Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blog Tour - Q&A and Review: True North (True Born #2) by L.E. Sterling

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Hello everyone! I'm so happy today to share with you a little Q&A with author L.E. Sterling! She's the author of the True Born Trilogy which recently had its second book, True North, hit stores. Check out my review below and pick up a copy now! Thank you so much to Raincoast Books for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour!

True North by L.E. SterlingTrue North
(True Born #2)
by L.E. Sterling
April 4, 2017
400 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there's been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters' blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.
Q: Your interest in biomedical engineering shows through in your True Born series. Did you fictionalize any of your research for the world building in your books in order to make the stories work?

A: I’ll have to unpack my experience with scientists to answer this! So I’ve spent the past five years now working with biomedical engineers. These people are doing amazing things, like designing incredibly tiny nanostructures that can be injected into the body to seek, infiltrate and destroy cancerous tumors, for instance. They’re doing work to identify which genes are triggered in certain cancers, which then express proteins that cause cancers to grow, so that if you “turned off” the production of these proteins you’d turn off the cancer. Others are doing using the DNA of diseases like malaria and HIV (because even diseases have DNA!) to create disease tests—using a single drop of someone’s blood. Still others have been figuring out how to grow tissues that exactly mimic those in the human body: heart tissue patches if you’ve had a heart attack, for instance; one figured out how to “3-D print” your entire body’s skin in less than an hour.

But my role has never been to research alongside these giants: my role is to interview the scientists and weave their research into something that non-scientists can understand—essentially, into stories.

So when I turned to writing SF-F that was inspired by some of this work, yes, I took a ton of liberties. First, because I'm not a scientist (I literally could not possibly reproduce their meticulous science). Also, in my humble opinion, SF-F is a genre that explores the ideas of science, not reproducing it. Being exact or precise with the science would actually work against what I was aiming for.

To give you an example: throughout the Trilogy Lucy mentions that the plague in the world of Dominion was thought to have arisen from increased levels of pollution, which also causes the “Flux storms” of the novel—a result of global warming. This is all based on current scientific fact, but I am not really trying to explore environmental science. I’m peering into my crystal ball into what the future could hold.

Similarly, the genetic science I explore in the True Born Trilogy is meant to be a kind of fortune telling. I’ve taken what I know and from there, in the broadest strokes possible, tried to figure out what the future would look like for this world.
L.E. SterlingAbout the Author
L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.


I had the pleasure of reading Truth Born last year and it was fascinating and cryptically dark. Needless to say I was looking forward to getting my hands on the next book. This trilogy is an excellent blend of dystopian with sci-fi.

True North felt very much like a middle book. The story is still shrouded in mysteries with the bigger picture becoming clearer but not yet at the surface. Working together, Lucy and Nolan Storm have gathered that the Lasters are planning something big but no move has been made yet. At the same time, the Russian, Resnikov's end game is coming to light but it's not quite in focus yet either. We do learn an interesting thing or two about him and it's ew but I get why it's there, kind of 
(he loves Margot). I didn't get as many answers as I hoped for but the story remained every bit as gripping as True Born was.

The flow of the writing felt a little choppy at times but I really enjoyed where the story took us. Once I familiarized myself with Dominion's workings again I was able to better follow Lucy and see what grounds she stood on in regards to the people around her. I love how unbreakable her bond with her Margot was. Nothing, particularly no one, was going to stand in her way of finding and saving her sister, the key to her lock. Not even the boy she's come to care deeply for.

Lucy and Jared have this inexplicable pull towards each other that I really love. It drove me slightly insane to see them keep dancing around each other but Jared's reasoning was very valid. The fact that he was rational enough to think of it shows how much he cares for Lucy. Jared was a lot more mature than I gave him credit for. "Never think about the 'what-ifs,' Lu. They'll eat you alive." (p. 214).

Now I wasn't surprised to find out just how different Margot and Lucy really are but I'm also still intrigued to find out the whole truth. The suspense is at an all time high especially with the introduction of new characters such as Alistair and the Gilt. Who is he? How will they impact the story? Like I said before, I need some answers!

True North created more questions than it provided answers but I'm still invested enough to see the story through. I look forward to getting the full picture in the last book. I'm most curious what it'll be called haha. I think just TRUE sounds pretty catchy, right?

4 Cats
*I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the finished copy I received. 
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  1. Wow great interview for this, it definitely looks interesting!


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