Talented by Sophie Davis
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First of all, you may remember the name Sophie Davis from an interview I did around the time of Darkest Legacy’s release. I had actually never read anything by her when I did the interview so I immediately rushed out to get Talented for my Kindle app. Unfortunately, between one thing and another it got shoved to the backburner, but I finally picked it up the other day and I am so glad that I did! I raced through it and actually purchased Caged, the second book in the series, before I was even finished with Talented!
The Cover: Amazing. Gorgeous. Need I go on?
The Deal: Seventeen-year-old Natalia “Talia” Lyons is in line to join the Hunters, the spy-like division of TOXIC (I forget what the acronym actually stands for) which is an agency designed to protect and utilise Talented people (Talented being another in a long line of literary synonyms for people with superhero-like powers). She wants revenge on the leader of the Coalition (a group that opposes Talents), Ian Crane, who ordered the death of her parents when she was young. While in her Pledge year, Talia must balance training and Missions with spending time with her boyfriend Donavon, the son of the Agency’s director, and fighting her attraction to her teammate Erik.
My Thoughts: Where to begin, where to begin? Talia’s voice is incredibly vivid; the decision to write this in 1st person POV (my favorite) was definitely a hit. The world-building is very elaborate and imagery is beautiful; I almost felt like I was there in futuristic DC sometimes. Penny, the best friend character, is so funny and cute, the perfect foil to serious Talia. And the boys… oh, where to begin? Erik is a dreamboat, that’s all I have to say. He’s really just about perfect. I didn’t take to Donavon as much, maybe because it felt like he was being pushed too hard into the role of perfect boyfriend. And I won’t give you any spoilers but I was definitely right to be suspicious…
This book isn’t perfect–there are some minor typos/word errors that should have been caught by a line editor, but I’ll forgive self-published books more than traditionally published ones, and they never seriously detracted from the flow of the story. A lot of the story does focus on Talia’s relationship issues instead of the bigger plot involving the Coalition and the Hunters, but Talia’s a teenage girl–it felt believable that she would do the things she does, even if she is a trained soldier (essentially) with paranormal powers. And I’ve heard some people complain about the explanation for Talented people–that in this day and age when we know what we do about nuclear waste, it’s unbelievable and annoying. I won’t say that they’re wrong, but I don’t think it takes away from the story at all.
All in all an excellent read I would recommend to anyone. Can’t wait to devour Caged!