Saven Deception (Saven Series book 1) by Siobhan Davis @siobhandavis

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Length: 437 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

Another day, another person from the Imagine, Write Inspire Group that I am so lucky enough to be a member of (it’s led by the brilliant Carmel Harrington). And my word, what a person! Here was a USA Today bestselling author who was focused, motivated and super duper talented, but also incredibly, incredibly helpful and ready to give advice on all things writing and publishing to all who needed it. Her books (see them here ) were charting high and being gushed about by people I held in very high regard and so I jumped straight in. I’d actually never read a science fictiony, young adult book before The True Calling Series (I will get to them another day, needless to say I was fully grabbed by them), but with every syllable I was hooked. After such an experience where one of the first books I recommended to people was said series, I wondered whether I could possibly like these as much. There was no need to worry- this book (and series!) is EPIC (jumps about excitedly!!). By the way I feel I have to point out, she’s a book blogger too!! (Her blog is http://myyanabookobsession.com/ )

Note: I apologise for all gushing and exclamation marks used within this entire post, but I do feel they’re warranted(!;)) Also, I generally give a note with books I’ve received from the author to say I received it in return for an honest review. I bought this myself, but as you can guess I am wowed and in awe of Siobhan, and know her well from social media and have met her a number of times, so although ALL of my reviews are ALWAYS 100% HONEST, I feel I have to re-iterate that here, because I know people can have their doubts when it comes to people reviewing authors they have met/ know/ are inspired by ( a pity, but I don’t blame them.)

What they say: THE TRUTH DOESN’T ALWAYS SET YOU FREE

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person–herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

The Review: I have to admit that I somewhat dropped the ball here, I should be quoting and quoting and quoting, but when I get fully invested in a book one of two things happen, either I highlight practically the whole book, or I forget to highlight and add notes altogether and next thing I’m a bit stuck, obviously, number two happened in this case, apologies.

The book opens with a definition of the word ‘conscience’ and a doctor, leaving her office. The scene is set immediately.

‘Dr Evan Taylor locked her office door and walked briskly out of the building. Tugging the collar of her brown cashmere coat over the nape of her neck, she strode across the empty parking lot, the wind whipping her long copper coloured hair in a mass of tangles over her face.’

There is an incident and we’re left with no doubt that Evana has been dealt a terrible, terrible hand, with no choice but to comply with people who have decided she is to be their teacher.

Next we move to the first person voice who has escaped where the toil she is supposed to be undertaken, and apprehended by the Robo-police who is – ‘part human, part-robot, and not one of the pure cloned kind’ who informs us that the escapee is

‘Sadie Owens. Seventeen years of age. Sector Fourteen. Medi-Tech employee’

who is out twenty three minutes before curfew. Now all the curiousity/ attention grabbing buttons were well and truly pressed. We are shown how life is divided in terms of class and we also see Sadie’s life outside of work, with a family that weren’t exactly showering her with love. As a result when she is told she is to take part in the government’s pilot programme ‘The Experimento’ where she is to be moved to a settlement under water she leaves quick smart, her only worry being leaving her beloved sister behind.

I cannot gush enough about this book. The pacing was amazing, with action suddenly hitting you between the eyes to make you sit up even straighter, the romance is perfection, captivating, but stopping before the over the top swoony stuff can occur, the characters all excellent in playing their necessary parts (you know, you like the ones you should, are deliciously shocked by those you don’t) and the way the scenes are set play like a film- I could see every mode of transport, every room, every setting with such clarity. Just to cement how much I liked this-after reading on Kindle Unlimited, I bought the boxset of 1, 2 and 2.5 and read all straight way ( I have just seen that the full set is available to pre-order on Amazon- due out this month!). Epic, epic, epic (and you all know how overused I think that word is!) Ridiculously highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

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The Other Side Of The Wall by Andrea Mara

theothersideofthewall

 Length: 402 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for Amazon

What they say:

When Sylvia looks out her bedroom window at night and sees a child face down in the pond next door, she races into her neighbour’s garden. But the pond is empty, and no-one is answering the door.

Wondering if night feeds and sleep deprivation are getting to her, she hurriedly retreats. Besides, the fact that a local child has gone missing must be preying on her mind. Then, a week later, she hears the sound of a man crying through her bedroom wall.

The man living next door, Sam, has recently moved in. His wife and children are away for the summer and he joins them at weekends. Sylvia finds him friendly and helpful, yet she becomes increasingly uneasy about him.

Then Sylvia’s little daughter wakes one night, screaming that there’s a man in her room. This is followed by a series of bizarre disturbances in the house.

Sylvia’s husband insists it’s all in her mind, but she is certain it’s not – there’s something very wrong on the other side of the wall.

The Review: I was very lucky to have read an earlier form of this book, as I’m blessed to share online space with Andrea Mara (a freelance journalist whose blog is the brilliant officemum.ie) in the Imagine Write Inspire writing group (come on, I had to!) , led by the most lovely Carmel Harrington, and was blown away that this was a debut. Enough about that, however. This book starts as every thriller should, in the middle of the night, with our lead character woken with a jump. After some time she looks out to see that there’s a child’s body floating in the pond next door, only, on further investigation, there isn’t. And so begins Sylvia’s story, where a series of happenings are making her wonder if there’s something going on with the new people next door, or whether it’s all in her mind.

We have multiple point of views here, as well as following Sylvia on her daily passage as a working mum. The author of this book has, as this is her forte, presented us with various mothers, there’s Sylvia, but there’s also Kate, who is a stay at home mum. I loved the lighter relief of their everyday routines, and the issues that arose with partners, relatives and work but was quickly reeled into the plights of various characters. I felt you were immersed time and time again in the everyday before a new build up started-something beginning to niggle at you before suddenly you were presented with a shock.

I was gripped by the back stories of the various characters (there’s a lot of jumping in terms of timelines, but I enjoyed the way it was done) and in particular that of Kate and her brother, Miller, which was the story that took over my mind both times (I couldn’t review until I had read it in its current form) I put the book down. I’ve probably told you before that my brother has AS and so every time I read about a character who is a little different it takes hold. The treatment of Miller really got to me and I started to feel that whatever we might learn he had done was justified (I know, I know!).

The storytelling was perfection, the descriptions excellent, and I’m always a sucker for multiple point of views and the fact that there were multiple mysteries to be solved too meant this suited me down to the ground. This book isn’t gory but there is the possibility of a few grimaces along the way, the idea of what one character does to another human being being a tough one to stomach. I will say that there was in particular one loose end that I would have enjoyed being tied up a little neater but it niggled at me at the time and then was quickly replaced with memories of other things that had happened. All in all a very atmospheric, memorable thriller (not listed as this on Amazon, is under sagas, literary and fiction?!) that rose to an excellent climax and is beyond beyond (done purposely!!) recommended.

Rating: 5/5