I did struggle with the first part of the book, and even though there were things that made me cringe and not understand, it kept me intrigued enough to get through the first 18 chapters, which in my opinion, is when it started to finally flow, connect and got really, really interesting.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes' spin on sci-fi has really blown me away. The realistic secret-organization and characters that she created are like no others that I have ever read before.
First, here's a brief description of what a Nobody is...
a Nobody is a person that has a DNA glitch that allows them to go unintentionally undetected. No one remembers them; they are easily forgotten and no one cares for them. If aware of their abilities, Nobodies can make themselves invisible, enough to be able to walk through things. Nobodies are rarely ever spoken to, acknowledged, touched... or loved.
Claire is your typical teen trying to get by. But no matter what she does, every one seems to forget about her. And she doesn't understand why. What did she ever do to the world? Why is she ignored? Forgotten? To the point that her parents have to leave sticky notes around the house in order to remind themselves to inquire about her. She is left alone all the time. Maybe they never wanted to have a child.
But Claire tries to keep an upbeat attitude full of hope. Her books are her solace, her escape, her friends. She daydreams of a day that something will happen to her and no one will be able to look away.
My heart broke for Claire. Her loneliness rips into you. Why would people not take the time to speak to this smart and pretty girl? Claire has her moments, but only allows herself small periods of self-pity. She's hopeful of something happening to change things for the better.
Until she meets Nix.
Nix grew up under the secret-organizations trainers and tutors. From his first memory, he was constantly told that he was nothing and that no one would ever care for him. That he is unlovable because he is a Nobody. He was raised to be an assassin. To kill Nulls. Nulls are soulless people - they can't show emotion, they don't care nor love. Nulls are very selfish and they have the ability to manipulate everyone around them to do their bidding. Nix has to keep the Normals, regular humans, safe. The Sensors, humans with one or more special sense (heightened sense of smell, hearing, etc.) track them down and only Nix is able to get rid of Nulls.
His newest Null assignment is Claire.
But Claire sees Nix. And she knows what he's about to do. But, he's looking right at her.
Nix sees Claire. He must do what he was assigned to do. But she's looking right at him.
I do not consider this an insta-love situation at all. The shock of having eye-contact with someone - something that has never happened in their entire lives - this will bring on a huge amount of curiosity A connection of familiarity, understanding. Jennifer Lynn Barnes' writing really impressed me - the way she was able to break Nix down. Build Claire up. Make them stronger, and weaker. Claire and Nix's relationship is undeniable. The fact that they are similar and quite possibly the only one's to exist draws them together, but can also tear them a part.
What if there are other Nobody's out there?
What about Nix's other assignments? Were they all Nulls?
SO many questions! So many twists and turns! It turned into a page-turner for me and I enjoyed it very much! I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to read something out of their comfort zone, who likes sci-fi, suspense and mysteries.
I do have to warn you, there are a few graphic descriptions to some of Nix's assignments and past that made me cringe and squirm a bit. But overall, a great read indeed!