Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Talented is the first book in the Talented series.
I love Dystopian worlds, I don't seem to be able to get saturated by reading them. Besides what this might say about me, it was the reason why I supposed I would like this novel.
Meet Talia, a special snowflake if I've ever seen one. She's Talented of course, which means that her DNA is modified by nuclear waste and she's born with some supernatural abilities. But where these abilities most of the time seem quite limited to me, they are limited to certain areas. However, not for Talia. She's a mind manipulator (do I need to say this is extremely rare?) and her abilities include reading other people's mind, telepathy, planting thoughts in other people's brains and making them do things, and telekinesis. That last one really doesn't make sense, even if I'm willing to buy that the first three are real abilities and not easy plot devices. She's a mind manipulator, does she manipulate the mind of the pillow she's about to throw?!
Talia went to a school for Talented kids, eventually, and this seems quite normal. But it's suggested that ALL the Talented children in the USA go there. They even have students there that are from other countries. I hear you think, these talents must be very rare, but that's the weird thing. They aren't. It's stated that up to 25% of the children born at that moment develop Talents. There is no real mention to suggest that there are just very few people left, there are at least enough people left to fill a great number of cities. I think it must just be a very busy school then.
Afterwards Talia graduates into the Hunter training program. She's basically just training to become a spy (how useful her Talents are in this!). Spy school has a very practical way of training their students and student-endangerment is no problem. Talia and her new found buddies are trained to live in suboptimal conditions in very sober cabins, but but for some reason they can always order food from room service (I mean that even easier than ordering pizza) and after throwing a lot of clothes on the ground you can just call a maid to clean things up. So much for hardship.
The most boring part however was the less than original romance. The following is a recipe so you also can enjoy your own love triangle... Take one way too perfect boy with a tragic backstory, and one who might not really be who she thinks he is. Add some tablespoons of confusion and top with a layer of misunderstandings. That will taste great </sarcasm>
And I haven't even started to talk about the fact I just couldn't find out how old they are supposed to be. Sure, the book tells me both Talia and Donovan are 17, but if this is so, why did Donovan graduate 2 years up front of Talia? Talia was a brilliant student it says. So, is this some way of sexism? Or is it because he's the son of the big boss? Or is it something else? BTW, who would send 15-year-old boys to do the spying? I suppose this goes with the suggestion that everything will be done best when teenagers do it. I would definitely trust my countries security in the hands of 15-year-old spies with a half year training.
It may now seem that I think this is a terrible book. It's not, I quite enjoyed myself reading this book, except for the romance part that is. But there are quite some things that don't really make sense to me. And as I read this was already a newly proofread/edited edition, I just wondered...