Review of KINDLE Ebook Saven Deception – Book 1 of the Saven series by Siobhan Davis

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I have constantly seen positive reviews for this series and finally Lola persuaded me to give this one a go.

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. Sadie is captivated by Logan, the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes, but he isn’t all he appears to be. When she finally uncovers the government’s real agenda, the truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

I very much enjoyed Sadie’s character – she has clearly had a rough time at home with a hostile, unloving mother and siblings who took their cue from her. It doesn’t help that the family are poverty-stricken with no opportunity of escaping dead-end, draining jobs, forcing them to take desperate measures. It is one of the reasons why Sadie applies for Thalassic City. Davis tucks in snippets regarding Sadie’s backstory in the first person (I) pov giving us a ringside seat to her thoughts and emotions – a staple in YA fiction.

There is an interesting cast of supporting characters – I particularly liked Jenna, the girl who rooms with Sadie and gets involved with Dante. I also like Jared. As for Logan, the handsome boy who Sadie falls for in the classic eyes-meeting-across-a-crowded-room way, he is clearly difficult to trust given his background which is gradually revealed as the story progresses. I liked the way Davis fed us a continuous stream of information as the story progresses, so that our perceptions are continually changing throughout. As for the courtship dance between them, that isn’t an aspect of the book that I found particularly interesting other than the way it contributes to the overall story arc of the Saven and their interest in humanity and what bargain they strike with a government fast running out of sufficient resources. However, I don’t have a particular problem with the insta-love – it’s the way I fell for my ex-husband… hook, line and sinker with the solid belief that we were intended to be together forever.

The scene-setting and worldbuilding also works very well. I found the underwater city believable as they journeyed down to it and again, while the setting seems well developed and convincing, it unfolds alongside the action. So given there is a lot of building tension throughout, when the climactic finale arrives, it needs to provide plenty of thrills and action – and it certainly does. I couldn’t break away during this section of the book, as I was desperate to know what happens next. I’ll warn you – while plenty of the issues that run throughout the book are addressed, it does finish on a cliffhanger, however that isn’t too much of a problem as Saven Disclosure, the next book in the series, is available.

While I obtained the arc of Saven Deception from the publisher via NetGalley, this has in no way influenced my unbiased review.
8/10

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16 responses »

  1. I love it when the tension builds and keeps me on edge. And big finishes too. I keep meaning to try this author.

  2. Aww, I love that you feel instantly for your hubby – even if I don’t like instalove in novels I can see now why you would personally find it a lot more believable. That is definitely ‘the cuteness’.
    Lynn 😀

  3. I am so glad you gave this one a try and that you enjoyed it :). I’ve read this whole series and I think it’s a great series. Sadie sure has had a rough time at home and it’s interesting to see her situation change over the course of this book. I also really liked Jared, he’s a great side character.
    It took me some time to warm up to Logan. I didn’t care as much for the whole hot and cold thing, but their relationship gets so much better in the next books in my opinion. Oh and the underwater city was fun to read about. Siobhan usually ends her books in a cliffhanger, I think they are well done cliffhangers that make you curious for the next book. Great review!

    • I really enjoyed the first book and I have also successfully downloaded the second one – thank you so much for your kind offer:)). I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  4. Thank you for your review, Sarah. I’ve read it with interest, though I think this book is not for me. Too many of the YA tropes in it ^^.

    • Oh yes – I wouldn’t recommend this one to you. Though the worldbuilding and plotting is intriguing, I think the romance would drive you up the wall…

      • And yet it is the most popular and frequently written storyline on the planet… I think there are a slice of us who want to move beyond the classic ‘boy meets girl, encounter difficulties and finally end up together’ progression – though we are clearly in the minority. But then, that’s why I gravitate towards SFF – I DON’T want to be able to predict what is going to happen between the covers before I even open the book. So, I’d agree with you – but with the caveat that for me, that means something a bit edgier and less cut and dried than usual…

      • I don’t even mind the “boy meets girl…” classic as long as it’s logical. The “love from the first sight” is a big “no-no” for me. I prefer slow-boil romance, intelligent flirt/seduction, enemies to lovers, etc.

      • I don’t have the same problem – because when I met my first husband, it really was ‘eyes meet across a crowded room’ moment. For both of us. I couldn’t believe it when he came across and asked me to go out with him. Stomach churning, feeling hot and giddy… the full works. We were both 16. He asked me to marry him 4 weeks later and I agreed. We were married at 20 and divorced with 2 children at 36. So that part of it never worries me – I’ve been there…

      • If you told me it was a book, I’d be sceptical… so to learn such things actually happen in real life… Wow, just wow! Thank you for sharing and reminding me that life really is unpredictable.

      • Yes… it really was like that – and Mark also felt the same way. The pity of it was that we didn’t continue to be as close as we grew up. But I truly believe that love is a huge lottery, anyway.

      • Things in life happen. I’m also with someone else than 15 years everybody thought I’d be with.
        I think, in a way, it’s also a valuable life lesson: to know when you need to walk away.

      • Oh yes – the main mistake I made was to stay far longer with him than I should. At least this time around, I have found a keeper:). Himself is wonderful…

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