Haven (TWP #1) by A.R. Ivanovich | Rating: ★★★☆☆
“Forget the crumbled ruins of a broken yesterday.”
As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
I have a lot of conflicting emotions about Haven. I enjoyed it and read it quite quickly, though it did have flaws in it, I will say that first. Its flaws aren’t always definite, though, and I do intend on reading the remaining sequels because it’s quite captivating in spite of its weaker point.
Haven is the sort of novel that readers can devour in one or two sittings and it is quite addicting. In a more descriptive way, I have to admit that Haven is dark and luckily it has a cast of characters that are pretty great. When I think of what I’d read in Haven, I think of a mysterious world and darkness and a group of likable characters.
I think that A.R. Ivanovich’s writing is excellent and the world she’s built for readers is unique and very fascinating. A.R.’s genres mix up in the book which keeps things fresh and often interesting; readers staying on their toes for the duration of it.
Plus, her writing is so descriptive that it’s easy to see our settings. It has a lot of potential to continue with the world building and will give readers a taste of what is to come in future installments. I found it to be very easy to envision parts of Katelyn’s home and the world outside of it.
A flaw in the creation of this fictional world?
Sometimes it felt like something was missing in all its history but this is something that can be further developed in the next books, so I’m willing to look over it for the time being since I will be continuing on with the other books and as long as it gets explained further, I’ll be fine.
And then I found myself scoffing at a lot of things in the beginning and felt a little useless during parts. Which was very, very frustrating but not completely intolerable. It started off with a lot of “woe is me!” and “my peers are awful!” which is equal parts realistic and obnoxious.
Katelyn’s complaints and reasoning for leaving home won’t be for everybody. Nor will her so called “damsel in distress” traits. I personally do not have a problem with that and find it silly that readers can’t often figure out that sometimes, depending on the person or character, their strength isn’t always in their actions and sometimes you do need help.
Katelyn is strong as hell but not yet an action packed heroine and may never be. Needing help doesn’t make a person useless, it makes them different from other types of narrators. I don’t see how some can’t get that?
She has weakness but a person’s weakness doesn’t define them and sometimes things take a while to happen. That’s what makes a character human and ultimately what gets her ass into to gear during the last few chapters. Plus, I think readers often forget when scrolling through novels like this that the characters are only teenagers.
I felt like we could have done without a lot of Katelyn’s earlier scenes because it triggered things, true, but it was relatively out of place to what else is a fantastic introduction to a series. I understand her being hurt by her peers words, by the way her ex-boyfriend treated her, but I found it sort of silly that she would leave her life behind just like that.
At least we got to know some bits of her friends, family, peers and home. And I’m confident we will see more of them by the next book. I loved her interactions with her friends and how she saw how concerned they were when she finally makes it back home.
I thought it was very interesting learning about the world. I feel it’s very unique and I want to learn more on why Katelyn’s people left (well, we know why but I mean in more detail) and what Lurcher’s are and how the Dragoon’s came to be. It’s all very intense and intriguing that I hope it becomes more and more developed over the course of four books.
Katelyn’s powers are very interesting as well and I hope to see her exploring them as our stories go. I think that the entire concept of these powers, these people with silver eyes and abilities they don’t know yet, is very cool and while it will surely lead to danger in the coming books, I’m into seeing it all explored.
I didn’t like the whole instalove thing she had going on with Rune. I don’t dislike him; don’t get me wrong–their scenes are pleasant and cute and they don’t take away from the plots. But I feel as though it was a bit weird they grew to feel so strongly in such a short amount of time because frankly, they don’t know much about each other. That being said, sometimes love isn’t at all predictable and can hit you head on without really knowing someone.
Dylan, who appears to be both her captor and “friend”, is a character I have mixed feelings on. He is very one dimensional and obviously his betrayal was a douchebag move. Beyond it, really, and I felt like he served nothing massive to the plot even though he was almost always around.
I wanted to kill him in the later chapters when he pulled the rug out from under Katelyn, so to speak, because he really had her fooled and it was heartbreaking to see. Dylan is selfish and all around gross. I’m not sure he is alive. I’m not sure if he is alive if he could ever be redeemable.
Our villains are awesome though in that disturbing way only villains can be. I won’t spoil it, but one of the big bad’s in this installment is so creepy I felt my skin crawl whenever he came into a chapter. Especially during a certain fight scene. Oh, God. I mean it: GOOD GRAVITY IT WAS SCARY.
Haven is overall an entertaining read for fans of fantasy, steampunk and so on; a solid introduction to an upcoming series. It has a little something for everyone and if you can overlook some of the more minor flaws, it’s a delightful and thrilling read. Once published independently, readers can enjoy a new edition of four books through Alloy Entertainment.