FICTION

Erased

Bk. 2. 288p. (Altered Series). Little, Brown. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316197151; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316251891.
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Gr 9 Up—After the shootout at the end of Altered (Little Brown, 2013) and an emotional visit to her parents' gravesite, Anna and "the boys" are keeping a low profile. Double-crossing Trev is still with the Branch, while Cas, Nick, and Sam, the other three genetically altered trained assassins who used to live in Anna's basement, are dealing with flashbacks from their erased memories. Anna also has flashbacks-to life with her lost sister, Dani. When Dani is spotted on a grocery store security camera, the foursome set out to find her. Pursuing Dani to Delta camp, the teens discover another disturbing layer to the altering process: some boys are brainwashed and programmed to respond to code word triggers. As more memories begin to surface, computer files are altered, people thought trustworthy turn out to be working for the other side, and Anna learns a shocking truth about her own past. While social drama and a slight romance builds between Anna and Sam, the action overshadows the relationships in this book, with straightforward writing and fast-moving chapters. The characters are older teens (the boys are in their 20s but have aged slowly due to their alterations), and their language reflects this. The book's heavy technology focus and themes of big government conspiracy will attract readers who enjoyed Michael Grant's BZRK (Egmont USA, 2012) or Suzanne Weyn's "Bar Code" books (Scholastic). Best for libraries needing a deep collection of slightly futuristic action and adventure or where the first book was popular.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Anna (Altered) and the boys have escaped from the Branch; now they're living in hiding and constantly on the run. When Anna's previously-believed-dead sister, Dani, comes looking for her, however, Anna puts the group in danger to regain memories of her family. Fans of the first book will enjoy the fast-paced, suspenseful plot, which also further develops Anna's relationship with Sam.

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