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Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: The Sphinx Project by Kate Hawkings

Submitted by on March 15, 2012 – 6:19 am9 Comments

Author: Kate Hawkings
Book: The Sphinx Project
Series: The Chimaera Chronicles- Book 1
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Release: February 28th, 2012
Source: Author
Reviewer: Day
Purchase:  - Smashwords

A lifetime as a lab rat, or forever on the run? For Michaela it’s not a hard decision.

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them.

But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.

In Kate Hawkings exciting, self published debut, readers are introduced to a group of girls that have been held prisoner and used as lab rats for The Sphinx Project. This project’s goal was to create the perfect warrior by combining human and different animals DNA’s. Though the girls are important to the experiment they are mistreated physically, abused emotionally and shot full of deadly viruses daily and if that isn’t enough they are also forced to participate in strenuous combat training where they are pinned against each other and encouraged to show no mercy.

It wasn’t always so hard for the girls. They have recollections of kindness and treats given to them by a figure referred to as “Mom”. However with “mom” no longer there to give the occasional bowl of ice cream or book to read the girls are left with nothing positive in their lives and vow to escape the secluded facility that is their prison. When the opportunity presents itself the girls take action, making their escape. As they break free from The Sphinx Project and seek the answers they desperately long for they discover that their prison might not have been the most dangerous place and discover more questions with completely different kinds of hardships waiting for them.

When I first stumbled on the description for this series I was instantly intrigued. I loved the concept of young girls being turned into a “universal soldier” a la Jason Bourne with a dystopian  and sci-fi twist. The story begins with a prologue that showcases the girls in action, but it isn’t particularly clear on the why or what the action is against. I am still not entirely certain how the prologue ties into everything (though it is a series so time may very well tell). Where the prologue succeeded was in demonstrating from the very beginning that these girls are soldiers that have been well trained.

I personally felt a degree of disconnect between the characters while reading the first few chapters. Normally, one would say that would be a  negative thing, but in this unique instance it led to better understanding the cold, sterile and unfeeling environment where the characters are living at the beginning. This allowed me to share and empathize with them in their new experiences and feelings after they’d made their escape…including a little bud of romance that I’m sure the targeted audience will appreciate.

Despite all the action, there were some slow moments here and there and some scenes that didn’t feel like they fit the general flow of the story line making a few transitions feel choppy. This is an issue that I feel may be attributed to the fact it is an independent title or perhaps it is growing pains for the new author? Either way, it shouldn’t dissuade potential readers. I have read books from established houses and authors that were not as solid or overall entertaining.

THE SPHINX PROJECT is a good debut that is impressive when you consider that it is a self published work by a young author (I believe she is 21 or 22). If this is only a glimpse at the caliber of storytelling to come from this author, we should expect great things ahead. I look forward to future installments in the series, especially since Hawkings leaves fans with quite the cliffhanger.

NOTE: In my opinion, THE SPHINX PROJECT will appeal to fans of  James Patterson’s MAXIMUM RIDE series, Moira Young’s BLOOD RED ROAD, Amanda Hocking’s HOLLOWLAND and Suzanne Collin’s MOCKINGJAY.

Also reviewed by: Elena Ransley

About the author…

Kate’s just a Kiwi girl, making her way in the big old world. She pushes doors that say pull, tells people it’s a long story when it’s not, and is completely addicted to chocolate. Her début novel The Sphinx Project about a genetically engineered teen hits digital shelves February 28th, 2012.


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Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
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  • sienny says:

    hi!! i think i’ll choose big cats or dogs or wolves. it seems to me that they have good survival insticts (and being plenty of wereanimal of these kind in books helps a lot)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mary @SweepingMe says:

    That’s a tough question. I would say wolf for smell. A cat for sight. I don’t know maybe a lion for strength. HARD question. I would like the best of several animals and then I am not sure if I would really want it….



    Reply to this comment »
  • erinf1 says:

    Thanks for the awesome post and giveaway! This book looks awesome :)

    I’d have to say that I would want to be combined with either a wolf or a cougar. They have great hunting/survival skills and the heightened senses would be fantastic ;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Doll Day says:

    Great choices! I like the idea of feline traits but wolf traits would be great too…I’d also like some kind of super strength, agility, and protective layering like thick and hard to break skin…very tough question!

    Reply to this comment »
  • bn100 says:

    Probably an elephant’s memory and a cheetah’s speed

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    I would say an eagle for excellent vision, and a cheetah or jaguar for stealth and speed :)

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    I say eagle too for the same reason, and an owl, they have excellent hearings.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Bript says:


    Reply to this comment »
  • Alicia Jespersen says:

    hmmmm, if I could have my blood mixed with any animal I would probably choose a cheetah because they are very smart, fast, and just amazingly beautiful creatures!

    Reply to this comment »