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They Came From The Tank

Join us, if you will, on a planet where slaves are genetically engineered.

They Came From The Tank

BOOK REPORT for Tankborn (Tankborn, #1) by Karen Sandler

Cover Story: Babies in Bubbles
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: A Whole New World
Bonus Factor: Diversity
Relationship Status: Second Date

Cover Story: Babies in Bubbles

I like the colors of this cover, but my affection ends there. Stock Big Face photo with a tattoo drawn on (although featuring a POC), strange baby bubbles…it’s kind of like a nightmarish Under the Sea-themed prom.

The Deal:

Humanity has fled the earth for another planet, and they brought along the technology to create genetically engineered humans (GENs) with special skill sets, whose memory and personalities can be reset at any time. The new world has a strict caste system, with “trueborns,” “lowborns,” and at the bottom, the GENs. GENs are created to serve, gestated in tanks (as the name suggests) and aren’t even considered human.

Kayla is a GEN with super strength, who, along with her best friend Mishalla, must leave their “nurture mothers” and fulfill their official assignments. When Kayla reaches the home of the trueborns she’s meant to serve, however, she discovers that one of them may be more sympathetic to her situation than she ever could have expected. While struggling to understand what’s happening, she and the teenage trueborn Devak find themselves attracted to each other – despite the fact that they’ve always been told that GENs and trueborns may never even touch. Can Kayla possibly prevail against the system that created her -- and could destroy her?

BFF Charm: Yay

Kayla, and to a lesser extent, Mishalla, are pretty cool ladies. Neither of them are the brightest crayons in the box (the plot often banks on miscommunications and misunderstandings), but they’re both loyal, strong, and good-hearted.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

There are two different love stories in this book, but neither set my pants on fire. There’s one scene, however, in which Mishalla’s suitor helps conceal her face tattoo (signifying her GEN status) so that she can go around a market freely, with rather romantic results.

Talky Talk: A Whole New World

One thing I don’t like about books that take place in new or alternate worlds is that they often come with a new vocabulary, which nearly always distracts me from the story. This book is no exception – there are swear words like “denking,” portmanteaus like “sket” for, presumably, “skill set,” and slurs such as “jik.” It’s not hard to figure out what they’re supposed to mean, but the more they’re used, the more they detract from the narrative. Granted, this could just be my pet peeve – maybe it doesn’t bother anyone else.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Karen Sandler goes to great lengths to write a diverse cast of characters. Skin color doesn’t designate whether someone is a GEN slave – there is diversity in all classes, and darker skin is prized.

Casting Call:

Kali Hawk as Kayla

Karen Gillan as Mishalla

Relationship Status: Second Date

Book, our first date was fun – you weren’t quite what I was expecting, but that’s only served to intrigue me. I’m eager to see what you’re going to do next. Call me! 

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Tu Books. I received neither money nor a pet unicorn for writing this review, despite how hard I wished for one. The Tankborn trilogy is available now.

Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, runs an Etsy shop, and thrifts for vintage everything.