Book Review: THE FOURTH SPECIES by A. E. Warren

Genre: Dystopia
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: yes - third book



Book cover for THE FOURTH SPECIES: title in yellow on orange with people standing before a forest fire

Elise has now been working for the infiltration department for a year, but is growing frustrated with their lack of progress, their unwillingness to fight back against an unjust world. When it’s announced that they’re going on the offensive, will she be ready for the consequences?

Twenty-Two finally has her freedom after serving her term of imprisonment. But not everyone believes she deserves to be released. If she is not welcome in Uracil, then where does she belong?

Genevieve’s life as a high-ranking Medius is perfectly crafted to hide all weakness, but when she finds out what the Potior’s have planned next at the Museum of Evolution, she starts to question her choices, and the cracks begin to show. Can she keep herself from shattering?

When a threat none of these women could have predicted comes to pass, they are all left to fight for their futures. Whether they are ready for it or not, their worlds will collide and nothing will be the same again . . .

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I definitely enjoyed THE FOURTH SPECIES more than THE HIDDEN BASE as it feels like more happens, that the world is changing more due to the events of the book. I would say that it’s not really the characters’ actions but the villains who are doing the changing.

I think, drilling into it, that this is the reason why neither the second nor third book have grabbed me as much as the first did. The POVs’ actions aren’t the ones driving the plot – they’re reacting to the world around them, or doing (in some ways) unnecessary (to the overall plot) tasks designed to get them in places where they can find out information. This does give a more passive feel to the story overall. That can work for some stories that are much more character focused, but this is a series sold as a more action-based one. This said, it was a more engaging book because it did feel like more was happening, that the characters were facing bigger stakes and threats.

There’s a new POV introduced in this book, the third one of the series, Genevieve. The information about her is tightly controlled in the book, with all the reveals coming later. However, not getting those reveals early on left a bit of a gap, I felt, because the character presented didn’t have any reasons to make them one you wanted to invest in, wanted to like.

She was very focused and robotic without those reveals. There wasn’t really enough time after the reveals (as it’s such a short book and the final one is her final chapter) to really get to know her/soften to her.

The ending very much has the feel of “penultimate book, so all change please.” I’m not sure how many books there are, but I have quartet in my head for some reason, and this book only reinforces that for me. Compared to the size of the book, the denouement is rather long (about a tenth!) as it sets up the next book, which did add to the feeling of this being another book about getting things in place.

I am going to finish the series, and I hope it manages to live up the first book, which is my favourite so far.

Read my reviews of other books by A. E. Warren:

Tomorrow’s Ancestors (this series):

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