Author: Sophie Davis
Publication Date: January 11, 2012
Links: GoodReads - Barnes and Noble - Amazon
Synopsis: 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. (via GoodReads)
Ok, so I seriously have a huge love/hate relationship with this book! At least, that much is evident on the notepad that I used to take notes to enable me to write a good and honest review.
Talented is the first book of the Talented series which follows Talia Lyons, a girl born with unusual talents due to a toxic chemical spill about 100 years prior to her story. Talia, like all other "talented" children are taken in and trained by TOXIC, a government agency the teaches these talented children how to control and use their abilities in various areas. As a child, Talia witnessed the murder of her parents leading her to wanting to become a hunter for the agency, which is exactly what it sounds like. Throughout the course of the book, Talia faces the realities and hardships of being a hunter while also battling typical teenaged emotions.
When I first started reading the book, I had a really hard time getting involved. I admit that I might have been a little harsh at first as far as the author's writing style went. I felt that there was too much written detail and not enough leeway as far as allowing reader's to imagine a world of their own. However, the setting of Talented has to be pretty specific to get the story across, so I could overlook that. I absolutely loved the world that Sophie Davis creates as far as Washington D.C. went. I want to go to that all blue restaurant featured in the story!
I was also incredibly annoyed with Talia at first. She seemed so standoffish to me and I thought that was completely unnecessary. I mean, the way that she treated her long time boyfriend Donovan sometimes made me want to slap her! As the story went on, though, I came to like Talia. I'm not in love with her, but I don't hate her either. She's an interesting and fairly complicated character. I think Sophie Davis does a good job writing her.
Talented also features some wonderful secondary characters. Henri and Erik, Talia's teammates, are adorable and I love them! They are super funny and bring an interesting dynamic to the story as a whole. Talia also makes a friend named Penny throughout the story. Penny is your typical girly girl. She's obsessed with shopping, boys, and all that good stuff. Between Talia and Penny, I found myself relating to Penny way more. I would love to know more about her story!
I'm giving this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. I liked the story enough, but I think that it could have been written a bit better. The characters were good, but not great. However, I do plan on reading the additional books in the series. I would recommend this book to my friends, especially those who are fans of the Hunger Games. In fact, I'm planning on gifting this series to my boyfriend's little sister! I think she'd love it.