Sunday, 21 September 2014

Book: Talented by Sophie Davis

I received a copy of Talented from Netgalley in exchange for my review. 

When she was 10 years old Talia saw her parents killed in front of her, and didn't know the reason why. She was then approached by a man called Mac who took her under his wing and took her to a school where her 'Talents' would be enhanced upon. After radiation poisoning the world changed completely, and some children are born with Talents, whether that is morphing into different animals, controlling minds or higher reasoning. As the only Elite Level Mind Manipulator, Talia's Talent is highly sort after, and upon joining the Hunters for her Pledge year, her last year of school, Talia joins Henri and Erik's team. Working together is difficult at first, especially when it becomes clear that Erik doesn't like Talia's boyfriend Donovan. For the first time in her life Talia finds herself making friends, and participating in Hunts brings her a new focus and sense of purpose. But not everything is as it seems and Talia's life is about to come crashing down.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon
I've read some great reviews about this book and some bad ones (and yes I know I don't normally even read reviews before reading a book) and I have to say I agree with the good reviews. This book really captured my imagination and I couldn't put it down, even though I really should have to have gotten some sleep! There were a couple of moments when the writing was a tad repetitive, but overall that didn't bother me and the strength of the story carried the book along. 

What really interested me was the way that the love interests played out. Technically there is a love triangle, but actually I didn't feel that it was such (mainly because one of the boys shot himself in the foot so badly that it just isn't a contest). Plus it is different that Talia (which is short for Natalia by the way, loving the fact that the characters had normal names, makes such a change!) had a boyfriend at the start of the book, though to my mind there was something off about it. To me Donovan really seemed more like a habit than a boyfriend. Which does place me firmly in the Talia and Erik camp, their chemistry and connection was well developed and by the point that they actually both showed an interest in one another I was thinking 'FINALLY!'

There was plenty of action in Talented, mainly on the Hunts that Talia and the boys participate in, though these ranged from simple to complicated. I liked the fact that though Talia was female she was treated the same as the boys (though she wasn't when there was something else going on that was making her more vulnerable in general) and was just as kick ass as them. Though there was a moving moment between Erik and Talia when one of their Hunts didn't go quite to plan. 

I didn't quite know what to make of Talia and Mac's relationship. Talia saw him as family but there was something about him that made me feel off, particularly with his interactions with Talia. I don't think that this is down to bad writing, in fact I do think that it is supposed to be like that and that just makes me question the whole society that Talia is a part of (which is most definitely the idea based on the epilogue). It also makes me very interested to see what happens next!

There was a clearly developed culture and history to the story, which Talia explains (first person narrative) at the beginning of the book. I thought that this was an interesting way to do it in contrast to if the author had used a prologue because then you do get Talia's perspective on the history and some of the politics that played a part. 

This was a good read, had me turning pages til the very end, and I'm definitely intrigued as to what comes next!