BOOK: The Progeny
AUTHOR: Tosca Lee
PUBLISHER: Howard Books
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)
Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.
She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.
Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.
I received a hard copy of this book from it’s publisher in exchange for an honest review.
If I had to warn you about any one thing in Lee’s The Progeny it would be this: you will be hooked from the first few sentences.
“I’m twenty-one years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever. I’m choosing to forget the ones I love, and myself, in the process.”
Enter Emily Jacobs. She’s just had her memory wiped and is living in a secluded area of Maine with her caretaker. Having been deemed fit to carry on alone with her life, her caretaker departs, leaving Emily with a tao cross pendant with the cryptic words “if you ever find yourself in trouble”, and a letter Emily wrote to herself before her memory wipe.
Emily is completely lost. She doesn’t know where to go from here. Her life seems utterly mundane until she encounters a young man in a grocery mart, and from there her life is completely turned upside down. How quickly the past catches up with you.
Now, with no recollection of the events that are causing her to be hunter and no idea who to trust, Emily is on the run. She must rely solely on her instincts and intellect to uncover the secrets of her past, and of the life she lived before.
This book is a roller coaster right from the very beginning. While the first few pages may leave you questioning the excitement of small town Maine, Lee is quick to throw us right into the action. With each person that Emily meets, you are questioning whether or not you can trust them, whether they are telling the truth. What is real and what is a lie? She is even sometimes left second guessing herself and her choices. It’s completely suspenseful and the whole time you are just hoping that everything works out, that the facts will come to light, that the chaos can be resolved.
“I hear Clare’s voice again. Trust your decision.
But it’s hard to trust anyone you don’t know. Especially when that person is you.”
Even the romance in this book is suspenseful, as her love interest claims to have known her since before the memory removal, but with no recollection of her life before, Emily can’t be sure whether she can confide in Luka. It’s especially difficult when she starts developing an attraction to him as well, never knowing whether he will slide a knife into her back.
I love the romance though. It leaves you on the edge of your seat, especially when you start to develop a soft spot for Luka yourself. You want him to be legitimate but you’re ready to turn on him at any moment.
Emily herself is a pretty likable character. She seems so fragile in the beginning but you watch her rediscover her life and grow into this incredibly strong young woman. She slips so effortlessly into the chaos of her life before, but she has much more of a grasp of things than she realizes.
“I know the feeling, of rising from ashes. Of stumbling on reborn legs that have forgotten how to stand. Of threatening to set yourself – and everyone around you – on fire.”
The whole story of this book is interesting as well. Descendants of Elizabeth Bathory (who I didn’t know was a real person before this, so I felt a little historically ignorant), fighting for their lives by the descendants of Bathory’s victims who feel they did not receive the justness they deserved.
I keep seeing this book being compared to The Da Vinci Code, and I can see similarities, certainly, although the book itself is still on my “to read” list. But personally, I found myself relating it more towards The Bourne Identity. Perhaps a little less action packed, but very similar stories in the discovery of your own identity, and also that feeling of being hunted. Completely dramatic and badass, but with a female lead.
I do have to warn you that this book ends with a MAJOR cliffhanger. I knew it was coming too. There were still so many unanswered questions, the fate of certain characters still up in the air, and the discovery of a brand new one. I watched those pages dwindle, holding my breath even though I knew I would still have so many questions once I got to the last one.
I absolutely would recommend this book if you’re looking for some suspenseful summer reading this year. This book is worth the turn of each page.