A Keen Betrayal

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
222 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

A Keen Betrayal by Linda Deenen commences by introducing the reader to genetically modified Meandre, who is out patrolling her assigned “zone” for a range of unique creatures, including the apparent enemy “Shadowbeasts”. Meanwhile, Dustin and his patrol partner have instructions to test a new weapon that proves more deadly than expected and triggers an incident in which Meandre is injured. The enraged Shadowbeasts continue to seek revenge, and Dustin is forced to use the weapon again to save a guard. After Meandre is treated in the wellness center, she and Dustin team up to investigate their hypothesis that the Shadowbeasts are capable of demonstrating communal behaviors. Things go wrong and Dustin is captured and taken to the enemy camp. His escape confirms a shocking realization.

A Keen Betrayal by Linda Deenen is a futuristic young adult novel with a social message. I enjoyed the speculative aspect as the author introduced several different classes of genetically modified humanoids. The image of a future society where longevity is enjoyed by privileged individuals while others were bred to be helpers was chilling and thought-provoking. I liked the way the narrative was constructed, requiring the reader to decode the different points of view and infer the true significance of events. Meandre and Dustin’s developing attachment seemed particularly special against the background of a society where romantic capability had largely been lost. The story had action, adventure, and a set of likable main characters. I can confidently recommend A Keen Betrayal by Linda Deenen to fans of post-apocalyptic and post-technological fiction.

Kristine Zimmerman

A Keen Betrayal by Linda Deenen is an intriguing tale set in a future world that is not too far removed from reality. The world has suffered through many devastating wars and what is left are people that have banded together to protect themselves from outside threats. People have been genetically enhanced so they can perform their duties efficiently. Dustin and Meandre are two keeners who patrol the land adjacent to the collective for any sign of the Shadowbeasts. They are stealthy and fast but also curious. After an unsettling incident with the Shadowbeasts, they start to question all they've been told about these creatures. Dustin and Meandre set off to find some answers and are in for a life-changing adventure.

A Keen Betrayal is an engaging and enthralling adventure. Linda Deenen's descriptions are vivid and drew me right into this new world. She expertly describes not only the landscape but all the various modified creatures so well that it was like a movie playing in my head. The book is set in the future but it's easy to see that we are headed down a very similar path. Deenen has skillfully written a story that will have you pondering the benefits of science, how we treat others, and government authority. This was a book that I couldn't put down. I cared about the characters and the decisions they were forced to make, knowing there were no easy choices. As this is just the beginning of the story, I'm looking forward to the next installment.