MRI gains control of Robyn and her research before she’s figured out the kindred ties that bind these teenagers.

 Obviously I don't want to say too much about Emergence (book 2) because SPOILERS, but suffice to say I am busting to get my hands on the final book in this trilogy!

Ok, so I loved these books! It feels kind of like Captain Planet meets Animorphs (and if you are as old as me that will mean something haha) and Emergence throws a little bit of a Divergent vibe into that too. The genetics stuff made my sciencey little heart happy, and I'm always thrilled to spot some of my hometown Canberra in a book (this was something that I felt like was done so well in these books).

Besides being fun and adventurous and - let's be honest - just a bit nerdy, the Kindred Ties books look at some serious issues too. There is quite a bit about environmental conservation - the importance of looking after our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with. I also really appreciated the 'coming of age' aspect of Robyn's story - we see her struggle with where she fits in and who she is, including questioning her sexuality. I think it is really important to have characters in our books who are still figuring themselves out despite being smart and opinionated and 'grown-up'.

On that topic, while the Kindred Ties series definitely fits into young adult, I feel like it pushes past that age range into the mid twenties really successfully. Obviously I'm a big believer in YA being a great read for adults too, but I think there is a bit of a gap in the literary world for books about university-aged  people still coming of age (does that even make sense?). Anyway, the mix of teens and early-twenties protagonists worked really well for me.

I gave these two each a solid four stars and - like I said above - I am so looking forward to finding out what happens next!

Don't forget to come back on in a few days for my Q&A with Marita!

xo Bron

*** Kindred Ties ***
Convergence and Emergence
 Available now from Harbour Publishing

On Goodreads
Genre: Sci-fi (YA) 
Source: Free books sent to me by Harbour Publishing for review (all views are my own)
Find Marita Smith here

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