Review: Maven (Endure #1) for the Maven Blog Tour
Maven Blog Tour
Summary From Goodreads:
How far would you go for love?
Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.
Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.
Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?
Maven was one the quickest and easiest reads I’ve had in quite some time. The characters were engaging, especially the main character Lydia. She has a sharp sense of humor, she’s absolutely brilliant and refuses to take anyone’s crap. Who doesn’t love a kick butt heroine? She does it with her brain power not her feminine wiles or having to resort to physicality, a refreshing change of pace. Her relative innocence when it came to certain things, most notably relationships, was done very well by Huchton and where others might fail at this and end up with either an irritating character or worse one that lacks believability, with Lydia it was both believable and endearing. She was just a great MC overall.
I did like Daniel as well, and if it weren’t for a huge change of character right in the beginning of the book I think I would have enjoyed him just as much as I did with Lydia. While I understand the reasoning behind his massive personality switch, it was still frustrating as a reader to be introduced to a character and have him do a 180 after just a couple chapters. Regardless, the resulting character (post switch) is a strong one. He’s very sweet and devoted to Lydia (though not overly so) and his sense of humor is nearly as sharp as hers. He’s a bit of a goofball which is great as a counterbalance to Lydia’s more serious attitude. You can have fun with Daniel, I just wish that bit in the beginning wasn’t necessary, oh well.
The romance is a bit of a tough one for me. I enjoyed their journey as they slowly worked their way toward loving each other and the romance itself was great. They had great chemistry, the two POVs helped to give depth to both their individual ends of the relationship as well as giving a stronger foundation for it as a whole. Brilliant characters, cute romance, not insta-love, so what’s the problem you ask? There was sex everywhere. This book is labeled New Adult, so I’m not saying don’t include some steamy goodness, but there were quite a few scenes, ok, a lot. Don’t get me wrong, Huchton does a fantastic job with them, the writing is great and I enjoyed them, however I’m not entirely sure the amount was necessary. Sure, make it obvious they are doing that here and there, but doing the entire descriptive scene that many times just felt like overkill. This is a Science Fiction Romance, yes, and maybe I just prefer my sci-fi, even the romantic ones, to be a bit lighter on the naughty goodness, but just a warning. Moving on.
The plot. Oh hai there science, let me give you a big flying-tackle-hug! Seriously though, the detail Huchton uses to describe the work being done and the awesomeness that is marine biochemistry (major nerd moment here I know) was thrilling. The science involved with all the different experiments as well as the great descriptions of the lab gave me major nerd chills. Oh and dolphins! There are dolphins! I think I’m rambling a bit here, ok…back on track now. The scientific elements as well as the mix of technological ones (from Daniel’s side of things) were just fabulous and created a very rich storyline and helped to counter the…romantic entanglements I mentioned earlier. There is just the right amount of action thrown in to keep the reader entertained and I couldn’t get enough.
Unfortunately, there is a “but” to the positive vibes I’ve unleashed upon you. All of this, the romance, the results of the investigations that go on, and even who the bad guy turns out to be was very predictable. The classic “I can’t stand him, well he’s alright and he is really attractive even if he bothers me sometimes, alright I like him but can I trust him, I love him” progression was pretty clear from the onset. There was an obvious hint dropped about one of the characters that, especially for sci-fi readers who love the details and pay attention to the slightest suggestions, tips the reader off that this guy is shady. Is that guy a bad guy? You bet! Even the discoveries made and the investigations that followed were easy to guess. HOWEVER. That didn’t stop me from enjoying every last bit. I DID like Maven, I AM excited for the next book, I’m just hoping for something to shock me, surprise me, give me a twist I don’t expect! You can have a fantastic story, but if in the next one there aren’t a few twists involved (and I don’t mean intertwining bodies) it will be a tad disappointing. Huchton is a fantastic writer, I hope her imaginations run wild in the next piece.
So! Final thoughts. Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Was the blending of science and technology fascinating? Absolutely. Were there a few too many intimate scenes and dropped hints regarding the plot? Yes on both accounts. Do I recommend it? Heck ya! Sci-fi readers this book has plenty you’ll enjoy. Romance lovers will adore the coupling of Lydia and Daniel. Those with a passion for passion (I couldn’t help myself) will get a thrill out of some very well executed and steamy scenes. Get this book, it’s a fast read and there is something in it for everyone. Thanks for reading!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #100/200