Firstborn (Tosca Lee) – Review

5 stars

~ About the Book ~

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.

~ Excerpt ~

The phone shakes in my hands. It rings four times before a male voice answers.
Da.”
Russian?
No, Romanian.
“English,” I say.
“Who is this?” the voice says evenly, far more alert at this hour than I expected. But the sound of it sends instant ice down my spine.
Because I remember that voice.
“You know who this is,” I say unsteadily.
“Hallo, Audra.”
They are the same words intoned in the exact oily drawl I heard on Ivan’s phone, an hour after his death.
“Where is your keeper, Audra?” he asks.
“He’s dead. Like his partner, Gregor.”
A pause. “I don’t believe you.”
“Then you don’t know me as well as you think you do.” I pull the phone away from my cheek, thumb to a series of photos, and send one through the call.
It’s a grisly image of Rolan taken earlier that evening. Grainy and dark, but it will have to do.
The phone audibly vibrates on the other end.
Again, a momentary silence.
“I want to talk to the Historian,” I say.
“I am the acting voice of the Historian. You may relay your message through me.”
“Happy sex change to you,” I quip, neither knowing nor caring whether I just blew the Historian’s cover. In fact, I hope I did. “I want proof of life at six A.M., or I burn the diary.”
“Very clever, Audra. And here I was told that you had yet to find it.”
“Oh, I found it,” I say, with a slight sneer. “And it looks very interesting. Not that I’ve read it. That wouldn’t be smart, would it?”
An appreciative exhale on the other end, almost akin to a soft laugh.
“I’ll contact you after I receive the next feed, during which I will ask Luka a question only he will know the answer to. If he does not or cannot answer, I will know you have fabricated the feed, and the diary disappears forever.”
Rolan gestures sharply, and I hang up before the voice on the other end can reply. I remove the SIM card immediately.
The minute I do, weird calm washes over me. There’s a peaceful kind of crazy that comes with knowing you’ve got nothing left to lose.

~ Review ~

Tosca Lee has done it again! This sequel to The Progeny is just as fast-paced and thrilling as its predecessor, and the surprises and revelations keep coming! If you haven’t read The Progeny yet, I strongly suggest you do so before picking this one up. If, like me, it’s been over a year since you read The Progeny, never fear; Firstborn provides a succinct recap that will put you straight back into the story, and then picks up right where The Progeny left off.

There is very little I can say about this novel without giving spoilers, and if you’ve already read The Progeny, chances are you need no convincing to pick this book up! But for those who aren’t familiar with the basic premise of this novel, here’s the low-down: The Countess Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1614) has gone down in history as the most prolific serial killer of all time (she’s a real person, by the way, and although the precise number of victims is debated, the highest number cited in her trial was 650). The premise of this novel is that the descendants of her victims banded together to form the Scion of the Dispossessed, and for every one of Báthory’s descendants (known as a Progeny), a Hunter is assigned whose sole job it is to kill that descendant.

But wait; there’s more. Progeny have heightened powers of persuasion and are savants. If they make eye-contact with someone, they can project their thoughts and persuade that person to think or see whatever suits their purpose—unless, of course, they are a Hunter. They live their lives in a heightened state of alert, seeking out other Progeny through the European underground.  At the time of their death, their incredible ability to project thought becomes their downfall, and their Hunter can harvest their memory, making every other Progeny they have ever met vulnerable to discovery and death.

At the beginning of The Progeny, Audra has had the last two years of her memory erased, along with all names, faces, and other identifiers from her life prior to that. She was protecting someone or something and has no idea whom to trust. With the big reveal on the very last page of The Progeny, she now knows exactly what she was trying to protect, and the stakes are higher than ever. It’s no longer enough to simply stay alive. She must end the Scions, and the only way to do that is to find and kill the Historian.

It’s an intense thrill-ride across Europe, with Audra hunted not only by the Scion, but also by law enforcement, who have branded her a suspected terrorist. Buckle up and hang on! And just wait for the ending. 😮 Could not have been better!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Series:  #2 Descendants of the House of Bathory
Release date:  2 May 2017
Pages:  336
Publisher:  Howard Books

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iBooks  //  Goodreads  //  Koorong

~ Previous Book in Series ~

 Read my review for The Progeny.

~ About the Author ~

ToscaTosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of THE PROGENY, ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

Connect with Tosca:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest  //  Instagram

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About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
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