“A man emerged from under one of the gates, and a cacophony of cheers shattered the silence. He took a few steps into the arena and stopped to watch the shouting spectators above him on every side.”
A mixture of X-Men and Gladiator, Gifted is set in a world where gifted individuals must hide their powers from those around them lest they be swept away by the king’s guards and thrown into the gifted duels. Voima, a regular, and her twin brother Vendd, a gifted, find themselves swept into this world where they fight for their lives, but more importantly, the freedom of a whole class of people.
Stone has written a well-paced and fairly interesting YA fantasy story in Gifted. Where things fell flat for me were in the writing style and character development. I found the writing tepid and uninteresting, relying far more on telling me a sequence of events than describing a world to me.The dialogue was decidedly lackluster and often times unbelievable or stilted.
The main character, Voima, is strong and efficient at first, but then derailed by what can only be described as heart flutters when a man shows her some interest.
““You’re the kindest lady I’ve ever met.” Voima’s skin tingled at the word lady. No one had ever called her a lady before.”
Blushing and stammering ensue, and this after she had just pulled off a daring rescue. Come on, woman! She gets it back together by the end…sort of, but she was incredibly unsatisfying as a female lead. Her twin brother had one characteristic. He was rather stoic while sitting in the king’s dungeon. I’m having a hard time even remembering the other character’s names at this point, and it’s only been a couple of days since I finished this. That says a lot to me.
Unfortunately, the coolness of people’s powers was not enough to make me really enjoy this one. And that ending. Man. Don’t worry guys, we’re all chums by the finish. Not realistic. All it was missing was a drum circle or a rousing round of Kumbaya.
Maybe middle grade or high school students would enjoy this. It’s certainly an easy read.
Actual rating = 2.5 coffee cups.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.