Tag Archives: the Selection

REVIEW: True Calling (Book 1) – Siobhan Davis

DevicesTrue Calling*

Siobhan Davis

Book 1

eBook, 477 pages

Published 1st August 2014 by Siobhan Davis

ISBN: 978-0-99293-041-7

– 3.1 stars

I wonder which situation is hardest.
Mine, because I remember everything, or hers because she can’t.


Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Forced to flee to Novo two years previously—to avoid the succession of natural disasters which have ravaged Earth—Ariana and her family are part of the chosen few who have been carefully selected to share in this new existence. Other survivors reside in a technology deprived post-apocalytic America; under the constant scrutiny of the ruthless regime, and deliberately kept in the dark about life on Novo.

The new government are strategically focused on the continuation of mankind and development of Novo society. They consequently announce the introduction of a televised e-pageant, ‘The Calling’, which forces every seventeen year old into impending marriage and parenthood.

Devastated at the removal of her free will and forced abandonment of her desired military career; Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her. As a series of tragic events tear her family life apart, Ariana feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for much-admired, fellow Cadet Cal Remus, intensify as ‘The Calling’ gets underway. Hot-headed, but fiercely loyal and protective, Cal shares knowledge which appears to indicate that the fragile fabric of their new society is disintegrating in front of their eyes.

Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase—which has stolen her memories of those left behind on Earth—Ariana is struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane.

Discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

This book started out pretty mediocre and reminded me of a mixture of Divergent, The Selection and The Hunger Games all rolled into one. But, I have to admit that as the book went on True Calling started to become its own story. It did have some aspects that were very similar to the previous three books mentioned, but it was easy to forget about that and loose yourself in the story. Originality aside, I did enjoy this book despite its faults.

The plot revolves around a pageant called ‘the Calling’, which is primarily a televised event where all seventeen year olds are partnered up to ensure that the population on Novo remains stable. There is also another stage of the pageant where the population choose an ultimate couple who will become like ‘capitol darlings’. The book explains ‘the Calling’ in more detail, but I do feel that at the very beginning of the book there was a lot of info dumping that felt unnecessary and that it could’ve been integrated into the story more slowly- allowing the idea to sink in more slowly. This did leave me a little confused at the start of the book, but I managed to get my head around it later in the novel.

Ariana was an ok protagonist for this book. She protect her family, made tough decisions and was incredibly selfless at times. But nothing about her particularly jumped out to me, making me connect with her and her situation. She also had a typical ‘rebellious streak’ which was to be expected. Her speech occasionaly felt forced and sarcastic to characters when it should be natural and true. However, I didn’t feel that this was as much of an issue at the end of the novel. There was also a love triangle in this book. But- and it is a big but- I felt it was original and this is when it began to claw back some stars lost at the beginning at the book.

This book was told in three parts. The first was from Ariana’s point of view and I assumed that this was how it was going to told throughout. So when part two rolled around told from Zane’s point of view it knocked me. But as I read on, I saw that it was written prior to when we left Ariana and worked its way back up to present time, it knocked me even more. Part three was once again written from Ariana’s point of view and continued where her voice left off. I felt that this aspect of the book could’ve been dealt with slightly better; I think it should’ve been written mainly in Ariana’s voice with the occasional ‘Zane’ chapter to keep the reader enticed about his character and situation and not in parts.

Overall, I did feel as though the whole book was a build up to a climax that didn’t really happen. It was hard at times to stay invested in the characters and the story and I don’t think that this would be at the top of my list if someone wanted me to recommend a sci-fi-romance. It did feel almost unfinished but, for me, the relationship between Ari and Zane definitely kept me invested and I really want to see if it prevails in world where love is seen only as a necessity to keep the race going.

.Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review

REVIEW: Reckoning (Book 1) – Kerry Wilkinson


Kerry Wilkinson

Book 1

Paperback, 378 pages

Expected publication: May 22nd 2014 by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 978-1-447-23530-9

– 2.6 stars

In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor. But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide? Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .

This novel is the first in a new, up-coming YA series by Kerry Wilkinson and is a science-fiction dystopia. It follows the main character, Silver Blackthorn, who lives in a small, poor town called Martindale. She has grown up with, and has feelings for her best friend Opie. But unfortunately, the pair are wrenched apart after a test every 16-year in the country takes. Silver was expected to get a high place in society, unlike Opie who expected to become someone from a lower class; but neither of them anticipated for Silver’s name to be chosen for her to become an Offering. After dozens of teenagers never leaving King Victors castle, Silver begins to question her survival.

This book was ok compared to other books of the genres. Reckoning is like a mixture of Veronica Roth’s Divergent along with Kiera Cass’s the Selection , with a sprinkle of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. So overall, not very original. But, it was still a good read, especially the ending. Unfortunately the beginning is slow-paced and there is next to no action or thrills. Personally, that is why I gave this book such a low rating because it simply didn’t drive me to continue reading. The characters were stereotypical to say the least and there was also a lack of detail and history from a lot of them. We see that Silver clearly has feelings for Opie and that Opie does share them, but no advances is made on this so I gave up with them very early on. I have a felling that this will come to play later in the series where a very annoying love triangle will form. I do hope that I am wrong.

This book is written solely from Silver Blackthorn’s perspective, which allows slightly more of a connection with character than 3rd person permits.  The writing was simplistic but effective at times. Other times it was patchy due to lack of information and descriptive writing/language. This book could’ve been a lot shorter than what it is with a lot more action. I feel like this because, some scene’s felt unnecessary and slightly repetitive. Also, more topics that popped up within the book could’ve been broached and explored further; leaving a bigger impact on the reader. The flashback’s in this story, however, were very well written and excellently placed and laced with clues that come to play later in the novel.

Most of the characters felt one-dimensional and had very over used character traits that could have been built on and improved. Also, Silver didn’t talk to a lot of characters, which was another way we lost connection with them, as it is written from her point of view. In fact, speaking of Silver, there was a lot of things in Reckoning  that Silver did that completely made my eyes roll. Additionally, I really liked the character of Hart and wished he was in the book more and hope he plays a key roll in the following books. The love interest in this book felt rushed and forced, this had an impact on the final climatic scene in the book as I felt it would have been more jarring if the reader felt more for the couple.

The ending of this book was fantastic and the premise was alright. But because of how predictable and unoriginal this book felt, it gained a low rating from me. The characters and the relationships between them felt forced, rushed and unexplored throughout the whole book. I was tempted at times to put this book down and rate it as “unreviewable” as there is a lack of action and/or intense scenes. And any scenes that attempted to be either of those things didn’t work and left me desperately reading, trying to find the end. I wouldn’t recommend this book personally, but fans of the Selection by Kiera Cass might want to check it out.

Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.