#Book Review – Project Renovatio

What Amazon says

Levin Davis has it made. At 20, he’s a college graduate with a dream job, a beautiful girlfriend, and a life that can only get better – until he receives a mysterious letter suggesting his long-dead father is alive and hiding an extraordinary secret.

Distraught, Levin meets the letter’s author, who could pass for his twin. The stranger claims to be part of a genetically engineered race designed to survive global catastrophes and rebuild society, and he insists Levin and his sisters are as well.

Despite his disbelief, Levin uncovers not only the bizarre truth of his existence but also Project Renovatio’s ominous purpose – to secure genetic superiority, the new race must live according to harsh demands or risk severe penalties inflicted on their loved ones. If Levin hopes to protect his family and live a free life, he must escape Project Renovatio – or rise above himself to fight them.

“What if scientists take genetic engineering to the next level and start altering the human race? Allison Maruska writes a thrilling YA novel that will grab the attention of her readers and hold it until the end.“ – Lisa Tortorello, author of My Hero, My Ding

My review

I listened to the audio book of Project Renovatio. I initially found the reader’s accent slightly off putting but I soon got used to it and she did do a good job of reading this story.

Project Renovatio is a science fiction fantasy book about a genetic engineering project undertaken by the US government in an attempt to develop a race of superior humans who are better equipped to survive an apocalypse than the average man on the street. There method is to seek out men and women who exhibit an unusually high intelligence, strong immune system and better sporting abilities than average and enter them into a human breeding programme to ensure off-spring which present enhanced abilities due to their genetic advantages.

Levin Davis and his two sisters have happy lives. They are certainly brighter than average and are strong and athletic, but they have never considered themselves to be significantly different to their peer group. When Levin receives a mysterious letter, whose author claims to be his half-brother and telling him that his father, who he believed to be long dead, is still alive, Levin is completely taken by surprise. He agrees to take his two sisters with him to meet up with his half-brother and learn more about his father and why his mother has always told her children that he is dead. This meeting in not straight forward and the half-brother leads Levin and his sisters on a bit of a wild goose chase before they find out anything useful.

This story moved at a swift pace and was exciting. Although I was able to clearly see what Levin couldn’t in the story, the way this was revealed, and the context of the revelation, was unexpected to me so it certainly didn’t detract from the story. I enjoyed this book and look forward to listening to the next book in the series.

Another recent Amazon review

A verified Amazon purchaser rated this book five out of five stars and said:

A very fun and satisfying read. I was hooked by the first few pages, and I couldn’t put it down. The three main siblings were consistently relatable and hilarious. I was constantly laughing at the antics of the fun and familiar characters. The skilfully crafted plot kept me intrigued and guessing at how each twist would be resolved. Action, humour, romance, family drama… The story is appropriate for young adults, but the scope of this world has universal appeal for all audiences. Project Renovatio was a satisfying read as a stand-alone novel, but the author has set the stage for a larger story. I am hoping she reveals more of this world in the future.

Purchase Project Renovatio


Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

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