This is a review of:
Haven by A.R. Ivanovich
Book 1 of War of the Princes
a young adult dystopia series
From missing socks to missing people, nothing could remain hidden from seventeen year-old Katelyn Kestrel for long, but after locating a forbidden passage out of her isolated country, Haven, she discovers for the first time that there are some things that should never be found. Outside the safety of her homeland’s borders, Katelyn meets Rune, a young soldier who will die without her immediate aid. She never considered that helping him would lead to her capture. While being held prisoner by the handsome Lord Dylan Axton, she learns that the outside world is rife with war and controlled by people with extraordinary powers. It becomes clear that there was a very good reason the founders of Haven locked their people away from the rest of the world. The depth of her peril reaches a fever pitch when a ruthless Commander wants Katelyn dead. Her only hope is to return to Haven, but can she survive long enough to find her home?
====== Review =====
Haven is definitely a book I did not expect.
I chose this book randomly and without really thinking that much about the summary (I always do that). What I found was a really ok book. No, I wasn’t going to say good book.
Haven is about Katelyn Kestrel, a citizen of Haven Valley, where a person has to have a matching first letter name with their last name, thus, Katelyn Kestrel. Katelyn is bored with the ordinary life of Haven and she longs to be free to roam the broader world beyond the valley borders. She sneaks out one day and finds her heart’s desire, an adventure. However, this adventure proves to be more fatal than she first thought. Naive Katelyn did not think whatever lies beyond Haven could be her demise.
The idea of a hidden cities was really the most intriguing part of the story; it is why I stuck to this book in the first place. Sadly, such interesting settings did not inspire a lot of action. And by action, I mean a worthwhile plot. It was all been-there-read-that. A heroine who is looking for something more but finds she is special and falls in love with a guy who can’t be with her. See where I am going with this? If you’re a person who is looking for such a plot then by all means, go for this one.
The writing was sp beautiful and easy to follow. I actually felt sad when such writing did not delve into more plot and subplots. Especially with how this is a series. The descriptions of the places was really vivid and enchanting.
The characters were another major let down specifically the men, which ironically is 99% of the story. Why? I mean there were three females; Katelyn’s friend, a girl named Lina and March. And those only appeared for a scene or two. I actually felt smothered by too-much male presence. Speaking of the men, they did not strike me as very rounded characters. It’s one thing to be a bad guy but have a reason to be a bad guy at least. Dylan in particular reminded me so much of Warner from Shatter Me but without the angst. He was just a bad guy with a crush on Katelyn and I don’t know why is that. Rune had at least better angst-y backstory with him being Dragoon and can’t have connections with anyone including family. That’s how they rule, I guess!
I’m giving this a solid 3 stars because I expected to throw this after chapter 1 and I ended up wanted to read book 2. There are good things going on for this series. At least it is interesting & I’m looking for something light.