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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
In Donor 23 by Cate Beatty we meet Joan Lion, a donor. She lives in a society where the Governor is the authority. Joan is his daughter’s donor. They have taken her leg, shoulder and arm muscles and implanted them into Teagan. In return, Joan is furnished with an apartment, food and money. The donors are bred to be donors and are referred to as a number. But the day comes when she discovers they want her heart and lungs, not because her benefactor needs them, but to make her stronger and a better competitor. Joan escapes and becomes a folk hero whom other donors want to follow. She learns that true freedom comes from inside.
Donor 23 is an excellent thriller. Author Cate Beatty has combined action, thrills, fantasy, science fiction, and a bit of romance to create one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Emotions run high in this book featuring a dystopian society. Joan is an amazing character with physical strength from constantly working out to stay in shape in case her benefactor needs a muscle. She is also filled with guilt, believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. The reader witnesses Joan’s transformation from a scared, fragile girl to a courageous and strong young woman. There are quite a few secondary characters and yet each one has been fleshed out. This book left me wanting more. I hope Cate Beatty plans to pen a sequel.