Book Review: Cipher by Aileen Erin


Cipher by Aileen Erin

Alone and on the run, Cipher doesn’t talk about her secrets, her powers, or the people chasing her. She can’t let anyone get that close. At least, she shouldn’t.

Knight is working undercover for the bad guys. He’s done things that have marked his soul, but it’ll all be worth it if he can save the girl who means everything to him—the girl who saved his life by putting herself in danger. It’s been twelve years, but Knight knows she’s still alive, and he’s made it his mission to find her and keep her safe.

When Knight finally catches up to Cipher, electricity sparks. He’s crazy gorgeous, stupid brilliant, and begging to lift the burden from Cipher’s shoulders. Can she really trust him with her secrets? With her life?

She doesn’t have long to decide, because Knight isn’t the only who’s been looking for her. Now Cipher can’t run without leaving him behind. What good is being together if they’re both dead?

To save Knight, Cipher will finally stop running…one way or another.

-from Goodreads

My rating: 2 of of 5 stars

(first in The Shadow Ravens series)

So I picked up this book because I found the second book on goodreads and thought that sounded really good. (This will be important after you read the review.)

I was excited to read this book because the blurb sounded really good. It was also available on Hoopla and that’s always awesome. The blurb was interesting and I saw a lot of great reviews. However I was left disappointed. Let me break it down.

Things I enjoyed: The main characters and the premise.

Cipher was an interesting character, she was strong and independent. She is a Red Helix, in this world the color of your helix tattoo is special. Red is bad. That means that you don’t have control over your powers. She is on the run, hiding from the Seligo (the authorities) but simultaneously being a super well known gamer. I liked her independence and drive. She was interesting and had good interactions with people. However it was odd how she lived on the run for so long that she was such a well known gamer, but it wasn’t a big deal.

Knight was a strong character. He lives a double life working for the Seligo but also for The Shadow Ravens. A group of people that saves the Red Helixes from the Seligo. He has been searching for his childhood friend for years and he finally found her. You guessed it, Cipher.

Things I did not like: The writing.

Because I didn’t enjoy the writing, everything that I would have loved became uninteresting. Now normally I love the trope of searching for a childhood friend and then falling in love. I’m all about it, but this time it just wasn’t working for me. It might have just been me, but it felt really stilted. Everything moved really fast. It was non stop action, which would normally be really fun, but there wasn’t a whole lot of explanation for the action. The secondary characters were glossed over. Basically it just wasn’t a very fun read for me. I can see how it would be fun for others, but for me it was a let down.

Normally a 2 star review would end with me saying that I would not read the next book. But that is not the case. It turns out the second book and the following ones are written by an entirely new author. Which is a little odd. So I will be reading the next book, just to see if maybe it was just this book.


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