Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Samantha Project Series Reviews...

Title- The Samantha Project
Series- The Samantha Project Book #1
By-Stephanie Karpinske
Genre- YA Sci Fi

Seventeen-year-old Samantha has a seemingly perfect life; great parents, early admission to Stanford, and a boyfriend who happens to be the hottest guy in school. But Sam's life takes a dark turn when she starts developing powers brought on by her unknown involvement in a global corporation's genetic enhancement project. Now the corporation decides it's time to take Sam back and turn on the genetic switch that will unleash all the powers of her enhanced genes.

During a heart-pounding race to flee from the people who created her, Sam encounters another person who was part of the experimental project. He's been living in hiding for years and now that Sam's found him, she's put both their lives in danger. But they can't run for long. A technological safeguard embedded in their cells ensures that if the corporation can't have them, nobody will.


I was deep in thought when I heard a voice nearby.
“Hey, there. Brittany, right?” It was Erik, the boy from the diner. The boy from my dream.
I stood up, startled to see him. “What are you doing here? I thought you graduated.” I felt excited and a little nervous seeing him again. 
“Yeah. I graduated last year.”
“I’ll be 18 in a few weeks,” I said, not sure why I was telling him my age. I felt my cheeks turning red.
Erik laughed. “Um, okay. So don’t you need to get to class?”
“Oh, um, no. Not just yet.” I couldn’t stop staring at this guy. Images from my dream were flooding my head. Just seeing him again was making my heart beat faster.
“You seem nervous. Are you okay?” He smiled and gently touched my arm. The instant his hand hit my skin, I felt a jolt of energy go through me. He must have felt it too because he quickly backed away.
“Sorry about that. The air must be dry. Static shock, you know,” Erik said, trying to break the tension. “Here, I feel bad about that. Let’s try this again. Hi, I’m Erik.” He stretched his hand out. I went to accept his handshake, but when our hands met, we each felt another jolt of energy. It wasn’t as jarring that time, but more of a synchronized energy flow from him to me and back. It was like nothing I had felt before.
We looked at each other unable to speak.
“Erik, I think the truck is fixed now. We can get going.” I heard Jack’s voice behind me. “Anything wrong, Erik?” Jack’s question seemed to have some hidden meaning.
“No. I just saw Brittany here and thought I’d say hello.” Erik said “Brittany” in a strange tone.
Jack picked up on the change in tone. “And did you learn anything new about Brittany? Seems like you didn’t quite remember her from school.”
I didn’t like the way the two of them were talking in some type of secret code. Something was up with them. I looked around to see nothing but farmland. If I was in danger, my only way to get away from them would be to run to the school. I was sure they would catch me, but I decided to try. As I turned to run, Jack grabbed my arm and jabbed it with something. Within seconds, I was lightheaded and then everything went black.

By Amanda:

Samantha's life is pretty great.  She is getting ready to turn 18, graduate high school early, has a great boyfriend, a decent job at a coffee shop and great parents.  Following in her fathers footsteps she was also accepted early to Stanford.  Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well her life is getting ready to be turned upside down and then some.

At first Samantha notices that her hearing has improved to the point that she can hear teachers on the opposite side of the school, she keeps this a secret though.  Creepy things start happening around her, a mysterious man at her work, visions of her parents fatal accident then a random car that begins to sit outside of her house.

She soon learns why the car is there when it kidnaps her and takes her to a lab where she was conceived.  This isn't any normal conception though, she was injected with "enhanced DNA".  This is where the story gets interesting with its twists and turns.  It definitely kept me wanting more with finding out that there is another person, Erik, that also has this "enhanced DNA", a twin sister that she never knew about, oh and the part where she is in the lab.  Will/does she get out of the lab??

3 stars!
Title-The Golden Couple
Series-The Samantha Project Book #2
By- Samantha Karpinske

In this action-packed second installment of The Samantha Project series, Samantha and Erik go on a search to find a way to save themselves from the genetic time bomb ticking away in their cells. Along the way, they discover a shocking secret that changes everything.

Although Samantha's boyfriend, Colin, is back now, she can't deny her feelings for Erik. It isn't long before she learns the real reason why she can't resist Erik. But only after she's gone too far with him. So far that Colin may never forgive her.

GlobalLife Genetics continues to pursue Samantha and they'll stop at nothing to get her. Sam still doesn't understand GlobalLife's plan for her but she knows it's something big. And she knows it isn't good.

Barnes & Noble- 

A few minutes later, a black limo pulled up. “A limo!” Brittany yelled. “Oh my God! I’ve never been in a limo! I’ve gotta see this!” She ran outside and into the limo.
“Brittany! Wait!” I ran after her, followed by Erik. We poked our heads into the limo and found her already seated at the far end. Erik and I stepped in to grab her. “Brittany, get out,” I yelled at her. “You don’t even know—”
The door slammed shut behind us. “Erik, open the door,” I said, pulling on Brittany. “The wind must’ve slammed it shut.”
Erik went to open the door but it was locked. He pressed the unlock button but it didn’t work. I tried the door closest to me. It was locked, too. We both tried the remaining doors. All locked. Then just outside the limo we saw a man in a dark coat and hat who appeared to be the driver.
I banged on the side window to get his attention. “Hey, we need to get out! There’s two other people back there!” I pointed to the airport building.
The driver saw us but didn’t react. We watched as he walked to the front of the limo and got inside. Erik pounded on the piece of dark glass that divided us from the driver. “Wait! We need to wait for two more people!”
The driver ignored him and started driving away from the airport with the three of us trapped in the back.
“Erik, make him stop!” I screamed. “This is the wrong car! They didn’t even ask for the code word.”
Erik banged even harder against the glass divider. “Hey! Stop! Let us out!”
Brittany and I kept trying to open the doors and windows but they were all locked. We heard a loud bang and looked back to see a bright, fiery light in the dark night sky. It was coming from the airport building. Part of the building had exploded, leaving fire and plumes of smoke in the air.
I moved closer to the back window. “Oh my God! Erik, look!”
“What the hell? This can’t be happening!” Erik beat on the glass again, trying to get the driver’s attention. “Who are you? Let us out! I swear I’ll break this thing!” But the glass wouldn’t break. It didn’t even crack. If we still had our abilities, Erik would have broken the glass without a problem. But now both he and I had normal strength, which wasn’t enough to help us.
“They’re in that building!” I screamed. “Colin and Jack are in there! We have to go back!” Brittany and I pounded on the back and side windows.
Erik sat back. “You can’t break it, Sam. It’s reinforced glass.”
I stopped, frozen in disbelief as I watched the airport get farther and farther away. “It was a set up. The whole thing was a trap.”

By Amanda:

We join the Samantha, Erik and the gang on their mission to find the answer to the ticking time bomb that is inside of them.  This story is even better than the first book.  It keeps you on your toes through out it, guessing what will happen next.  If there was enough drama with the issues of the "enhanced" DNA, let's add love triangles, pregnancy scares and the newly named "golden couple".  I loved this book and couldn't wait to finish it and get into the third book to see how their story was going to end.

4 stars!
Title- A Chosen Destiny
Series- The Samantha Project Book # 3
By- Samantha Karpinske

Samantha's destiny was chosen long ago. At least that's what she's told by the people who created her. Her enhanced genes and genetic software were meant to do everything from mold her personality to pick who she falls in love with.

But can destiny be changed? Ever since Samantha learned the truth about herself, she's struggled to figure out who's really in charge of her life. Can she make her own choices? Or is her future determined by her genes?

Old enemies reappear and new ones emerge as Samantha and Erik use their powers to fight the people who are after them. But it's getting harder to figure out who's good and who's evil. The enemy they've been fighting may not be the one who's truly after them.

I went upstairs to get a drink. As I was getting a glass from the cupboard, I felt really dizzy. I filled the glass with water and sat down at the table. The dizzy feeling suddenly turned to one of panic. It came out of nowhere. I got up and looked outside. Nobody was around. I sat back down and drank the water, trying to ignore the feeling. But it continued to nag at me, getting stronger as the minutes went by.
My body became restless. I started pacing the floor. I felt like I needed to do something, but I wasn’t sure what. Why was I feeling this way? There was no reason to panic. We were all safe. We were all together. I stopped pacing when I remembered that we weren’t all together. Colin was back at the house. Alone. But what could possibly be wrong? Was he hurt? Did he injure himself during his workout? I tried not to imagine more sinister possibilities, but my mind went there anyway.
I had to get to Colin. And I had to go alone. If someone from GlobalLife was at the house, we would all be in danger. I knew it was stupid not to tell anyone about my suspicions, but I refused to risk letting GlobalLife hurt or kill any more of my loved ones.
I tried to act normal as I went into the dining room, where Dave and Abigail were talking.
“Sorry to bother you, but could I have the car keys, Uncle Dave?”
“Yes. But why do you need them?”
“Jack needs them. He forgot something at the house. I think I’ll go with him to see if Colin wants to come back and hang out here.”
Dave seemed confused. “What does Jack need at the house?”
“I don’t know. He didn’t say. Can I get the keys? He’s waiting.”
“Sure.” He stood up and pulled the keys from his pocket. “Here you go.”
“Thanks.” I took the keys. Dave was already focused back on Abigail.
I raced out to the car and drove away, hoping nobody would hear the engine. Once I got on the main road, I sped up, feeling even more anxious. When I reached the house, I scanned the perimeter but saw nothing. I slowly unlocked the door and went inside. It was dark out now; there were lights on in the living room but not the side bedrooms.
“Colin? Colin are you in here?”
There was no answer. I quickly walked to each bedroom. He wasn’t in any of them. I went to the kitchen. It was dark and empty. I stood at the top of the basement steps.
“Colin? Are you down there?” There was no answer and it was pitch-black. I turned on the light and went downstairs, searching every room. “Colin, where are you?” I shuddered, knowing that something was definitely wrong. I ran back up the stairs.
Then I heard a ringing sound. I followed the sound to Colin’s bedroom. The ringing was coming from the secure cell phone that Colin had used with Emily.
The phone continued to ring, but I wasn’t sure if I should answer it. Who had that number? Just us and a few people from the rebel group. Maybe it was a wrong number. Or maybe it was Colin calling. I raced over and grabbed the phone.
“Colin? Is that you?”
“Finally, Samantha. You should really answer on the second or third ring. It’s not good manners to make someone wait.”
I recognized the voice, but couldn’t place who it belonged to.
“Who is this? How did you get this number?”
“Again, your manners are atrocious. Questioning your caller like that. And in such a demanding tone. Your generation could really use a course in basic etiquette.”
Suddenly I knew who it was.

By Amanda:

Wow..I totally love this series!  It kept me guessing through out the first 2 books and book 3 wasn't any different.  Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, how it would end and who the true villian was, I was proven wrong.  In book 3, we go with the gang to New York trying to get the elusive "alien DNA" from GBL headquarters.  Of course this can't be an easy task of trying to get in and get it.  They have to rely on people that they maybe shouldn't.  All I can say is you have to see for yourself how it ends.  I was ok with the ending but I am deep down hoping there will be a book 4 to settle some of the underlying issues with the gang.

4 stars!

Can you provide us with a short history/bio on each of the main characters?

Samantha. At 17, Samantha learns she’s part of a genetic enhancement project and starts developing the powers that come with those genes. Those powers include the ability to read minds and see future events. The genes also give her enhanced strength, vision and hearing. But Sam will keep developing powers as she gets older.
Erik. He was also part of GlobalLife’s genetic enhancement project but escaped from their lab when Jack, a scientist who was against the project, rescued him. Jack kept Erik hidden until Samantha found him, putting him on GlobalLife’s radar again. He has some, but not all of Samantha’s powers, but he’s had the powers longer than she has so is better at using them.
Colin. Samantha’s high school boyfriend. He’s the popular all-star athlete. Quarterback of the football team. He loves Sam more than anything.
Jack. An expert in computer software and genetic science. He used to work at GlobalLife until he learned what they were doing to human genes. He took Erik from GlobalLife when Erik was just 5 years old and faked his death so GlobalLife would never look for him.
Brittany. The twin sister Samantha never knew about. GlobalLife made her, too. She’s the control in the experiment. But the question is why they insist on keeping her around now that they know Samantha, their experiment, is a success.
Dave. A close friend of Samantha’s parents, Dave is like an uncle to Sam. Dave attended MIT with Jack and is also an expert in computers and genetics. He worked for GlobalLife until just recently, but claims that GlobalLife forced him to work there against his will. He knew about The Samantha Project for years but never told her or her parents.
Allie. Samantha’s best friend from high school. Allie is an only child and comes from a wealthy family. She’s been friends with Sam since they were kids. But as Sam learns more about her past, she starts to wonder if Allie was really her friend all those years.
The Founders. An elite secret society made up of world leaders, high ranking members of the military, politicians, judges and other wealthy influential people. This group funds The Samantha Project and will be the first to benefit from it. 


Stephanie is a freelance health writer by day and novel writer by night. She's been dreaming up stories for as long as she can remember but finally put a few down on paper (or ebook) with her YA trilogy, The Samantha Project. She's currently working on a new adult romance series that’s coming out soon! When she’s not writing, she’s reading (usually YA/NA romance or a mystery thriller), cooking something really good, or running (to burn off the calories of whatever she cooked that was really good).