I know exactly why I downloaded Freak of Nature by Julia Crane from Amazon.com in 2014. I was looking for something to feed my obsession with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. While I read “Freak” rather quickly, it was a disappointing read.
Freak of Nature is a formulaic read. There is nothing surprising in the plot. It progresses exactly the way you guess it will. The characters are two-dimensional (Romeo & Juliet + Juliet’s best friend) and never grow beyond their base emotional wants (I want to be loved. I want to belong.). At times the characters came across as whiny or dim because they vocalize their wants and discomforts on a regular basis. You don’t have to tell me in every chapter that it’s hard being a cyborg or it’s hard being a cyborg’s best friend or it’s hard being in love with the cyborg you helped create. After the first time, I get it.
The most annoying thing, and this is probably somewhat trivial, but the image used at the end of each chapter seemed to cheapen the story. It’s a cute little robot. The main character, Kaitlyn, is a cyborg. In my mind, those are two different things. I questioned why the decision was made to use this image at the end of each chapter. It was distracting and seemed inappropriate considering the issues that the author seemed to be trying to tackle during the course of the story.
Fans of romance may enjoy this novel (although the one sex scene is a bit creepy and awkward). It might be a good way to introduce someone to science fiction, but for a reader, like myself, who likes a little more meat and controversy with their science fiction and a little less gushy stuff, Freak of Nature just wasn’t for me.