I picked this up on a bit of a whim - I was out in a bookshop with a friend during the half term and she picked it up but put it back. I had some money burning a hole in my pocket so decided to give it a try, plus, it came very highly recommended from the bookshop owner.
There were elements of this book that I found really enjoyable. There was good dramatic build up during the most tense parts of the book, Sky's backstory kept the book very engaging, and the approach to the Savants was different from what comes in most other books from the same genre. They weren't treated as outsiders like the Duchannes of Beautiful Creatures, and they weren't marvelled at like the Cullen's of Twilight. I enjoyed the fact that they functioned like ordinary people, which stopped the book from being so far flung.
That being said, it was hard to ignore the whole bad-boy-who-actually-turns-out-to-be-your-soulmate-and-will-do-anything-to-protect-you-forbidden-romance-oh-boo-hoo-why-is-my-life-so-hard cliches... at the end of the day, it didn't exactly break the mould of the best selling paranormal teen romance novels. So yeah, it was rather predictable.
But the one thing that bugged me above all else was Sky herself. Maybe I'm being too cynical, but I found myself getting infuriated by her so many a time. She's a cute little wide eyed innocent bambi, that's what her friends refer to her as at school, and I feel like she never really shakes that. She lets everyone else lead her around, never making decisions of her own, simply following Zed or her friends or her parents. I feel like there's a serious lack of Sky standing on her own two feet. Even when she stands up to Zed, she's still just following what Victor's instructing her to do - or maybe that's just my angry feminist side coming out.
But while we're talking of feminism, I'm going to get this out. There are times when the Benedict boys really really infuriated me. I found myself scrawling "SEXIST!!!" in the margins of the book at times. They all seemed to uphold this image that Sky is an innocent little baby who needs looking after because they're the strong powerful males. And all that crap about Saul thinking that he can take care of women, but men should look after themselves? This is the twenty-first century! And don't get me wrong, I don't object to there being sexist characters in books, characters should be flawed otherwise they're two dimensional, but there seemed to be no retribution of this. No one seemed to stand up to or challenge their sexist beliefs, not even Sky's supposedly feminist mother Sally.
Ok, enough, I'm putting my angry feminist Hulk away in a box for a little while. Because looking at that little extract of the sequel, it seems the female lead in that may be a little more empowered, so it's worth a try.
So I'll admit that it wasn't ground breaking as far as books go: there were elements that irritated me, and the book seemed to have a distinct lack of any kind of moral? Though I suppose not every book has to have one. But none of that takes away from the fact that it was a good and enjoyable read, and it's enough to make me want to check out the sequel. I can't guarantee that I'll read the whole series, but I'm definitely willing to give another one a shot.