Allie Brennan's Reviews > Gifted

Gifted by Liz Long
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May 22, 12

bookshelves: summer-of-indie
Read from May 06 to 21, 2012

Lucy Sullivan is gifted, and after the death of her parents she returns to the Donovan Circus. There she hopes to find a new home and have a safe place to showcase her talent as a Firestarter, but trouble follows Lucy to the circus when a troupe member turns up dead and all eye’s are on the ‘new girl’. Lucy must learn to trust herself and her new friends in order to clear her name. As she struggles to learn the truth, she ends up uncovering secrets from her own past.

I originally gave this debut novel by Liz Long a 3.5 out of 5 because while I really liked this book, there were a few things that kept me from loving it. As Goodreads doesn’t do half points, I thought about what to do and decided that the originality of Long’s story deserved the credit so I bumped it up to 4.

Why I liked it

The story

I’m really surprised that there aren’t more paranormal stories set in a circus. It’s an exciting world with so much potential for evil, secrets, betrayal, power and love. Long’s story definitely has all of those things and I was never left hanging but always wanting more. There is a fine balance between confusion and intrigue and while I thouht I knew what was going on Long did a great job of throwing a couple good twists and turns to keep me guessing.

The characters

Lucy was great. She was real; believable. What I loved most about her was that she has always known what she is. This wasn’t a story about some doe-eyed little girl who thought she was ‘normal’ and then discovers she was the key to saving the world. Lucy is a hard working, powerful, albeit emotionally constipated, Firestarter and she knows it. What she doesn’t know is just how powerful she really is.

Most of the supporting characters were well developed as well and each one had a very distinct personality.

The love triangle

In the real world, love and lust are two very different things.

Love takes work, real effort to make it last. Love is an investment that two people make in each other. Lust is just simply attraction. Lust has a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude where you either act on it or not.

In Gifted, we have two viable but different men. The adorable, affectionate, caring boyfriend type and the super-mega-sexy, emotionally closed off, aggravating, clothes-ripping bad boy.

And they both want Lucy… What’s a poor girl to do?

What makes this love triangle different and successful is that Lucy recognizes the reality of the situation and what it really comes down to is for her to decide what SHE wants. It becomes another obstacle Lucy must overcome to be more comfortable with who she is. She understands that while these boys offer her two kinds of affection, ultimately she really doesn’t need either of them. She wants them, but for different reasons.

Yes, the whole stars aligning soul mate crap is nice to read every once in a while but it’s refreshing to see a love story that I can relate to. Realistic.

Don’t get me wrong, Gabriel and Keegan are definitely worth the read…

Why I didn’t love it

The first issue I had with Gifted was lack of tension in the high action scenes.

I enjoyed Liz Long’s cheeky humour and easy-going writing style tremendously (it’s different than what I normally read) but I felt that some of the more serious moments in the story were brushed over with humour or rushed.

Sexual assault is a serious trauma and I didn’t feel as afraid for Lucy as I should have. I didn’t feel like there was enough fear… I know Lucy is a compression can of pent up emotion but I felt like I needed more tension in the writing.

Some of the more action packed scenes also lacked the tension to make them brilliant… they were exciting yes, but not nail-biting.

The second issue I had was dialogue, and this could just be a personal opinion thing (I am a stickler for dialogue) but I found the dialogue to be WAY to explanatory. It was the one thing that consistently pulled me out of the story, a couple times to the point of frustration. I felt like they just talked too much and explained to many things instead of letting the action show me what was happening.

Conclusion

Even though you can tell this novel is a debut, I still would recommend it to fans of paranormal, comic books and super-heroes. It’s a X-men meets Heroes meets Wonder Woman type story.

I would recommend a 16+ readership due to smoking, swearing and sexual violence. Technically I would not place this under the YA category, but New Adult

All in all, Gifted was fun, funny and a really great concept for a story. Liz Long has great potential as a writer and I have no doubt that the next Donovan Circus novel is going to be super kick-ass!
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Reading Progress

05/06/2012
4.0%
05/14/2012
11.0% "Want to win a copy of Gifted? Visit my blog to find out how http://wp.me/p2iVzU-4M"
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