Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: Talented by Sophie Davis


I received this courtesy of Sophie Davis through NetGalley in return for an honest review. 



Title: Talented
Author: Sophie Davis
Series: Talented Saga #1
Page Length: 386
Age: YA
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: 3 Stars

Overall:
I ended up having really mixed feelings about Talented. The first sixty percent was disappointing, and seemed more like a giant love triangle than the fast-paced-x-men-style book I had been hoping for. But once we got past that I started to enjoy the book a lot more. The main character, Tally, became less winey and stuck up and the book started to get a bit more action and plot. 

The Concept:
One of the reasons Talented frustrated me so much, was that the concept could have made for an amazing book. A couple years in the future there is a nuclear reactor spill, that gets toxic substance in the water and soil. The fish and animal begin to become abnormal mutations, and when the first generation of children are born after this, some of them have powers, such as shape-shifting, telekinesis, boosted intelligence, and so on. The mutant children are feared by the average adults and it becomes the law for all the ‘gifted’ children to be enrolled in McDonough’s School for the Talented, where they will be trained as weapons and them utilized in a secret agent program to eliminate rebel threats. The idea seemed really interesting and could make for a really good dystopian-paranormal read, if the execution had been better.

The Plot:
Natalia, or Tally’s, parents were both murdered by rebels when she was just a baby, and as a result the McDonough family took her in and raised her and as she grew up with them, she befriended their son, Donovan, and eventually developed a romantic relationship with him. As the book takes place she’s nearing her graduation to become a Hunter (secret agent). She is post-school training where she has to go on (mostly) low-key missions to prove that she is fit to be a Hunter. There is also the fact that Tally was growing feeling for Eric, a boy on her training team, who, of course, was the hot guy that all the girls where in love with, but he only ever hooked up with them, even though Tally also has her totally nice boyfriend and so on and so forth. 

The World:
Even though this wasn’t exactly dystopian it still had a similar feel since the government was forcing the kids with powers to go for a school and then took advantage of their powers just for them. I wish there was more focus on the government and weather or not they were corrupt, and also more on Tally’s struggle with believing in them or not. 

The Characters:
To me, characters that are likable, or at least interesting, are really important to books. This book didn’t have any characters I enjoyed reading about. Tally was irritable, naive and frustrating and for the first 60% of this book I wanted to go into the book and slap some sense into her so she would actually be the badass she was capable of being instead of mooning over some boy. Eric was supposed to be the love interest that was hot-and-cold in a totally sexy way (think Daemon Black), but he came off mostly as annoying and in various instances ended up being a pretty big asshole. And Donovan, the ‘loving boyfriend’ had absolutely no redeeming qualities at all. I did start liking Tally a bit more towards the end, but she was the only character. 

The Writing:
Sophie Davis’ writing definitely improves as the book goes on. The first couple chapters sounded like they were being written down as someone spoke, in the sense there were lots of ‘likes’ and other terms such as that. Towards the end the writing was better, but it wasn’t anything special. 

The Romance:
The romance in this book is absolutely infuriating. It took up so much of the book and was completely unnecessary. Tally was convinced she had a ‘healthy’ relationship even when she knew that her boyfriend was constantly hiding something from her and when she refused to say, ‘I love you’ to him because she had once said it and her had replied saying he didn’t know whether he loved her or not since they were just teenagers. And then her relationship with Eric ended up feeling really forced, as if the author desperately wanted Tally to have a boyfriend and so she came up with the romance between Tally and Eric. 

The Pacing:
The pacing in this book was also quite slow. I found myself constantly bored and waiting for the next action scene, which always seemed to take far too long to happen.

Conclusion:
Despite all the issues I had with this book I did enjoy the second half and since a lot of people say the series gets better I probably will continue with this series (eventually).

~Izzy

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