Title: Legacy Strain
Author: Taylor Brooke
Series: Isolation #3
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Brooklyn Harper’s friends have betrayed her, her heart is broken, and all of humanity is at risk.
After Kirin’s unannounced arrival in Louisiana, Brooklyn finds herself scrambling for a way out of an impossible situation. Kirin is creating the deadly Genesis Cull, and Brooklyn doesn’t know who to turn to for help.
With no other options, she’s forced to trust her nemesis, Juneau Malloy. His support allows the group of Special Omen Operatives to gear up, form a plan of action, and train for the day when they come face-to-face with their worst fear—going to war with their friends.
There is a divide in the once inseparable group of Omens, and their only hope is to put the pieces back together.
Julian Yu Matsumoto agonizes over the difference between right and wrong, love and sacrifice, genocide and revolution. While he struggles with his feelings for Kirin, his moral compass is spinning round and round, his heart is being pulled in different directions, and Julian is desperate to answer questions he never thought he would have to ask.
Is Kirin’s Genesis Cull a revolution or genocide?
Could there be another way to save themselves and humanity as they know it?
Will Julian pay the ultimate price for loving a monster?
Their only hope for redemption is—the Legacy Strain.
Find my Omen Operation Review HERE
Find my Echo Campaign Review HERE
Legacy Strain is the third – and possibly, final book – in Taylor Brooke’s Isolation series. This series is one which needs to be read in order, starting with Omen Operation, as the story naturally progresses with very little breathing space for the reader. In fact, before I began Legacy Strain I wish I had had the opportunity to re-read both Omen Operation and Echo Campaign because I think this would have enhanced my enjoyment of book three.
In my opinion, Legacy Strain is the deepest and darkest of the series. To me, this book appeared less about Juneau Malloy’s Isolation project and more about the characters and their changing identities. As in the previous two books, the narrative of Legacy Strain does not just focus on one main protagonist. We already know this group well and understand the way in which their lives are intertwined. Up until this point the ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ have been clear but Legacy Strain completely destabilizes us so that even at the conclusion of the novel, we are unsure about the characters and the future they have created.
Despite being confused by the events which take place in Legacy Strain, I felt that Brooke’s storytelling and complicated character introspection is intelligent and challenges the reader. Brooklyn, Gabriel, Julian, Kirin and the rest of the group are not human and we are reminded of this because of their enhanced strength and senses, though they retain so many human qualities. Most interesting is Kirin ‘the destroyer’ and his development. We see him commit cold-blooded murder and are aware of his plans for genocide, but he becomes somewhat redeemed because he learns to love and fear loss,
“I’m afraid Julian won’t make it out of this building. I’m afraid that I’ve made errors I can’t undo, and because of those errors I misjudged you, underestimated you, and now I’ve doomed you and all your potential. I’m afraid of things that shouldn’t even be part of my thought process.”
Conversely, Brooklyn shifts into someone virtually unrecognizable from the strong heroine we have grown to care about. Whilst Kirin is gaining his humanity, she appears to lose hers and these revelations become uncomfortable for the reader.
As in Omen Operation and Echo Campaign, the relationships between the characters are significant. In the world of Taylor Brooke’s Isolation series, I love – and applaud – the fact that there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in terms of sexuality. These characters are very simply led by their feelings and I think this is perhaps the most important message the author can send to her young adult audience.
Legacy Strain is thoughtful, mature, provocative and tense. There is no neat HEA as I feel that Taylor Brooke has left the story open for further development. This is a must-read for fans of the Isolation series and Legacy Strain is probably my favourite book of the three.
Taylor Brooke is the author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love — books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.