Buy or Borrow: BUY!
Source: Copy courtesy of NetGalley
Talia Lyons lives in a world where nuclear pollution has meant that the current generation of kids are mostly born with "Talents", mind control...mind reading...morphing..that kind of thing. People with Talents are in a war with the coalition that thinks that Talents need to be feared and segregated, that they need to be ashamed of their Talents. When Talia and her parents are visiting the states to meet with the director of TOXIC, the agency helping Talents, her parents are murdered in front of her by the coalition leader, Ian Crane's men.
The director of TOXIC offers her a choice....she chooses revenge. Talia goes to a school exclusively for Talents, and is taken in by the director and his wife and child. Talia spends years training to become a Hunter, and to get her revenge on Crane. 16 year old Talia is poised graduate from McDonough School for the Talented, but first she has to complete her final year living at the Elite Headquarters and going on missions with Henri and Erik, the two members of her team. Henri is convinced he can make her ability, to read and influence the minds of others, work in the field for the first time in their history. Talia's the only thing standing in her way, when a mission proves she may not be up to the life she so craves, and with her solo mission and graduation looming, she has to be on top of her game.
Unfortunately for her, her questionable boyfriend is set to break her heart, and her gift has certainly let her down in that front, but she also feels an impossible connection to Erik. Erik's Talent is to mimic other's Talents, and when he's around Talia his thoughts and feelings are projected to her, she's not sure if what she feels is real or all him.
Can she maintain her focus? Can she defeat Crane? Or will hidden secrets come to the surface?
Oh my God, I love this book! I've literally just finished reading and I'm sad it's over and I need to get the other books and just disappear back in to the world, I hated leaving the world created and wanted to stay there forever!
The whole backstory to what happened to the world, and the kind of mythology surrounding Talents was so rich and detailed and unique. It was all presented in a unique way, while being concise and not bogging down the story or making you bored. We find a lot of it out through Talia when an entire chapter will focus on her letting us know what happened, as if she's speaking right to you.
Talia has got to be my favourite character and heroine in a while, she's so badass. She's strong, even though she doesn't always think she is, and she's determined to get what she wants. Not to mention if you make her mad *coughDonovancough* she will totally destroy where you live with just her mind. Oh yeah. Badass. I felt such a connection with Talia that only intensified as the book went on and we learned more about her, she came across as relateable, and to me she was very real and humanized.There was so much depth to her, and all of the other characters we're introduced to. Every single one of them jumps off the page, and appears clearly in your mind, and lodges in your heart.
This is one of those books I get really emotionally invested in really fast and I'm just like "aaaaah". The source of my "aaahh" this time came from the romance going on. So Davis did this really cool thing where you don't realize Donovan is shady at all. Maybe I'm naive, or maybe i'm just stupid, but when you first meet him in the book, I really liked him and I was like aaww he's such a sweetheart. But then it all changed.
Davis starts the book off with us not having much background on the characters, until Talia provides it on herself fairly quickly, and as we go along regarding the others. For me personally, I felt like when it started, my perception of the characters is totally different from what it is now. You think they're one thing, then a few chapters later you realize they're not. I found it awesome to see characters true selves revealed to you bit by bit.
Back to the romance, it all changed when Donovan turned out to be incredibly shady, and I'm sat here reading like "he wouldn't would he? No I'm just so jaded and pessimistic to think that" and then I got proved right which sucked for me and Talia. BUT the good thing was that everything between those two was presented in a very real way, so real, that you really really want to punch him. In the face. With a brick.
The OTHER good thing is Erik. We start off thinking he's just her team member, but he's slowly revealed to be so much more through his actions. You realize that Erik's not an ass, he's kinda sweet and he really likes Talia. I'm not gonna lie, I was so torn at one point with Donovan and Erik, but when Donovan started being kind of a jerk, Erik's sweetness in comparison for someone who's supposedly a man whore, really had me rooting for him. I thought Erik was just so cute to her, and when everything went down, I was excited for their romance, but then Davis broke my heart and now I have to wait for the next book for the rainbows and unicorns in their romance.
The world building was intense, I had such a clear picture, it was like a movie was running of it in my minds eye while I was reading. It was about 11:30 am when I got sucked in to the world Davis had created...next thing I know, I've finished the book and looked up to find myself sitting in total darkness at 5pm. I was oblivious to the outside world the entire time I was reading. The prose and the world created where so brilliant I lost myself entirely.
All of my focus and attention was on what was happening in the book, and that was partly because of the things I've already mentioned, but also because the book has all the qualities that keep you glued to the page and not want to stop reading. The pace of the book was fast, loads happened, there was always something going on from action to romance to funny moments, the flow of the book was smooth, there was no parts that bored you with irrelevant information or with too much detail, it was perfectly written.
The plot itself was very intricate with lots of threads, and everything is played close to the authors chest until it's revealed, I had one idea of what I thought was going to happen, to being totally wrong. I kind of guessed the big Donovan reveal, but only when the scene in the cabin started, until that point and after that point, I was putty in the authors hands, unable to guess anything that was going to happen, and being taken on a roller coaster of emotions.
I have a feeling that the plot is going to get more complex, with more hidden threads being revealed. Talented is an excellent start to a series that sets the grounds for the next book, without taking away from the story itself.
Talented is full of action, drama, romance, laughter, and emotions. Never before in my life have I had such an urge to deck a fictional character. I have fallen in love with this book, it's characters and the world created, and I really need to get my hands on the next books!
Think of a female James Bond, with a bit of Sookie Stackhouse mixed in, along with a moderate dash of revenge, and the fighting skills of Buffy.