Publisher: N/A – Self Published
Published Date: April 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Series: The Hayven #1
My Source: EBook received from the author
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.
Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.
However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.
Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.
You may have noticed that I love reading books that have characters with special abilities and “chosen ones.” They’re my kryptonite (I know the summary says she’s not the chosen one, but I’m thinking she may become one. That’s my theory). Gifted grabbed my attention because Ava, Theo, and the others have these special powers that are unique to them. For example, there may be a number of people who have an invisibility power, but only one person can make themselves disappear, another can make inanimate objects disappear, another can only make others disappear etc. etc (this is just my example of what could happen. This is not necessarily in this story).
I also like the idea that there is this whole other world for gifters that only they can travel to. Hayven is similiar to the regular mortal world with families working, restaurants, people going to parks, young adults going to college, but there is also the added bonus of everyone there has a gift. I hope in the later books in this series we’re able to see more of how gifters interact in that world. I would love to have Ava walking in the park and she sees a boy shifting into a dog so he can play around with his canine best friend or a young woman levitating herself into a tree to grab someone’s kite for them. The “mundane” things in Hayven wouldn’t be mundane to me.
I definitely had my favorite characters figured out. Baleigh is great. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she just has this presence that makes Ava (and me) respect her and her opinions. Oliver is great. He was a bit of the bookworm in the group, and he became a pretty important character as the story progressed. It was a little strange that he came in about halfway through and became such an important character though. Still, I liked him and was happy he showed up.
While I was a fan of Baleigh and Oliver, I was a bit hesitant on the relationship between Ava and Theo. I don’t know if it was because it seemed a little forced or the surprise element that was keeping them from being together, or the combination that turned me off from their romance storyline. And continuing with relationships, Ava’s relationships with her mortal friends was odd. I’m still surprised how things deteriorated among them (although that last fight/argument between Ava and Toni was great. Good for you Ava!).
The plot with Madrina and her future return to Hayven was interesting. I’m still wondering how she plans to return and what surprises she has in store for Ava and the gang and the rest of Hayven. Why are Ava and the others important in this fight against Madrina? Will they find the person they’re looking for before Madrina and the Clinders do?
So many questions and I’m sure some of these will be answered in the sequel.
Overall, this was an okay book. I did feel like there were some moments where there was just a lot of information being given at once. Especially near the end as if it was to set the scene for book two. In the end, not my cup of tea, but it has potential to be a good series.
Rating: 2.5 STARS ~ More okay moments than struggle moments.
I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.