Sep 16, 2013

Book Tour: The Unleashed by Sarah Dalton Book 1 & 2 Review and Book 3 Excerpts

The first two books in the Blemished series, The Blemished and The Vanished, are now part of the YA bundle run by Storybundle until September 17th!

You can find the bundle here:

The Blemished by Sarah Dalton
(The Blemished, #1)
Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Feed a Read; 328 pages

A beautiful world comes at a price...

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.

I know I say over and over again that the dystpoian genre is becoming my favorite, but after reading this book, there is no doubt. I love this genre. There is no limit to what a writer can do with this genre, and this book shows you that. The world that Sarah Dalton creates in The Blemished is not a happy world what so ever. Its down right creepy, and could happen, which makes it all that more real and freaky. Cloning has become the new way of life, giving birth, is no longer they way that people have children. In fact, people are forced to get operations so they do not have children, the blemished people that is. If you were not grown in a science lab, you are blemished. Welcome to a world where beauty is the only thing that matters, and if you are blemished, you mean nothing.

Mina is a blemished girl, with a secret. Forced to move to a new area because of that secret, Mina is thrown into another school where the blemished are dirt and the GEMS rule everything. Right away we are thrown into Mina's world and how a blemished person is treated. Right away you get the feeling of what Mina's secret is and keeps you intrigued even when you do find out what it is. I loved Angela right away, there is always that one person who can make anything better no matter how crappy the circumstances are. I loved how Sarah Dalton created this world, and it was very easy to picture and imagine.

I normally hate love triangles, and this one doesn't necessarily have one, but it has something like it. I am happy with how it played out or plays out I should say, but a few times, I caught myself saying, Really Mina? She is a non-observant of Daniel and his feelings. Sebastian on the other hand, she totally gets, which is like most girls I guess. Every page of this book I loved. It had excitement, fear, laughter, sadness, just everything to make a perfect book. Towards the end, it was just so exciting I couldn't do anything but think of this book at all times and it just keeps a hold of you until the end. Amazing book!

Excerpt #1 (Book 3, The Unleashed)

The stairs coiled into darkness. Daniel tripped over his feet as he ran. He leapt down the steps, taking them two at a time, his breath panting and his heart thumping. He had to find her.

He clutched the railing and skipped over the last few treads, landing heavily on his ankle. A jolt of pain spread up his shin to his knee. Where now? He didn’t know this building. He only knew that he had to get to the lobby. A blaring alarm fogged his mind. He burst through the doors leading to a hallway and then scoured the walls for a sign. There! The arrow led the way. He set off again, his trainers squeaking against the linoleum.

Daniel ran flat out around the bend, reaching for the wall with his fingertips, trying to stay balanced. Sweat ran down his forehead – matting his hair to his skin. Another set of doors and yet more corridor. His heart pounded, and his legs ached, but he never slowed down. He would never slow down until he saw her. Not until he knew she was safe.

Urgent footsteps followed behind; he ignored them. Up ahead he saw a glimpse of the lobby and his muscles responded. Nearly there. Just a few more steps. He shoved the swinging glass doors with the last of his energy. He’d made it. He’d found her.

What he saw made him stop in his tracks.

 Mina stood with her arms outstretched and her feet spread apart, spanning the width of her shoulders. She raised her chin to the ceiling. Everything about her stance said “power.”

Crumbling plaster trickled to the ground as the walls shook around them. Daniel’s knees trembled under the sheer force, whilst his stomach flipped. Ali lurched forward to intervene. He approached with his hands up in surrender, yet Mina still flicked a wrist and swatted him against the wall. He slumped to his knees; blood dripping from his nose.

“No!” Daniel shouted. He stared at her in astonishment.

Mina’s head snapped towards him and with a sick feeling in his stomach, he met her eyes; the eyes of a stranger. It chilled him to the bone.

“Mina, kid, you have to stop this,” pleaded Matthew. He held his gun loosely – pointed down – yet still Mina tossed him aside. He crumpled to the floor like a broken toy. A woman next to Mina gazed at her lovingly, encouraging the violence.

Daniel glanced at Matthew and Ali, longing to check they were okay, but he remained petrified under Mina’s glare. She stared through him as though she didn’t recognise him at all, and his heart panged. He longed for a glimpse of the old Mina. The girl he loved so much. Instead, acidic bile rose in his throat at the sight of her.

A chunk of plaster fell from the wall, shattering at his feet, forcing him backwards. In the same instant, the doors to the lobby smashed, showering them all with broken glass. Daniel shielded his face, feeling the way they ripped at his clothes and broke his skin. There was blood on his hands; he smelled it, the metallic rust of blood… 

The Vanished by Sarah Dalton 
(The Blemished, #2)
Release Date: January 30, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace; 294 pages

“The Compound bustled with action and anticipation, causing my stomach to do a flip. I stopped in my tracks, realising something, something I hadn't thought of before. We were going to war, and people were going to die.”

The Vanished are the forgotten: those who live beyond law or society. Mina fought for freedom. She fought for a better life – a future. But even a free world can decay.

As Mina begins her new life in the Clans she meets people with surprising knowledge about her power, knowledge that could change everything – even her relationship with Daniel. But as she makes new friends, old friends turn against her in shocking betrayal.

Life in the Compound is tough; there are ways and traditions so strange that Mina begins to suspect foul play at the very heart of her new home. Instead of leaving corruption behind in Area 14, Mina is faced with the rotten core of human nature as a Clan warlord threatens to invade the Compound. The Clans are turning against each other and Mina is stuck in the middle.

The Vanished is the second instalment in the Blemished series and follows Mina’s story as she continues to challenge those in power and seek out new dangers. With even more rebellion, romance and betrayal, The Vanished promises to take the reader on a roller-coaster ride of adventure and emotion.

Will freedom fall?

The one thing that I liked the most about the second book in this series is that although it is the second book, it has a complete and total different feel to it then the first. But in a good way. Normally I find that second books in series either have the same type of vibe or are completely different from the first that there is no connection.

In The Vanished, they are in a completely different area and it is something totally new and different from The Blemished and Area 14. It is a lot heavier and a lot more emotion in The Vanished. I really loved Ali right from the start. We met him in book 1, but we really get to now him in this book and I just fell in love! He proves to be a loyal friend, which is something that Mina needs. In book 2, we meet "the freaks" who are people like Mina, but not with the same gift. I love how this all plays out. I just want to hug and protect Hiro like Mina does!

Friendships and relationships break and blossom in this book. Mina, Daniel and Angela grow up fast in The Vanished, and it really teaches them a lot about themselves and how the real real life can be. Mina really learns a lot about the world and how cruel and deceiving some can really be. This was also a book I couldn't put down, I found myself up till 2 am lots of times reading (I'm a slow reader), and constantly thinking about it when I wasn't reading. I LOVED this book, and the ending. I am SO glad I have The Unleashed ready for me to read!!!!

Excerpt #2 (Book 3, The Unleashed)

Angela woke from a deep sleep, and found Cam’s warm body next to her. It was like being in the Compound again. 

The others snored softly, purring against the concrete floor. Like every morning in the cells, the prisoners clanged against the metal bars and cried out in their sleep. A thin strip of light reflected through the prison cell and into Angela’s eyes, the only peek of sunlight through the filthy window high up above their heads. 

Her back straightened as the sound of heavy boot-steps drifted around the corner of the jail, and keys jangled. Cam woke and climbed to his feet to put himself between Angela and the cell bars. He appeared immediately alert and on guard. Sebastian and Ginge both stirred in time to see the guards approaching; Sebastian’s eyes ringed with dark circles, and his arms hung loosely at his sides. He seemed like a broken man. Ginge stood tall with her shoulders back. Her breath came quickly through her lungs – her chest moving up and down at a rapid rate. 

Vincent Cole followed the guards, and Angela searched his face for any trace of remorse or some modicum of humanity. It was a mask. Edward arrived at his side, with a smirk for the four hostages.

The noise of metal against metal sang out through the cell as the guard thrust the key into the prison lock. Despite trying to remain calm, Angela’s stomach clenched with fear. Whatever happened next she wanted to be attentive and ready for anything, but adrenaline pumped through her body – impeding her ability to think straight. There was something about the mask-like expression and the red rings around Vincent’s eyes that worried her.
Cam’s back squared as the cell opened to let the guards flood in. They raised their batons and approached. Angela knew what he was going to do and she didn’t stop him, even though it was pointless. Why not let him fight? What if he won? 

A good punch clipped one of the guards on the chin, and he fell backwards, almost knocking another two to the ground. In return, a guard raised his baton and brought it down on Cam’s arm. He cried out in pain. Angela rushed forwards and felt the short, sharp slap of a guard’s rough hand against her cheek. As she fell hard against the jail railings, Ginge lunged at the guard, but despite some quick dodges – and a punch to the kidneys – they were brought under the control of cuffs. 

The guard pushed Angela firmly against the bars; metal pressed to her skin. He slipped the cuffs over her wrists. All the time she maintained eye contact with Vincent Cole. She dared him to watch. She wanted him to see exactly what he’d done to four teenagers. Because it wasn’t like any other morning at all. It was the morning they were going to die. 

Author Bio
Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.
Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a young adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, Apex Magazine, PANK magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales available from Amazon.

The Blemished series is Sarah’s first full-length work of fiction. In a Fractured Britain, Mina Hart has to fight against the Genetic Enhancement Ministry to win back her rights.


  1. Great reviews! I won ebook copies of both of these books in a scavenger hunt a couple of months back and was super excited. The series sounds awesome. I love dystopians! Even more excited to finally be able to get to them now thanks to you (:

  2. Glad my reviews made you excited!! you will not be disappointed!!


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