Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Haven by Kristi Cook


Violet's life has been haunted by the disturbing visions of death and disaster that come to her mind unbidden. After her most devastating vision comes to pass, leaving her orphaned to her careless stepmother, Violet decides to start over at Winterhaven. The boarding school seems to call to her, and she can't resist its pull. Winterhaven is full of secrets -- not the least of which is gorgeous, mysterious Aidan Gray. Unfortunately, Violet doesn't realize that their destinies are intertwined in dangerous, heart-breaking ways until it's far, far too late.

Kristi Cook initially intrigues the reader with a haunted, psychic heroine and a mysterious, apparently mesmerizing hero. Her writing strongly evokes the Gothic setting of Winterhaven and brings Violet's world vividly to life. Unfortunately, the novel quickly descends into predictability. The narrative seems to skim the surface of possibilities, showing only episodes and leaving out the background action that would give the story depth. The promise of developing Violet's mysterious and heretofore uncontrollable abilities is what initially drew me into the novel, but this aspect was mostly abandoned in favor of another typical paranormal romance.

Aidan's secret becomes clear within the first few pages, making his cryptic remarks frustrating and Violet's obliviousness exasperating. They're both angst-ridden and seem to fight in every chapter. It is difficult to buy the rapid romance when they are so hot-and-cold, and the reader isn't shown many of the moments where they actually bond. Their relationship feels imbalanced: Aidan is always so cold, controlling and dispassionate that it is difficult to warm up to him as a character, while Violet is left in tears, blaming herself. I do appreciate that Cook doesn't sugarcoat the realities of Aidan's secret, and adds a few promising elements to the typical lore that I would like to see further developed in future novels.

Rating: 

This novel hits shelves tomorrow! Click here to purchase Haven by Kristi Cook.

Disclosure: I received an advance galley of this novel from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.

7 comments:

Precious said...

Great honest review! It's a little sad that you didn't enjoy it but you did have your reasons. Right now, I'm not so sure about this. maybe if I'll get to read a couple positive reviews, I'll read it.

VC - Lilolia said...

Congrats, I've awarded the Seven Facts Award to your blog. http://lilolia.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-seven-facts-award/

Lauren M said...

Thanks for the review! I've been hearing a bunch of negative stuff about this book on Twitter, but it's good to see a real review. I'm bummed that Haven turned out to be so predictable and angsty! Oh, well.

Kelsey said...

Hmmm really?? I'm so dissapointed and upset that this book wasn't any good! It sounded and looked pretty awesome. Thanks for the honest review though.

-KelseyAnne
http://kelseyannesbookblog.blogspot.com

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hmm, I've been hearing a mix on this one. But not anyone being blown away by it either. Thanks for the great review.

Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

Great honest review!

Midnyte Reader said...

I haven't read this one, but I own it. I liked hearing what didn't work for you. You made some great points.

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