Book Review: Saven Deception


ashley | I really enjoyed the True Calling series by Siobhan Davis. It followed the elements I love in YA, sci-fi and dystopian books, but there was a strong and original story that kept me captivated. So I was thrilled when I was sent the ARC of Davis’ new book, Saven Deception. I’ve fallen in love with her writing and her character development and I had high expectations for this series, so I’m a bit disheartened that certain things kept me from enjoying it entirely.

When the earth is overpopulated and people are divided into classes, sterilized to prevent repopulation and forced into factory work they don’t enjoy, “The Experimento” claims to offer a solution: a trial period in an underwater city where you are free to choose what you do with your life and who you have a relationship with in exchange for around the clock monitoring of your symptoms while living underwater and the opportunity to be considered for one of the 100 coveted permanent spots in Thalassic City after the trial period is over. Sounds too good to be true, right?

This was a really great concept, the story was interesting and it was pretty unique for the most part. I really liked a lot of the details and backstory about why and how things were happening. Davis really has a way with coming up with enough originality to keep pumping out stories that don’t just completely recycle other ideas. There were some really interesting concepts in this, great ideas that made me really excited about the book.  However there were also some glaring underlying things that really got in the way of me fully enjoying this.

I really, really wish that the description for this book didn’t include so much information and that the prologue didn’t lay out the basis of what was happening in this story. Because of this, there was no growth or anticipation; the story acted like it was progressing but knowing these details, you already knew where it was headed. The characters would have been a lot more intriguing if you didn’t already know who – or what – they were; their bluntness and awkwardness wasn’t really charming or amusing when you already know why they’re acting that way. The way things were written, you were expected to believe reactions were a result of a class divide, but knowing what you know going into it, this is obviously not the case. It was frustrating knowing something the other characters did not know so early in the story and I felt like I had nothing to work towards, that there was no progress in the story and I was standing alone at the end waiting for everyone else to catch up. To be honest, I think this actually ruined the whole book for me.

Because I already knew where the story was heading, all that was left for me was the romance part. I liked the growing relationship between Sadie and Logan but I didn’t need a play by play of every intake of breath or shared glance or IM. This whole experiment and underwater city was so cool and I know Davis has a great and creative imagination, I really wanted to explore this city, I wanted Sadie to discover it’s secrets and figure out why this whole situation seemed a little too good to be true, but before she even batted an eye at any of this, she spent so much time batting her eyes at Logan, then turning her back on Logan, then batting her eyes at him again. It was almost TOO much, their back and forth made up the bulk of this book and while I like the romance and it was kind of necessary to the story, it didn’t need to be all there was for 3/4 of the book.

It might sound a bit like I’m harping for no reason, but so much time was spent on all these other things, I actually forgot certain parts of the story that were explained in the beginning, parts that were vital to the story. When things finally did veer back on track and the story picked up again, it was actually a really cool story! I liked it a lot! This was such a great book if you can just sort of skim over the middle of it and get the gist of the relationship without overdoing it. I’m so disappointed that so much time was spent on this back and forth longing and only the last third of the book actually delved into the core of what was happening here, because it was great.

The ending was left open, there’s more to come, and I am really interested in seeing where things go. I liked the characters a lot, I liked the story, I hope that now that these affections are out there, we can delve more into the actual core of what is happening and how to stop it in the next book.


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December 15, 2015

copy provided by author for honest review