These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Review: Saven Defiance

Saven Defiance Saven Defiance by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my. I can safely say Defiance is my favourite book in the Saven series to date. Honestly, it was so good. I don’t know what I’m going to do now that I’m sitting waiting – impatiently, might I add – for the conclusion to this great series.

Before I go into detail about this book, I feel as though a little recap is called for. I’m doing this mainly so you can understand just how much I adored this book, so you can truly appreciate how hard it hit me.

Months ago, I joined a number of advance read teams without really knowing much about authors. What I mean to say is I joined some advance read teams prior to reading any of the author’s work. It was silly, I know. It was possible I would be disappointed. Fortunately, that did not happen. Either luck or divine intervention meant I found myself enjoying all of the work I was reading. As you have probably already guessed (or you are already aware of if you have read my other reviews for this series), Siobhan Davis falls into this category.

Siobhan Davis came to my attention through her True Calling book. My to-read list is extremely long. I have it split on Goodreads between what I own and what I still need to buy. The owned book section, at present, has managed to surpass the one thousand mark due to my love of downloading free books from Amazon. When I found her True Calling series, however, the number was at around four hundred books. Needless to say, upon downloading True Calling the book ended up very low down on my priority list. Despite this, I joined the author’s mailing list and when she asked for people to advance read her Saven series I jumped right in. I am not one to deny a series that sounds so very interesting.

By the time I joined the list, though, the first book was already out. Siobhan Davis was kind enough to send it to me, so I could get up to date. Of course, this bumped it up my to-read list. I had a slight up and down with the book but, for the most part, I enjoyed it. I was more than ready for book two. Despite being late to the advance read party, I still had to wait. As soon as I had it, though, I devoured it. Then I was impatient again. I mean that cliff-hanger! The woman had me holding on for dear life. Then came two-point-five. Again, there was devouring. I needed answers. My insides were so twisted from my need for answers. What I was given was wonderful. Despite my love-hate relationship with series novellas, I adored Denial. It gave me all I wanted and then some.

As you can see, as the series has progressed I’ve come to enjoy it more and more. Nevertheless, I was still hit much harder by this one than I had expected. After reading it, I’ve been well and truly pushed into the fangirl camp.

Okay, I’m rambling more than I mean to. I’m sorry – I’ve just got so many feels and need you to truly understand just how much fun I had with this one, how I enjoyed it so much more than the prior books (books that were already at a high level of enjoyment).

Another quick tangent, though, although this one is an important one. You have to read Denial before you read this one. Defiance carries on after the events of the novella, and those events are extremely important for what is to come. Trust me, you’ll get spoilers and confusion is you ignore the novella. Therefore, turn back now if you have yet to read Denial. Go catch up and enjoy the amazing two-point-five story! If you are up to date, if you have read the between story, I will now continue on.

The end of Denial was another cliff-hanger of a story. It wasn’t as big as the Disclosure ending, but it still left me on the edge of the seat for what was to come next. There were so many possibilities. My mind created the worst explanations possible. Due to my overactive imagination, I was a tiny bit disappointed at the very start. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I still loved it, but it was different to what my mind hand concocted. I had to remind myself that this was not my story, and Siobhan Davis knew exact where she was going. Fortunately, my initial feelings only last a chapter or two. With book one I was disappointed by how the action seemed to be held off for quite some time, the same was somewhat true with book two due how I’d wanted more action, yet book three moved much faster. There was no waiting for things to happen. Things are moving, moving at a real pace, from really early in the book. Moreover, once things get moving they do not stop.

As with book two, so much happened in this one. There are so many different aspects to the story, so many things going on. Fortunately, everything is given enough attention. Things play out well, rather than items appearing meshed together. Honestly, and I know I’m repeating myself, there was so much. I was so pleased by the additional alien races in book two and then two-point-five, and such a thing continues on in book three. The science fiction lover in me was so glad that things continued to grow in that regard. In fact, there was quite a bit happen in relation to the alien races. Fear not, I’ll hold back on spoilers, but be prepared for secrets to come out and for the story to grow even stronger where the peace and hatred between the alien races is concerned. A couple of things were expected, not overly shocking, but because there was so much going on, I still found certain twists catching me off guard. Whilst we are given answers to many of our questions, there are still so many things we need to know more about. In fact, there were almost as many new questions as there were answers. It promises great things for the next book, it really is no surprise the author added a fourth book to the series.

In addition to all of this, I feel even more in love with the series for another reason. Yes, there are plots within plots. Yes, things are progressing at a great rate. Yes, I’m holding out for answers I’m sure will be wonderful. It sounds crazy that I would need anything else to enjoy the series – but there is something more. Something unique to me, I believe. What I’m about to say will not apply to most people, as I know many hold different views, but in explaining this it does help show just how deep into the story I’ve emerged myself.

You see, I’m a massive fan of the young adult genre. I will pick up any young adult book that interests me. However, I do have a slight issue with the never-ending romance stories. They are all the same, in my personal opinion, and such a thing bores me. My interest in the romance in this story… well, it was never quite what I had hoped it would be. I had been crossing my fingers that I would enter the fangirl feels at some point but it didn’t seem to be happening. I didn’t hate the romantic aspect, yet I wasn’t overly concerned by it. Not in the way I have been in other stories.

Something changed in this book.

The romantic aspect seemed a lot more mature at times. I admit there was still some annoyance about the additional aspect added by Denial (as I said, two-point-five is an important story), yet it could have been so much worse. I feel as though it worked to strengthen Sadie as a character, and due to this I wasn’t as annoyed as I could have been – as I’d expected to be. She was a strong woman, who knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t about to let drama influence her life. I came to really respect her as a character, and through the events that took place I came to enjoy the romantic aspect of the story. I found myself smiling at the things that were occurring, rather than rolling my eyes in disgust. It was a massive improvement. I admit that some of the romantic parts still felt juvenile but, as a whole, things seemed a lot more mature.

Basically, the romantic drama changed to something I could deal with. The characters were a lot more grown up about things than I had expected them to be. There was a lot of development within and between characters, and I came to accept that aspect of the story. In fact, the development wasn’t simply in regards to the romance. There was a lot of development in general. Characters I already liked I came to like more. Some characters I changed my views about, or I came to question how I feel towards them. Certain characters have a story that… well, just hold out for a lot to happen in this one to both the main and the side characters.

I really could rant on and on, but I’m sure you’re growing bored of my fangirl nature by this point. As I said, this one really has ensured my love for the series. I’ve said since the start that Siobhan Davis can write a great story, yet this one took things a step beyond her normal level. This one guaranteed I would be throwing the series at anyone and everyone, rather than holding out for just those I thought it would appeal to.

Seriously, I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book. I’m so ready for my answers, so ready to see how things play out for all of the characters. Expect me to fangirl over it, probably worse than I have here.

As a final note, I would like to say the biggest thank you to Siobhan Davis for allowing me to advance read this one. It was wonderful, thank you a million times over.

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