Talented (Talented #1)
By Sophie Davis
When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... Talia herself.
Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.
She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.
If James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED: an adventure about powerful teenagers who aren’t afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in.
My rating: 4.5/5
I was hooked to this book from the first few chapters. Talented is about a group of teenagers who have certain skills or 'talents' that make them the perfect spies for the Agency. Some can morph into animals, visualise the future, mind-read or hack seemingly unbreakable codes. Natalia has the ability to read and manipulate minds, and is one of the most powerful manipulators her school has seen. Tali joined the school for talents to enhance her abilities so she can ultimately track down and kill Ian Crane; the man who ordered the deaths of her parents.
Talent has an unusual story, but what I liked most was the secrets that were slowly uncovered through the book, Tali's struggles on her missions as a Hunter, and the dramas of her love life! Ever since she was a child Tali has only had one real friend and confidante; Donavon. They speak mostly with their minds and Tali feels comfortable knowing that the one person who knows all her secrets and whose secrets she knows is her boyfriend too. She thinks she has the perfect love, until she discovers that he's having an affair with someone else. Tali thought she knew everything about him but soon realises that no one is as they seem.
An excellent read and I'm looking forward to finding more about Tali's adventures; particularly around Donovan and his father's hidden agendas.
*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
The night sky looked as if it were falling, one star at a time. It took several seconds for my mind to process what my eyes were seeing; stars weren't falling out of the night sky, but bombs were. Swallowing over the lump in my throat, I forced the unpleasantness clawing its way to my mouth back down. The people who panic in a crisis are the people who die, I reminded myself.
What do I believe? Some days, I feel as though I am cursed; cursed with an affliction that cannot be healed; cursed to explore the mundane minds of those surrounding me; cursed to know what people honestly think about me; cursed to be burdened with other people's darkest secrets. Other days, I believe that I won the genetic lottery because, after all, who wants to be ordinary?
I loved having a real friend in Donavon, and Mac and Gretchen were going out of their way to make me feel like part of the family, but they weren't my family. They would never be my family. I forced myself to repeat the name of the man who I'd learned ordered the death of my family, over and over; Ian Crane. Then, I would promise myself that one day, I would return the favour.