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Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: Foreseen by Terri-Lynne Smiles

science fiction, young adult, cover, romance
Foreseen by Terri-Lynne Smiles

What if you could change the thoughts of others?
Untraceable control.
The Rothston Institute can manipulate the choices of anyone in the world: you, senators, anyone. Fortunately, it has the self-discipline to use this power to keep humankind safe. Stopping wars, averting crises, advancing peace.

Unfettered power.
To accomplish these feats, their operatives must train, and college student Kinzie Nicolosi has just become one of them. A student missing an exam? A construction worker fired for an industrial accident? A Congressman ruined in scandal? Necessary consequences of honing their skills for the greater good.
Unintended victims.

But Kinzie brings more than her remarkable skills to Rothston. She bears an unexpected power that rivals Rothston’s own. And when she stumbles onto the real intentions of Rothston’s leaders, the clash may be something none of them can control.
Genre - Science Fiction/fantasy/romance/teen

Foreseen falls into the New Adult as well as the Young Adult categories. This isn't my usual read, but the tag line and blurb caught my attention. The book took me by surprise, it's an unusual combination of YA romance, suspense, and science fiction with a dark theme and it was kind of strange reading it. One moment I was thinking “how YA” and the next I was “OMG! What is going to happen!?”. It didn't take me long to get caught up in the thrilling tale Terri-Lynne created.

I wasn’t expecting to find a romance based on the blurb and that fact that this is a science fiction book. The romance in and of itself is very sweet and typical of YA and wouldn’t appeal to me under normal conditions. Kinzie is a shy, average-looking college student. She is exceptionally smart and has a great relationship with her adopted father but she suffers from debilitating anxiety when in a crowd. Greg is a partying jock type, who also happens to be very intelligent and majoring in physics. I immediately liked both of them and experiencing the story through their eyes adds much to the telling of the story and creating characters with a lot of depth. Sometimes the changing of POVs was a little awkward, it felt like there were chunks of story edited out and the author explained it away with “it has been 3 weeks since… “, but the story does move at a fast pace because of it.

What I really enjoyed was the dark direction the plot and some of the characters. The Rothston’s Institute is made up of people called Adepts who can see the world in a unique way that lets them manipulate people’s thought processes, and in special cases teleport objects. The science Terri-Lynne came up with for how this is done is fascinating and very believable. She didn't give these people super powers; there are limitations with the laws of physics and human will that come into play. Now imagine if some of these people decide to use their abilities to influence world politics or a personal vendetta. Kinzie discovers not only is she an Adept, but she is an unusual one. Adepts keep their existence a secret from the commons, normal people, and Kinzie struggles with issues of keeping the two worlds separate, getting caught up in her own abilities, and the morality of using them. This is where having the story told from the POV of Kenzie and Greg adds to the story. We get to see how Adepts view commons and how commons would view Adepts if they knew about them.

There are quite a few surprising twists, and the fast pace action and characters kept me glued to my e-reader. The ending definitely leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered about Kinzie’s past and the future of Adepts so I am looking forward to the next book. If you are looking for something a little different with excellent storytelling and writing give this one a try.

Greg- “Even if I’d sounded like a babbling fool today, it was okay with her. I didn’t have to play the part of the cocky stud – a card I’d played so many times, I’d begun to think it was the only one I had – the ace of assholes. Kinzie let me dust off the rest of the deck. And I felt good when I was around her. But her opinion was right. I wasn't a likable guy.”

4.5 “I know what you’re thinking” Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

About the Author:
As a child, Terri-Lynne Smiles played the piano, guitar, violin, recorder, autoharp, ocarina, and banjo before taking a good, hard look at herself and realizing she had no musical talent. With a degree in Philosophy and Economics from Denison University, Terri married the love of her life and attended law school at the University of Michigan. While the law often fulfilled the analytical part of her brain, her creative side turned to baking and soon Volcano cakes, three dimensional Death Stars, and cupcakes topped with handmade candy butterflies soon found their way into Terri’s kitchen. But instead of satisfying her, all it did was make her fat. So she turned to her less calorie-laden passion – writing novels that explore new ideas and the nature of humanity.

In 2012 her debut novel, Foreseen, a science fantasy (think of the old Twilight Zone episodes done with production values and placed in a current setting) was touted as “a nuanced page tuner” and a “worthy sci-fi thriller á la Dean Koontz” by The Kirkus Review, saying that “First time author Smiles has devised a convincing supernatural culture.” Choices, the sequel to Foreseen will be released in Spring 2013, and a separate, futuristic novel, Sarandipity, following in Fall 2013. Find out more about Terri or sign up to receive email updates on her work at

Forseen for your kindle is only $2.99 right now.
You can also get it in paperback.


  1. Ok, this sounds like a not so typical YA story. first off, they are in college. I already like this. No high-school locker room drama. Cough*gag*Cough

    I think the dark plot you mention also appeals to me in a really good way. This is one that I may check out at some point. Awesome job!

  2. This sounds very good, I would like to read it. Adding it to the wishlist :)