The Syndicate- Shelena Shorts

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For centuries, the Petrescu family has been protecting society from a danger that moves among the population undetected. Eighteen-year-old Vasi Petrescu has never had a problem carrying out his duty, but, when ordered to eliminate an eighteen-year-old girl, he is immediately taken out of his comfort zone.
The Syndicate has never targeted a female before, yet somehow this one has ended up on more than one hit list. Vasi would like to find out why, but there may not be time.
Now, he’ll have to decide whether or not to keep her alive even if it means going against his own family.
The action, mystery, and conspiracy in The Syndicate will take readers on an immersing journey in which decisions are not only life changing, but irreversible.

Vasi Petrescu has grown up in a world full of champions and heroes. The only problem is that the world has never heard of them. For in Vasi’s world, creatures called Hybrids roam the streets. Hybrids can blend in. They can look and speak just like an average human. In fact, if it were up to normal humans, they would never be able to pick one out of a line up. But Vasi knows better. Vasi knows that Hybrids are evil creatures who can snap at a moments notice, killing hundreds in their wake.

Now that Vasi has been initiated to a full fledged guard, he can help his brothers hunt down the Hybrids, saving the world from the terror and doom they bring to the Earth. The only problem is, Vasi has been assigned to assassinate a female. Vasi knows that females cannot become Hybrids, so he begins to question the family that has supported him and his kind since before he was born. Follow Vasi on his journey to the truth and witness him try to find himself in the process.

The first thing that drew me to The Syndicate was the cover. When I see a cover that I’m in love with it, I could care less about the description of the book. The only thing that matters is that the cover is pretty and I want to read what’s behind that beautiful image. Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, but it definitely relates to the book itself. It’s an image of a male, presumably Vasi, and I feel that you can really get a sense of his strength and confusion from the expression on his face. I know that when I was reading about Vasi’s story, I often would find myself referring back to the cover to get a good look at him.

I find that most female writers narrate from a female character’s perspective. There are a few exceptions to this. For example, Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret  Stohl, is narrated from the main male character, Ethan. I give major points to authors who go out of their realms and write from a totally different perspective. However, I often find that I have problems with male narrators written by female authors. That was no exception for this book. I often feel that the male character is either slightly feminine or over the top stereotyped masculine. In this case, it was the latter. I felt that Shorts did a great job identifying the main character was a male. Vasi really had no feminine traits, which is something that I enjoyed. However, females (society even) tend to create a majority stereotype for men. I felt that a lot of those stereotypes were released onto the character of Vasi. I would have appreciated it a little more if he had had a uniqueness to his personality. Something that separated him from the typical male stereotype.

If you follow my reviews, you may have noticed that I have a huge problem with weak female characters. It drives me nuts for a female to listen to everything a male says and to follow on his heels like he’s God himself. I want my female characters to be strong, independent, self-serving, a go-getting-I-can-do-it-myself female. This was not the case with the main female character, Riley. Riley completely depended on Vasi. She never once thought she could take care of herself, and she made that pretty clear throughout the whole book. There were even a few times where she basically mentioned that she needed Vasi to protect her. I just wanted to shake the girl and tell her that she wasn’t useless material. Girls and women alike can be very powerful, and I find that books often stereotype them to be the weakling that needs saved from the handsome prince.

I did enjoy the mystery of the book. It may have been my age level, but I figured out everything relevantly quickly. There was a twist at the end that I didn’t see, though, and I really appreciated that. I think that younger age groups will stay in suspense a lot longer than I did. One thing I didn’t like, though, was how quickly Vasi and Riley fell in love. I don’t even want to call it love, so I’m going to call it lust. They seemed to feel this way after two days,  which is not enough time for anyone to fall in love. I wish that they didn’t attach themselves so quickly. In fact, I would have rather it not happened at all during this book. I would have liked to see the wooing process and witness Riley stand up for herself a little bit more. Some of the things at the end of the book (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away) really threw me. They just moved way too quickly. I know that when I first meet a guy, it takes months before I really let him in. Riley and Vasi didn’t take the initial time that couples take to get to know each other, which made it a little awkward to follow their story.

Younger teenagers, between the ages of 11-16, will probably really enjoy this book. It sort of reminded me of a cross between White Cat, by Holly Black, and The Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow. I don’t think that people above the age of 20 will fully get into this book. It definitely targets a younger audience. There are a couple references to sexual encounters in the book. There are no explicit details included. Overall, though, it was an interesting read and I think that the younger generation will really appreciate it.

Pages: 301

Publication Date: July 9, 2012

Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing

Rating: [rating: 2]

 

Teaser Quote: “…we have to make the decision in time, we have to mark it, put it in the envelope, stick a stamp on it, and mail it back. We can’t just decide, but then let the deadline pass, because if we do, it’s like we never made the decision to begin with.”