Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Age: 16+ ( really, the content is mild in nature the age is based off the complexity of writing and the maturity of certain portions of the story.)

Recommendation: Yes. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a creative spin on fantasy that does not contain insta-love and centers around a truly average heroine.

Type: Series, this is book one of The Hayven Series.

Summary: +a heroine that is easy to relate to +a whisper of love to come + frightening antagonist +realistic dialogue -slow at times -cliffhanger +developed characters +Kindle Unlimited +descriptive world building but the author only reveals a little at a time.

Description:

There is no chosen one in this story.

Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.

Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.

Full Review:

When I was approached by the author and asked to review Gifted I was both excited and hesitant. The book description alludes to a heroine that isn’t special or unique, she wasn’t secretly hidden away from her magic and didn’t suddenly develop the gifts her mind had been suppressing, she is just as average as you or me and that really had me intrigued. The idea that a fantasy novel could be centered around a woman that has absolutely nothing supernatural about her, and that only after making the choice to help someone she doesn’t know, does she become spectacular is pretty epic in my book. ( See what I did there with book? ) So to answer the question I know you must have, yes, Avery is the heroine I was hoping for and no, J. A. George doesn’t let the reader down.

Gifted is the story of an average girl, taking a short cut to her destination she doesn’t normally take, and ending up with a little more than she bargained for. The thing I loved about this book is the timeline is somewhat realistic. Things in the real world take time. The author doesn’t just hand you everything all at once. She makes her heroine wait for her future to be revealed to her and the reader is also held hostage in a pseudo waiting game alongside her. I will say things did move a little slow in the beginning, but the story stayed consistent and maintained a slower but steady pace and by the fourth or fifth chapter I enjoyed the flow. There isn’t a huge rush to figure everything out all at once, our heroine takes things as they come.

This book offers a combination of a different and unique fantastical world, an endearing but often frustrating love interest, a girl caught between two worlds, and the alluring idea of an impending collapse of all things light and pure that a group of friends race against time to prevent. Theo, the tall, dark and handsome that unofficially took it upon himself to introduce Avery to all things Hayven, is mysterious but isn’t characterized by constant brooding and self loathing, he is a cute companion to the story line and doesn’t overpower the plot. I dig that. I am really excited about the next book to come out. The world building is easy to follow, I was able to understand how everything worked and could picture how  it was described.  I will definitely be waiting to see what happens between Ava and Theo. I am also interested to see where everyone stands once the lines of good and evil are drawn. I have a feeling some unexpected side switches are going to go down and I am pretty psyched about it.

I feel that if you are a fan of reading fantasy and multi-book series this is a good one to look into. Oh, and it is on the Kindle Unlimited list so that’s cool too.

On Goodreads: Gifted

On Amazon: Gifted

Disclaimer: I obtained a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. My opinions are of course my own and not swayed in any manner.