Talented (Talented Saga #1)

Rated 4.30/5 based on 32 reviews
Talented is an emotionally raw, mind-bending tale about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 104,290
Language: English
ISBN: 9781618429940
About Sophie Davis

I'm a first-time author living in DC. I enjoy running in Rock Creek Park, shopping in Georgetown, and spending time with my two dogs, a poodle and a rescued Mutt. For more about me, please check out my website!

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Reviews

Review by: Jen Wylie on Sep. 19, 2013 :
I absolutely loved this book! The entire world is quite fascination and well written without any annoying info dumps of information. The plot flowed along so well I didn't want to put it down and read it in one night. The characters are believable and unique in their own ways. I'd certainly recommend this book to everyone. Sophia Davis is quite talented! ;)
I'm looking forward to reading more in this series!
(review of free book)

Review by: jacquelyn smith on Sep. 03, 2013 :
Talented by Sophie Davis
This was a great start for this series. A futuristic setting life on earth life has been turned upside down after the great contamination spill.
This causing the next generation of children to have abnormalities.
Some are more special than others,they are called Talented.
The government wants all children tested and used for the government purpose.
Talia is in school to become a Hunter, to find and kill the man that killed her parents, she have a lot to learn with help of her partners Erik and Henri she might make it.
Little do she know that heart break and betrayal will hit so close to home.
This story is filled will excitement and emotions it will have cheering for the good guy.
I really was into this book the first time out. Love it !!!

The Reading Corner is over joyed with 5 stars
jackee322001@yahoo.tumblr.com
(review of free book)

Review by: amber-marie decorte on Aug. 29, 2013 :
I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

I was really excited to start this book, the little paragraph that you get to read sounded really interesting and I honestly couldn't just wait to dive it. While the book was very well written, and yes the prime characters were very lovable, it just wasn't that great. It wasn't fast enough for me, I like fast paced novels and this one seemed to drag on for me. I have to give bonus points to the author though because it was interesting enough that I still finished the book, and am going to start the second one today. We shall see what happens and I hope that this series plays out well.
Thank you for the opportunity to read your book, while I didn't enjoy it as much as everyone else apparently it was still a decent read that was very well written.
(review of free book)

Review by: Dana Carter on Aug. 18, 2013 :
I really like the world that Sophie Davis has created in talented. It is a refreshing story line. I love Talia she is strong a witty, but most importantly she is real. The way she blow part the cabin after she finds Donovan with the blonde girl is really awesome.

The only thing is didn't like was the book started off very slow. The background information overload that received in the first chapters was boring and it was hard to get through, but once I did I was really glad that I stayed with it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Andrew Kuligowski on July 12, 2013 :
“Talented” is the title of a book by Sophie Davis, and an apt description of the author as well. The book aims at several potential sets of readers, and largely reaches the mark for most of them.

YA: Young woman coming of age – although her “learning to be independent” phase is partially replaced by “learning to be interdependent” with a team.

Romance: Boyfriend? Check. Potential conflict in that area? Check. Check. (A little too much emphasis on this aspect for my personal taste, BUT for others the book may have insufficient coverage of this area, so take my comment with a grain of salt.)

Science Fiction: The worlds' oceans and its surviving inhabitants have been damaged due to radioactivity leaks. The country has broken into two separate nations, based largely on their opinion of how to deal with those born with “talents” - what a large comic company would refer to as “mutants”. Transportation is handled via hover-cars. And I could go on.

Superhero: See “Science Fiction” above.

And those are just the major categories. There are nods to several others.

I LIKED this book. This book may not be easily categorized into only one category, but LIFE does not easily group itself into one category, either, so I consider that to be a major PLUS. The book, like so many others, is done in first person narration. Fortunately, unlike many other independent and small-publisher outputs, this narration does not suffer from “I”-disease. (“I awoke … I ate breakfast … I went to the john ...”) Ms. Davis properly recognizes that narration must describe the scene and the action, and how our protagonist is reacting those aspects is only one component of the job.

This is the first in a series. The second book, as well as a novella, are both out as well. I'm adding them to my TBR list.

DISCLOSURE: This book was offered for free download by the author to any and all interested. An honest review was requested in return, but not a requirement.
(review of free book)

Review by: Cherese Vines on May 12, 2013 :
Talented by Sophie Davis is the first in the Talented series. Natalia Lyons is only eighteen, but at the McDonough School for the Talented she is an exceptional Mind Manipulator (she can read and influence others' minds). Her only goal is to enter the Hunter program with TOXIC, a government agency, and avenge her parents' deaths.

The book takes place during her Senior year which is her Pledge year, where she trains with a team and prepares her for her solo mission that will determine whether she graduates and becomes a Hunter. It doesn't help that she is one of only a few female Hunters. Things are also complicated when Talia's love life begins to interfere with her training.

Talented flows well and Talia has an easy voice to follow, so it is an easy read. Talia's character is tough, yet vulnerable enough to identify with. I was able to get a pretty clear idea of who she was. The supporting cast is decent although some secondary characters didn't differentiate in my mind. I would have liked a clearer image of Donovan, her best friend and boyfriend, who is also a Hunter with TOXIC. When I finished the book, I had to go back and skim to remember what Talent he had.

The setting is detailed and convincing. It takes place in a future where the Talented have telekinesis or can morph into animals among other cool "powers." I was impressed with the details of everyday life as well as government involvement in the setting and the plot. I think it is the details that give this book credibility. There were several times that I felt like, "Oh, I didn't think of that. Good point." These were things that I would've easily overlooked, but then after thinking back I would want clarification on. The author was really on top of these minute details.

Talented also has a lot of action in it and the scenes are clear and well paced. It has you glued to the page throughout. There are places where it slows as we follow Talia through training and such, but it overall keeps a good pace.

The dialog is realistic and playful or intense when it needs to be without being theatrical. There is a good deal of dialog that occurs in Talia's mind. I thought it was handled pretty well. There are only a few parts that seemed weird about it.

I didn't give it 5 out of 5 because there are times that the plot does push suspension of belief a little bit and there is a revelation that I did not agree with. However, I enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see how Talia handles all the information she gained in this first book. I recommend this book to readers who like science-fiction, romance and espionage. There are some really cool gadgets in there.

Rating 4/5

More reviews at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com
(review of free book)

Review by: Danielle Smiley on March 23, 2013 :
I absolutely love the creativity of the Talented world and the plot has such great twists and turns!!!! There's tons of suspense, great characters with much yummy chemistry! I will warn you that this book takes some time to really take off. Honestly, the first 20% had me worried. Dystopian novels do have a great deal of world building needed, but combine that with too much "telling, not showing," and you're off to a slow start. but once this book picks up, man, it's tough to put down! By the end of the book, your jaw is dropped and you're stuck with one word ... "wow!" Now that ending is indeed a huge (but not completely inconclusive) cliff hanger, so you may just wanna go ahead and grab the next two books in the series while you're at it, cuz the end just left me begging for more.
(review of free book)

Review by: CRISSY MACKEY on March 01, 2013 :
“Talented” is about children born with special talents due to a nuclear spill. Children who possess these special talents are tested to see if they were talented enough to enter McDonough School for the Talented. Talia is a girl who possesses special powers. As a child she watched as her parents were murdered by Ian Crane. Ian is president of the Coalition Force, or rebels as they are known. Mac McDonough president of the school took Talia in as a child and treated her as one of his own.
Talia trains to become a Hunter to seek revenge on Ian. Will she be able to stay focused on what needs to be done or will other obstacles get in her way? Donovan is Talia’s boyfriend and betrays her in one of the worst possible ways. His betrayal pushes Talia to seek comfort in someone else. What happens when that comfort comes from someone Donovan hates? The endless cycle of revenge leads to a story full of revenge, suspense, mystery and betrayal.
Talia is given the opportunity to get close enough to the person she watched killed your parents. What happens when being told what you need to do isn’t what you want to do? Do you risk everything and is the risk worth taking?
“Talented” is a fantastic easy read and definitely leaves you wanting more. I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading all of the books in the series. This book will definitely hold your attention. The chemistry between the characters was believable and the flow was great. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read paranormal with romance, mystery, betrayal and suspense. I love how the Author Sophie Davis was able to keep the story serious but at the same time make it funny.
(review of free book)

Review by: Belinda Gallant on Feb. 24, 2013 :
"Talented" by Sophie Davis is the first in a series. Set in a futuristic world where a series of natural and human disasters newborns are talented, Natalia, or Tali as everyone calls her is in a training group at the school as one day she wants to go after the man who killed her parents in front of her. This book like most first instalments of a series is setting the scene for the next books and Sophie does a great job at establishing her characters. Definitely a must read - can't wait to read the next book in this series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Anastacia Knits on Aug. 07, 2012 :
I love Talented! :)

Here's a bit of the synopsis...
"Talia Lyons is Talented. Born after a nuclear spill, she is part of a new generation that possesses special abilities; Talia can read the minds of others and manipulate their thoughts. Whether Morphers, Light Manipulators or Telekinetics, the Talented are taught to control their abilities under the protective eye of the government- to use their Talents for good. But all Talia wants is revenge."


I don't really read dystopian books, but I find myself enjoying them more & more when I read them, & this one is no exception.

The book is staged in a world much like ours, but where politics are much different (and not explained all that much), & some children grow up with a wealth of different "talents". This book strangely reminds me of a short story I wrote as a kid, where all the kids have magical abilities, including the one Talia Lyons (the main character in Talented) has, the ability to not only read people's thoughts, but manipulate them as well.

The only thing I wasn't crazy about, was there are quite a few storylines in the book that are rather predictable, at least to me, but it didn't make the book any more enjoyable or fun to read. It is a young adult book, after all. I can't wait to read the next book.

There are some minor typos, words missing or written in the wrong order, but nothing major. I usually won't read books if they aren't edited well, but this one only has a few & they don't occur (or at least I didn't see any) until the latter half of the book.

I received a review copy of this book for free.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: -n3iviv on Aug. 06, 2012 :
soo sad! I got it and just keep postponing the read but I was very delighted that I opted to read it ASAP! Very conflicting girl that one *sigh* Eric would not be named traitor and I was really hoping for him to be the son of the "supposed enemy" and I wish the girl would change sides and FAST!! :) more power, hope I can read the next one :)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sarah E. on July 26, 2012 :
Talented takes you into a post-nuclear disaster future where some people have developed "Talents" such as morphing, super intelligence, telepathy, telekinesis, etc. and the United States is split into the Agency and the Coalition (CA, NV, UT, AZ, CO, NM, TX). The Agency requires all children to be tested for Talents and is placed in the McDonough School For the Talented at age 5. The Coalition rebelled and seceded. Natalia Lyons is a teenage girl with advanced mind manipulation who is on the road to become a Hunter and hunt down the man who ordered the death of her parents, the leader of the Coalition, Ian Crane.

In Talented, you have some traditional elements of a YA book...aka the Love Triangle. However, I think that it was well executed and I attached myself to Talia and felt her feelings and her angst and confusion. The whole environment created by Davis is brilliant. Her characters are so complex. And let me tell you what...that. epilogue. was. KILLER! I HAVE to get my hands on Caged like yesterday. It was such an intense cliffhanger!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Andrea Heltsley on July 16, 2012 :
I will be the first to admit, I am not really a huge fan of dystopian style books. I actually won this book on a blog giveaway and thank goodness! It was flippin awesome!

The story had great character development. I loved Erik. His character was so flawed but clearly a bad boy with a soft spot for Talia. Henri added a great dynamic to the group and kept it from being too intense.

This is another book about a supernatural school, but it was done with little focus on school like activities and more about the missions the teams went on. The story kept me in suspense from mission to mission.

The first chunk of the story focused on explaining everything, but still kept me interested. Then once the author got into the meat of the story, I became glued. The book had its' hooks in me for sure. The last part of it brought the story together and was filled with action.

I was not thrilled by the epilogue, but something had to give, right? The story left a lot of loose ends and the epilogue was told by Donovan's P.O.V.

I guess that was the point, because I promptly went to Amazon and purchased book 2 (Caged) in the series. I can't wait to find out what happens to Talia and her friends in the next book!! Check Talented out, you will love it! I give this great YA dystopian read five glitter stars!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Red Feather Writing on July 10, 2012 :
I really liked the main character of this book, Talia. She was a tough chick and perfectly kick-ass. I also thought the plot was great and was sucked into the book from the beginning, making it very hard to put the book down.

I'd have given this book 5 stars and said it was a perfect adventure story if it wasn't for the need of a seriously good proof read. The amount of missing words in sentences and odd places where words like 'that' and 'it's' appeared where they shouldn't be often making a sentence entirely nonsensical was a great put off. On top of that there would often be words with the wrong tense ending or an s missed off for a plural, coupled with my pet peeve the s's at the end of a possesive name that normally ends in s when it should have been s' at the end instead.

Unfortunately it meant I just couldn't get fully absorbed into the story.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: -n3iviv on July 08, 2012 :
soo sad! I got it and just keep postponing the read but I was very delighted that I opted to read it ASAP! Very conflicting girl that one *sigh* Eric would not be named traitor and I was really hoping for him to be the son of the "supposed enemy" and I wish the girl would change sides and FAST!! :) more power, hope I can read the next one :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Joy Borlaza on July 06, 2012 :
No doubt, that this book has made into my ALL TIME FAVORITE LIST. Words cannot explain of how AMAZING this book is.
A well written story, a vivid imagery, like a movie is playing in your mind. I must say, the characters are also a favor for me, especially Talia, the protagonist, who can kick ass (excuse my language). Erik, who stole my heart away (drooling). Henri, who can be my best friend. Donavon, I knew from the beginning was a trouble maker. Also, the entire cast, made the story believable and well put together. Beside the characters, the story itself made it readable & a non stop page turner. It has an equal portion of adventure, romance, drama, & paranormal attribute.
The author did a brilliant job of creating this concoction, that it can be an enjoyable read. An exuberant cliffhanger in the end, that made my jaw drop, begging for more.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Yzabel Ginsberg on July 06, 2012 :
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the world developed in Sophie Davis's novel. While it seems to be divided into two clear camps at first, it soon appeared to me that the dichotomy was far from being so evident, and that factions and characters were bound to harbour secrets and hidden standards. The last chapters sure didn't disappoint me in that regard. I also enjoyed discovering how the Agency works, what kind of jobs its employees perform, as well as how missions are carried—I like to see that such 'details' were taken into account. The use of varied Talents offer those agents diverse opportunities, and it was interesting to read about that.

The reason why I'm giving it 3 stars 'only' is that I was however left with a lingering feeling of frustration at the themes developed throughout the story. I would have liked to see more of Talia's challenges regarding her job as a Hunter, her desire for revenge, the means she would employ to do so, the choice she had to make between saving herself or enacting her revenge... I understand that this novel is not a standalone, and that such aspects are likely to be developed in book 2 or 3—in other words, that they're part of a bigger picture. That's not what frustrated me. I simply thought, when I read the summary, that they'd be keynotes of the story, and in the end, I felt that they were put aside in favour of the developing love triangle. I think I'd have liked this novel best if the romance part had been left to grow in a more balanced way along what I had expected to read about.

The file also contained recurrent typos, such as inverted words and commas in weird places. Unfortunately for me, I'm too trained to notice those things, and they tend to quickly become annoying.

Other than that, I was glad to be handed out this ebook. I spent good moments reading it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jedaia Rose Doñoz on June 30, 2012 :
Intriguing. Kick-ass. And I'm smitten

I was captivated by the summary and I'm happy to say that I was not let down by Talented. I was even surprised in a very good way as I wasn't really expecting to be ultimately caught up.

Natalia Lyon's world was set after the world had gone through extreme environmental changes, after the world was contaminated by nuclear leaks that probably induced powers, abilities, TALENTS on the children born. It wasn't a totally unique concept but the twists and the plot that Davis came up with was what I truly considered as one of a kind.

These Talents - people with the abilities - led the separation of the states into two factions: the Agency and the Coalition.

Natalia Lyon's parents were thought to be killed by Ian Crane, the leader of the Coalition and she was in search of revenge. Thus, she aimed to become a Hunter - the equivalent for spies. As a hunter, she would need to thwart rebellious attempts of those who rejects Talents, kill those who are harming the Talents' causes.

Talia's life, while training to become a Hunter, was packed with conflicting emotions towards two boys, betrayals, missions, pressures and secrets.


I love Talented. It rocked me and I was holding my breath while I was reading through the final pages. I didn't want it to end, especially with the kind of heart-pounding ending that Davis wrote.

With regards to the writing style, despite some typos, it was good. The pace was enough not to bore me.

The characters are strong, interesting and I became quite attached to a few of them.

Talia is incredible. Her powers were beyond awesome and it was revealed that she's capable of more than what she thinks. I badly want to know how truly powerful she really is! In a conflicted world, she grew up to be not normal. She's motivated by revenge brought about by the death of her parents, surrounded by people who either were uneasy of her or were putting pressures on her. She's brave and the weakness that she displays from time to time are valid and reasonable. I love how Davis wrote about how Talia is also plagued by normal problems like boys and love life.

Speaking of boys, wow. Could this book get any thrilling and hot? I was starting to fall in love with Donavon and ended up choosing Erik because well, why shouldn't I? Donavon was a disappointment and learning how he kept some vital secrets and is still keeping some from Talia was a let down. Thank God we have Erik. He's sarcastic, entertaining, funny, and hot. But despite all these, it turned out that he has some deep issues as well.

One more thing I love was how this book has more to offer. More secrets are needed to be revealed. More betrayals are about to come to fruition. More frustration in regards with the boys! And yes, I consider the ending as a cliff-hanger. Totally.

I want the second book! Book Two, please. :) To add, I want to thank the author for providing me a copy. This book made my day. I'm glad to have found such an interesting book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: kami jordan on June 29, 2012 :
The story was great. I had a hard time putting it down. It took me a little over 2 days to read it. It keeps your attention through the whole book. If you liked Divergent than you'll love this. I'm already recommending it to friends. I cant say enough good things about it. The author does a great job making you fall in love with the characters. I like that the reader is finding out whats going on as the main characters are. This is not a book you can say "oh I'll only read one chapter and come back to it later". This book will have you saying you'll read one chapter and before you know it you've read 7 chapter.
I gave the book 5 stars out of 5 stars, and I have a very tough grading scale. I have to absolutely love the book to give it 5 stars.
I have already purchased the 2nd book in the saga called Caged, and will be starting that as soon as i finish this review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Fowler on June 27, 2012 :
Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading Talented, there are two reasons why I did not rate this book higher. First is that it is not a stand-alone novel - even with a series, I want an actual ending, not a stopping point until the next book in the series. In my opinion, you can wrap up one story line and still leave a reader interested in the next one. The ending here leaves too much unanswered, which of course will be explained in the next book (or two). The other problem with the book is the large number of typos and grammatical errors that are present. Maybe it's because I am an English major, but too many errors distract me from the actual text, and this book was chock full of them.

That being said, I really did enjoy the characters and story line that Ms. Davis has created. Talia is a very believable and likeable character; you definitely root for her throughout the novel. The book starts off strong with a plot that moves you along with it, not enough romance to turn me off, and enough suspense and intrigue to satisfy any adrenaline junkie! Despite my complaints, I am definitely looking forward to reading more by Ms. Davis and finding out what happens to Talia next! Thank you for this giveaway, Goodreads - I am always pleased to find an entertaining new YA author!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: abbie chez on June 27, 2012 :
Amazing story... The action scenes weren't as plenty as I had hoped but overall it was good. Oh, and Erik was PERFECT.!! He was the perfect mixture of sweet and sexy. If you're into action fantasy you should definitely read this book. I can't wait for the next installment. When I read this book I just couldn't put it down. I don't want to be a spoiler so I won't divulge any more information. But this book is a must read. Go Talia.! :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kelley Bjork on June 24, 2012 :
Wow, where to start. This book was a wonderful surprise. From reading others reviews about it and also it's high ratings, I expected this to be an entertaining story, but never did I expect something quite like what I found.

The story is gripping and brings a whole new twist on supernatural powers combined with a futuristic world. Talia, herself, has an exceptionally extraordinary power, making her special, and making her stand out. Her powers are unbelievable and I can't wait to learn what else she can do in the second novel. Sophie Davis really spun an interesting web of life, in a world that I would really love to live in. Davis makes me believe it is possible to have powers and did a wonderful job incorporating them into the everyday life of a teenager.

The dystopian world in which they live is also very realistic. It was not too extreme and unrealistic. This was a world that was highly plausible and I am going to say it again. I really want to be a Talent!

For picky readers, this is a self published book. There are some weird errors, but the novel is exceptionally well written, and the errors are few and far between. Honestly, the only thing keeping this book from perfect is an editor and a literary agent and this book would be vanishing from the book shelves of any store. I can't believe it has stayed so unknown up to this point!

This is a true hidden gem. I recommend reading it as soon as you get a chance and for only $2.99 how could you pass it up!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kelley Bjork on June 24, 2012 : (no rating)
Wow, where to start. This book was a wonderful surprise. From reading others reviews about it and also it's high ratings, I expected this to be an entertaining story, but never did I expect something quite like what I found.

The story is gripping and brings a whole new twist on supernatural powers combined with a futuristic world. Talia, herself, has an exceptionally extraordinary power, making her special, and making her stand out. Her powers are unbelievable and I can't wait to learn what else she can do in the second novel. Sophie Davis really spun an interesting web of life, in a world that I would really love to live in. Davis makes me believe it is possible to have powers and did a wonderful job incorporating them into the everyday life of a teenager.

The dystopian world in which they live is also very realistic. It was not too extreme and unrealistic. This was a world that was highly plausible and I am going to say it again. I really want to be a Talent!

For picky readers, this is a self published book. There are some weird errors, but the novel is exceptionally well written, and the errors are few and far between. Honestly, the only thing keeping this book from perfect is an editor and a literary agent and this book would be vanishing from the book shelves of any store. I can't believe it has stayed so unknown up to this point!

This is a true hidden gem. I recommend reading it as soon as you get a chance and for only $2.99 how could you pass it up!

5 out of 5 stars
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brian Wilkerson on June 24, 2012 :
"Talented" has a great opening hook. Its not easy to write a panicked introduction with first person but Miss. Davis pulls it off. Then she seamlessly transitions into a calmer atmosphere and more day-to-day routine for the protagonist, Natalia. For the first seven chapters I had to tell myself, "put it down, you've been reading too long." Those chapters have amusing character development, training scenes to avert "Instant Expert" and interesting world building. All of them them come into play during Natalia's missions. Those are my favorite parts. Miss. Davis puts a lot of thought into the logistics (i.e the most important and yet often overlooked part of such missions) of them and can write a suspenseful infiltration. A special note about the world building. It goes into much detail early on and I loved that. I love it when authors really think about how their world works. Miss. Davis talks about things that have nothing to do with the plot but provide a 'flavor' that makes the world seem more concrete. 'worlds exist in details' and I this one I could believe exists. Best of all, the exposition has its own chapters so there's no awkward 'as you know' between Natalia and others. The biggest problem with "Talented is that the bulk of the story is bogged down in Natalia's relationship issues. The description states that her driving goal in life is avenging her parents but this rarely comes up. Its not even mentioned until her first mission in chapter 14. Occasionally she states her resolve in the third act but at the start of the next she's back internally angsting about her boy issues. I seriously thought she was schizophrenic. One time she even states how ridiculous she's being and how ashamed of herself she is for letting her relationship issues stand in the way of her goal, then goes right back to being ridiculous. This wouldn't be as big a problem if they weren't so predictable. I saw every 'twist' in her relationship coming; a bad soap opera. Characters are derailed to make it happen. Donavon is made into a jerkass, Eric losses his humor for jealous not-yet-boyfriend aggression, Henri is pushed to the sidelines, and Penny's role is reduced to pushing Natalia towards Erik. In my opinion it all falls flat. The second biggest problem is related to the first. The missions are, for the most part, glazed over in favor of the relationship trouble. She is a child soldier carrying out assassinations and CIA like intelligence gathering they are allocated far less space than the relationship drama. 'went off without a hitch' is how one is described. Even the more in-depth ones lack important details: such as the nature of the information they seek or why this one guy is marked for assassination. Even worse, Miss. Davis subordinates the missions to the relationship drama by using them to set up more drama. One could replace 'civil war' with 'highly competitive school rivarly' and the context for the relationship drama would not change. At this point I wanted to stop reading. A third problem is editing. Words are frequently missing. Miss. Davis repeats a piece of world building for no apparent reason. The pacing is wonky because the stated conflict, 'avenging her parents', is usually missing. I was glad when this book was over. I did not like it. I thought I was going to love it which made me dislike it even more because it disappointed me. More than that it deceived me. The 'duplicity' and 'betrayal' and 'inner turmoil' in the description have nothing at all to do with her parent's murder or the 'bad guy' Ian Crane. Nor does it make he doubt her powers. I will not read the sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brian Wilkerson on June 24, 2012 :
"Talented" has a great opening hook. Its not easy to write a panicked introduction with first person but Miss. Davis pulls it off. Then she seamlessly transitions into a calmer atmosphere and more day-to-day routine for the protagonist, Natalia. For the first seven chapters I had to tell myself, "put it down, you've been reading too long." Those chapters have amusing character development, training scenes to avert "Instant Expert" and interesting world building. All of them them come into play during Natalia's missions. Those are my favorite parts. Miss. Davis puts a lot of thought into the logistics (i.e the most important and yet often overlooked part of such missions) of them and can write a suspenseful infiltration.

A special note about the world building. It goes into much detail early on and I loved that. I love it when authors really think about how their world works. Miss. Davis talks about things that have nothing to do with the plot but provide a 'flavor' that makes the world seem more concrete. 'worlds exist in details' and I this one I could believe exists. Best of all, the exposition has its own chapters so there's no awkward 'as you know' between Natalia and others. The biggest problem with "Talented is that the bulk of the story is bogged down in Natalia's relationship issues. The description states that her driving goal in life is avenging her parents but this rarely comes up. Its not even mentioned until her first mission in chapter 14. Occasionally she states her resolve in the third act but at the start of the next she's back internally angsting about her boy issues. I seriously thought she was schizophrenic. One time she even states how ridiculous she's being and how ashamed of herself she is for letting her relationship issues stand in the way of her goal, then goes right back to being ridiculous. This wouldn't be as big a problem if they weren't so predictable. I saw every 'twist' in her relationship coming; a bad soap opera. Characters are derailed to make it happen. Donavon is made into a jerkass, Eric losses his humor for jealous not-yet-boyfriend aggression, Henri is pushed to the sidelines, and Penny's role is reduced to pushing Natalia towards Erik. In my opinion it all falls flat.

The second biggest problem is related to the first. The missions are, for the most part, glazed over in favor of the relationship trouble. She is a child soldier carrying out assassinations and CIA like intelligence gathering they are allocated far less space than the relationship drama. 'went off without a hitch' is how one is described. Even the more in-depth ones lack important details: such as the nature of the information they seek or why this one guy is marked for assassination. Even worse, Miss. Davis subordinates the missions to the relationship drama by using them to set up more drama. One could replace 'civil war' with 'highly competitive school rivarly' and the context for the relationship drama would not change. At this point I wanted to stop reading.

A third problem is editing. Words are frequently missing. Miss. Davis repeats a piece of world building for no apparent reason. The pacing is wonky because the stated conflict, 'avenging her parents', is usually missing.


I was glad when this book was over. I did not like it. I thought I was going to love it which made me dislike it even more because it disappointed me. More than that it deceived me. The 'duplicity' and 'betrayal' and 'inner turmoil' in the description have nothing at all to do with her parent's murder or the 'bad guy' Ian Crane. Nor does it make he doubt her powers. I will not read the sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Beth Hoover on June 24, 2012 :
Talia was part of a happy, loving family. Their family travels to do research on the effects the nuclear meltdown had on world’s population. Many people were born with unique powers, after the nuclear disaster, these powers are referred to as talents. Conflicts and revolutions started over these talented individuals. It seems that power is in controlling the powerful. Her family, unfortunately, was deemed a threat in this conflict. A team is sent out to eliminate them, Talia does survives but only after she witnesses the brutal murder of her parents. She declares to take revenge on the man she’s been told ordered the hit. She is sent to a special school that trains the talented, Talia is telekinetic. After graduating she applies to become a hunter. In hunter training, Talia is molded into a weapon of war. Talia must face betrayal, love, and ultimately herself (does she really have what it takes to become a killer).

I absolutely loved Talented. This book is packed full of fresh and stunning imagery of this dystophian world…you feel like you right there. The characters are wonderful. Talia is so real, you feel for everything she goes through as if she is your best friend. The tension between Talia, Donavon and Erik, is simply fantastic! I’m going to go click Caged right now, because this book left me with the bereft feeling of needing more NOW!

This copy of Talented was given to me by Goodreads Making Connections Group and Sophie Davis in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Beth Hoover on June 24, 2012 : (no rating)
Talia was part of a happy, loving family. Their family travels to do research on the effects the nuclear meltdown had on world’s population. Many people were born with unique powers, after the nuclear disaster, these powers are referred to as talents. Conflicts and revolutions started over these talented individuals. It seems that power is in controlling the powerful. Her family, unfortunately, was deemed a threat in this conflict. A team is sent out to eliminate them, Talia does survives but only after she witnesses the brutal murder of her parents. She declares to take revenge on the man she’s been told ordered the hit. She is sent to a special school that trains the talented, Talia is telekinetic. After graduating she applies to become a hunter. In hunter training, Talia is molded into a weapon of war. Talia must face betrayal, love, and ultimately herself (does she really have what it takes to become a killer).

I absolutely loved Talented. This book is packed full of fresh and stunning imagery of this dystophian world…you feel like you right there. The characters are wonderful. Talia is so real, you feel for everything she goes through as if she is your best friend. The tension between Talia, Donavon and Erik, is simply fantastic! I’m going to go click Caged right now, because this book left me with the bereft feeling of needing more NOW!

This copy of Talented was given to me by Goodreads Making Connections Group and Sophie Davis in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Blah Blah on June 23, 2012 :
Maybe 4.5 :)

This was another ARC, well sorta.
But I loved it! It completely surprised me :)
Really well-written and Erik.. just read and find out all about him :)

I'd definitely give this a read if I was you :P
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Victoria Hartman on June 22, 2012 :
This was a free book I received throught he ARR program on Goodreads. This was a really good book. I loved Talia- I thought she was strong and very likeable. While this story is in a futuristic setting and the characters all have special abilities it felt real and believable. I loved the three main characters. Talia was a great lead and I liked being in her head. Erik is very intriguing and I like that he doesn't tell all about himself- there is an air of mystery to him that I really like. Donavan is interesting and even with all that happened with him and Talia I still found myself liking him, although I am really pulling for Erik :) The pace was fast and easy to follow. I was thankful that the author didn't bog me down with tons of details about their abilities and the fallout that caused them, but I had enough information to understand exactly what was going on and why. I liked that the story kept me guessing and I found I couldn't put it down. The only thing I would have to say I had a hard time with was that it needs a little better editing, there were quite a few grammatical mistakes that I would have to read over twice to figure out what it was supposed to mean, but it wasn't a big deal over all and it ws worth it in the end!
I have already purchased and read the next one and am looking forward to the third installment. I am so thankful I signed up for this book because I am hooked :)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nspired Soul on June 17, 2012 :
Talented was given to people for free in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Talented was well written, well thought out, very intriguing, very entertaining, just simply awesome! I fell in love with Talia's character. I understood her motivation and her reactions to everything that was presented before her. I even enjoyed all of the other characters in the book...especially Erik! :)

If life didn't get in the way of my reading enjoyment, I think I would've read the beginning to end in one sitting. That's how much I enjoyed it!

I cannot wait until I can get my hands on the next book. I definitely want to see how this story unfolds.

Sophie Davis, when can I get it??? I'm excited!!!

Thanks again for giving me a chance to read such a great book. Job well done!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Allen on June 14, 2012 :
When I first started reading Talented I wasn't sure what to expect. I'll admit, I took a look at the cover and wasn't sure (it had a different cover last week, I swear!!). I know, that makes me a horrible person, judging books by the cover, but it happens and you all know you do it! The cover of a book is the first thing that attracts more people to it. That being said, I like this new cover a lot more! I look at it and it makes me wonder what the story could be about. The thing that made me decide to read this book was the synopsis. It sounded like something I would like. I'm in a huge love relationship right now with dystopians, add in the sci fi and you have yourself a deal.

So, regardless of the cover, I gave this book a shot and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Talia is a pretty kick butt girl, who's gone through a lot of training to get to that point. She also has her "talent" which is actually very useful for fighting. I mean, when you have the ability to force people to do things with your mind, how can you ever really lose a fight, unless the numbers are extremely against you. I felt really bad for Talia because she lost her parents, and watched them be murdered even.

I felt like there was a good amount of romance and action in Talented. There wasn't really any of the instant romance going on, which can be kind of annoying really. Actually, the story starts out with Talia already having a boy friend. They've been together forever pretty much and couldn't be happier. So there is a bit of romance and history between them.

Overall it did take me a long time to get into this book, mostly because I didn't have much time to sit and read, but once I got going I had a hard time putting it down. Especially in the second half, there is just so much going on and I was pretty concerned over Talia. Talented is a really fun read and I would definitely recommend it! I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Caged. Sophie Davis did a really great job creating characters you can realate with and care about and her dystopian world is well made also. You should definitely give it a try if you enjoy sci fi, distopia worlds!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Alyssa on June 09, 2012 :
OK so where to begin... I was really excited to read this book because of its raving reviews and because the description seemed so interesting. And for the most part this book exceeded my expectations! It was well written but there were a few grammatical errors here and there where words were missing, but you can always tell the point of the sentence. I really loved the characters especially the scenes with Talia and her team - they had such a great dynamic that I could see everything playing out! Spoiler!! [ I also loved the scene where Talia blows up at Donovan... doesn't every girl wish she could do that to her cheating boyfriend's house? I also adored the scene between Erik and Talia where he took her pain... so chivalrous!] Anyway this book contained quite a few memorable scenes and the characters were well developed for the most part. The only thing that I had a problem with was the ending or rather lack of an ending. Since this does continue with a sequel and the sequel is already released I'm not hung up over it but I was disappointed that the relationship problems weren't dealt with in this book nor was the final outcome of the mission finalized to the reader. I can only assumed that all of this is explained in the next book. So overall I would give this four stars for its amazing characters and great plot line! I've already bought the sequel and plan to start it soon! : )
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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