Review – Talented by Sophie Davis

  • Title: Talented
  • Author: Sophie Davis
  • Series: Talented #1
  • Next Book: Caged
  • Source: Kindle Freebie at request from the author for review

Description from Goodreads:

When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves… Talia herself.

Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.

She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.

If James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED: an adventure about powerful teenagers who aren’t afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in.

Review

I got this book as a kindle freebie after requesting to review it.

I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this book. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Honestly, I was kind of in a reading slump when I read it, so I may have enjoyed it more if I had read it at a different time. With that being said, I’m going to try to be as fair in this review as I can.

Honestly, for the most part, I enjoyed Talented while I read it. The premise was interesting. It was a dystopian story with paranormal aspects, such as Talia’s and her coworkers’ (for lack of a better word) gifts, or “talents”, as they’re called in her world. But what I found interesting about these talents was that they were explained as having developed from a nuclear spill a century before. This was not an explanation I have ever seen before. In most books, paranormal activity just is. It isn’t a result of anything.

I liked that Talented took place in a very recognizable version of the United States. Most cities and states still existed, just under different government. Part of the nation has seceded, and there is a war between the Agency and the Coalition.

Something I didn’t care for too much was the fact that there was a love triangle. I feel like these are an inevitable part of YA stories these days. However, it wasn’t too major a focus and was resolved faster than I expected. Though I found the resolution a bit predictable.

I thought that the climax was very interesting, and it definitely kept me feverishly turning the pages to see what would happen, but that was unfortunately only the last 10% or so of the book. It ended on a pretty decent cliffhanger, which actually kind of frustrated me, but I will probably read the second book in the series.

I guess the real reason I’m struggling with my feelings is that while I enjoyed Talented while I was reading it, there was nothing that made me HAVE to read it. It was too easy to get distracted by Twitter and other internet nonsense. I didn’t have the fever to constantly pick it up and turn the pages. But I have no way of knowing whether that was a result of my reading slump or the book itself. My main legitimate criticism of Talented, though, was that I found several grammar errors: commas in the wrong places of a sentence, words missing, words out of order. These normally wouldn’t bother me too much, but there were a lot of them. This is nothing that a good editing couldn’t fix and didn’t detract from the story.

Overall, I’d say that Talented was a decent story, with an interesting lead heroine and a very swoon-worthy heartthrob. It wasn’t amazing and was in need of some editing, but it was good.

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