Sadie Owens knows she will spend her whole life in Sector Fourteen, but cannot help yearning for more. When she is selected as one of the candidates for The Experimento, she is determined to make the most of the chance and earn passage into Thalassic City. What she uncovers there, however, might have her wishing she never left home.
Sadie’s most prominent trait is her ambition to effect change in her situation and in the world. This well-developed characteristic which initially drives her every decision, is then pitted against other feelings rising to the fore, and makes for interesting character growth and conflict.
It is clear from the outset that the futuristic world is split into rich and poor, however the author drops enough clues on the way for the reader to suspect some characters are not what they appear. The suspense of this secret, and the eventual reveal holds the reader’s interest from early on in the novel.
There are several different settings in this book. While the first setting reminds me of some of my favourite dystopian reads, the settings which follow are unique. Particularly enjoyable is an underwater experiment setting, where the characters are split into several groups and studied. Siobhan Davis did a good job in bringing through tones of discomfort—in the final setting, especially—and the reader couldn’t help but feel a sense there is some bigger secret.
The author naturally creates suspense and it is easy to care for the fate of the characters in her hands. The plot has been explored past face value, and contains complexities many dystopian novels do not have. Miss Davis slowly deals out the answers to the questions she creates, allowing frustration to build to dire levels before putting us out of our misery. We are left still wanting a few answers at the end and immediately look toward the sequel.
Saven Deception is a science fiction, dystopian read for ages fifteen years and up. It possesses elements of mystery and some mild sexual themes. At times, the reader wants to scream at the main character to see what is happening around her, but the final showdown is entirely satisfying. In this genre, the science fiction element can sometimes feel awkward, but this author has done an admiral job of weaving an alien presence into a dystopian setting, and, in fact, this is a major draw to the story by the end.
“Being short sucks almost all the time, but being stuck in the middle of an overcrowded, busting-at-the-seams subway carriage, during one of the hottest heat waves New York has known, sucks butt on a stratospheric level, and has me cursing the genes that stalled my growth at five feet one.”