Thursday, November 15, 2012

Haven by A.R. Ivanovich

Haven by A.R. Ivanovich ReviewPaperback: 393 Pages
File Size: 508 KB
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Steampunk

War of The Princes Series
Book One: Haven

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Amazon Summary:

From missing socks to missing people, nothing could remain hidden from seventeen year-old Katelyn Kestrel for long, but after locating a forbidden passage out of her isolated country, Haven, she discovers for the first time that there are some things that should never be found.

Outside the safety of her homeland’s borders, Katelyn meets Rune, a young soldier who will die without her immediate aid. She never considered that helping him would lead to her capture. While being held prisoner by the handsome Lord Dylan Axton, she learns that the outside world is rife with war and controlled by people with extraordinary powers. It becomes clear that there was a very good reason the founders of Haven locked their people away from the rest of the world. The depth of her peril reaches a fever pitch when a ruthless Commander wants Katelyn dead. Her only hope is to return to Haven, but can she survive long enough to find her home?

HAVEN is an exciting young adult fantasy novel, set in a unique, rural steampunk world, by debut author A. R. Ivanovich.

My Review:

So so so much potential! I loved the idea of Dragoons, Margraves, Commanders, and Princes. People who have magical powers ranging from levitating items to controlling the elements. Yes please! It was a concept that I'd never seen portrayed this way before, and one I was so excited to learn about! However, I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as I hoped I would.

Basically, Haven tells the story of Katelyn Kestrel, a seventeen year old girl, who's curious by nature and has a knack for finding whatever it is she's looking for. Katelyn has always wanted to see the Outside World, because she's sick and tired of the same old routine every single day. So when Katelyn learns more about the Outside World in class, her curiosity gets the best of her, and she becomes determined to find a way out of Haven. Using her talent of finding things, she happens to come across a hidden exit. She then ventures out into the unknown, in order to discover the secrets and wonders of a mystical world filled with power and abilities. Little did she know, that some things are kept secret for a reason.

Katelyn was not likable at all. Characters are one thing that I am extremely picky about. If the protagonist is weak or whiny throughout the whole book, I usually end up banging my head against a wall and throwing my book clear across the room. It's a miracle that I even finished this book at all. Katelyn thought of herself as a strong and confident individual. She stated several times throughout the book, "I never cry," or something close to that. However, it just so happens that whenever something bad occurred or something didn't go her way, she ends up sobbing her eyes out. Then when she's being taken away or captured, she immediately yells "Save me, Save me," even though it's pretty obvious that no one will come to her aid. My last complaint, is that she was super self absorbed and never thought about anyone but herself. I really would like to explain how I came to that conclusion, but if I did, I would be giving away a bazillion spoilers, so I guess I'll just have to keep my mouth shut. The only time that I even remotely liked her, was around the end when she FINALLY stood up for self instead of being a damsel in distress.

There were two love interests in this book, Rune and Dylan. I disliked Dylan, didn't hate him, but I was never near loving him either. He was cocky, arrogant, and always got what he wanted. He used clothes and jewelry in hopes that he would bribe Katelyn to love him, and that was a huge turnoff for me. There were some times that I liked the actions that he took, but he was still a coward in the end. A person who always took the easy way out. Rune, I liked better then Dylan but I still was nowhere close to loving his character either. He was a lot smarter then the other characters, and actually planned ahead instead of taking actions impulsively (Most of the time). Buuutt.....he still fell flat for me. The instant love connection between him and Katelyn was unrealistic and I actually facepalmed when it happened. One second he was all, broody and ignoring her and then the next second he was all, "I love you. I would do anything to protect you. I was so jealous of seeing you and Dylan together." I mean, really? *Sigh* My favorite character out of this whole novel was probably the little salamander shadow who was in the book for all of two pages. Now that's saying something.

There was nothing wrong with the pacing of the novel. Once in a while I would get bored and start skimming, but it wasn't too often, so I didn't mind. The worldbuilding was probably my favorite part out of the whole novel. I loved learning about the Outside World and the creatures that lived in it.

In conclusion, the worldbuilding was great and I loved the unique theme for the book. However, the characters and the actions they took, annoyed me so much that it ruined the story for me. While many readers will enjoy what Haven has to offer, I'm sorry to say that I just wasn't one of them.

Heroine- 1/5
Romance- 2/5
Comedy- 1/5
Action- 3.5/5
Overall- 2/5

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