REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
(The Cavy Files Book 1)
(The Cavy Files Book 1)
by Trisha Leigh
Gypsy is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant.
The library is one of the bigger rooms in the house, converted from what used to be the upstairs parlor. The Professor looks out a window that overlooks the back lawn. Shelves, sagging with dusty books, cover every inch of the light blue, fifteen-foot walls. The morning sunlight still lingers around the front of the house, making this space dim, but motes of dust twirl and waltz like members of a royal court on the pale, reaching beams.
All at once, happiness floods my bloodstream, as though someone smacks good cheer into my chest cavity through my shoulder blades. The strange desire to burst into song hums along my nerve endings, as though I’m a princess summoning her bird and varmint attendants at the window. It takes serious concentration to bite back the urge.
The abrupt change in mood announces another Cavy’s presence, but as hard as I try to glare at Pollyanna, my mouth refuses to cooperate. Her mutation, a reverse empath alternation that allows her disposition to affect the moods of people in close proximity, is more…invasive than most. Losing control of my own mind never fails to make me feel icky.
And given her insistence on cynicism and anger, she’s not aptly named. Not at all.
“Feeling good, Gyspy?” She shakes out her long, blond hair and pins me with china-blue eyes. The faux-happy shroud crawling from her to me dissolves and my smile finally falls away. Polly nods. “That’s better. You look weird when you smile.”
“Pollyanna, we have spoken at length about the perils of using your gifts on your fellow Cavies.” The Professor’s patient, tired voice reprimands the youngest of his students, if only by several months.
The Philosopher, who runs Darley, took us in before we were three months old, and we all arrived between sixteen and seventeen years ago.
She’s not sorry, but his chastisement and her apology are part of our daily routine. Of all the kids here, Pollyanna is my least favorite. She’s everyone’s least favorite, and even though she knows it she doesn’t change. I guess she doesn’t care.
“Sorry for what? Fucking with people again?” The voice bleeds out of thin air before Haint shimmers into view around it, face first. She leans against one of the bookcases once her shoulder appears, examining her nails as she waits for daily reprimand.
The Professor doesn’t disappoint. “Language, dear.”
He says nothing to me, not even hello, nor does he issue a warning to Haint about using her ability to go invisible. It’s not dangerous. Pollyanna could make any one of us walk straight off a cliff if she felt particularly suicidal that day.
The twins Athena and Goose arrive together, a tornado of rough-housing elbows and flashes of reddish hair, loosing half a shelf of books onto the floor and toppling an end table before getting themselves under control. The Professor ignores them, having long ago resigned himself to their antics.
We’re all here now, at least those who are expected. Mole is still enduring his weekly brain prodding and so is Reaper. They’re our lethal Cavies, and are kept for testing more often and for longer than the rest of us. We’re categorized according to our level of usefulness, the details of our mutations and abilities listed in records the Philosopher hopes might convince the government we could be potential assets as opposed to threats.
Three Operationals, two Substantials, one Developmental, three Unstables, and one Inconsequential. That’s me. The one who will never be an asset to anyone but can’t be locked away and forgotten like an Unstable, either. They don’t know what to do with me, so I shuffle along with the group.
“Everyone sit down, please.”
The Professor’s command sounds more like a genteel request, and we drop into a circle of cross-legged teenagers on the oval Oriental rug that smothers the center of the room. He paces behind us, passing binder-clipped pages into our waiting hands.
I grab mine, excited as the title filters through my eyes and into my brain. It’s a thesis, written by the Scientist back in the 1960s:
He died before any of us were born but his thoughts and experiments, his studies, help the scientists at Darley Hall figure out what might have caused the mutations that resulted in our “gifts.” Maybe one day they’ll figure out how to switch off those screwy genes and I can touch another person without at least one layer in between us. Without the protection, touching someone means seeing a number in my mind.
The age the other person is going to die.
My “talent” is creepy at best, totally useless at worst, and being able to get rid of it has been a hidden desire for the whole of my life.
Praise for the Book
"A perfect mix of the familiar and the extraordinary, Gypsy is a stunning first in a series that promises to fill a glaring gap in the world of YA Sci-Fi. If you're looking for an unreliable, yet curious and perceptive, narrator, tight bonds between well-developed characters, and compelling mystery with a healthy dose of romance, this is the book for you. Gypsy is my favorite YA Sci-Fi of 2014!" ~ Leigh Ann Kopans, author of SCBWI Spark Award Winner One
"Smart, suspenseful, and full of amazing science, I fell in love with Gypsy from the first page. The constant threat of danger, the hint of romance, and the mysterious backdrop of Charleston hit all the right notes. I devoured this book, desperate to uncover the secrets behind the Cavies and their strange abilities. Gypsy is the kind of YA Sci-fi I love, with believable characters, fantastic relationships, and a plot that kept me turning the pages well into the night. Trisha Leigh has written one of my favorite books of 2014 and I can't wait to see what happens to Gypsy and the other Cavies next!" ~ Jamie Grey, author of Ultraviolet Catastrophe
By Lynda Dickson
The Cavies are a group of ten sixteen- to seventeen-year-olds with genetic anomalies that give each of them a special power, such as invisibility, super-hearing, telekinesis, or the ability to teleport. The Cavies live in the slave quarters of Darley, an old plantation home in South Carolina, under the care of the Professor, the Philosopher, and the Philanthropist, who are supposedly seeking ways to control the mutant genes.
The Cavies are each named according to their power and are categorized according to their level of usefulness. Gypsy's power is considered Inconsequential; just by touching someone, she can see the age at which they will die, and she is so named because of this ability to somewhat see into the future. Gypsy dreams of living in the real world, but what will happen when the Cavies are finally "rescued", and her wish actually comes true? While she may go unnoticed in the normal world, what about her fellow Cavies, including the Unstables and those with lethal powers?
How will Gypsy cope when she is separated from her lifelong friends, given the new name of "Norah", and thrust into the unfamiliar world of a real father, high school, and cute boys? What happens when she falls for the guy she knows will die when he's eighteen? When the Cavies find out that one of their own is in trouble, will they be able to help her? How is it that the Cavies were all born and given up in the same place? Are their genetic mutations really an accident of nature? Are they all part of some giant government conspiracy? And just what is the true meaning of "Cavy"?
The author switches between using the Cavies' old and new names, a habit which I found annoying and confusing. The writing also suffers from the overuse of (usually bad) similes and metaphors; I found it hard to tell if this was a quirk of Gypsy as the narrator, or if it was simply poor style. Be warned, the book ends on a cliffhanger and leaves many of the above questions unanswered. On the plus side, the story is interesting (if somewhat reminiscent of the television show Heroes), and I look forward to finding out what happens in the rest of this series.
About the Author
Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published four young adult novels and four new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.
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