Friday, January 6, 2012

Volition by Shawn Kirsten Maravel

Shawn Kirsten Maravel

Grade: B-

Description from
Charlotte Rush would be the first to admit that her life is no rollercoaster ride. Her days are laced with ordinary and at times boring monotony. But with a heart that finds itself frequently broken she's happy to say that she's content. 

When her friends convince her to spend the night out at a club to let loose and maybe even find a guy, she finally admits that her life might be missing something. 

No sooner does she let go of her inhibitions does she find herself waking up in a dark hotel room in the presence of Joel, a man who carries mystery in his eyes and familiarity in his smile. Against reason Charlotte decides to trust him based solely on one thing. Somehow, she is sure that she knows him. 

In a race against time to find answers and to solve the crime committed against her Charlotte finds herself falling for him. However, with nothing but mystery surrounding him she can't even be sure that he's the hero at all. While knowing all of the right things to say he still manages to tell her nothing. As a battle is waged over the innocence of her cryptic stranger, Charlotte discovers that much greater danger awaits her. And the mysteries behind who and what Joel is will lead Charlotte to discover that heaven and earth are not so far apart.

My thoughts on the book:
This book was pretty good, and I will be reading Severance, but there were a few negative things that stood out to me. First of all, Maravel gives way too much detail about, well, everything, from Charlotte's daily life to the snow on the ground. She just over does it, and it pulled me out of the story a lot. Because of the over-describing, the novel moved slowly up until the end. The ending, however, was intense. 

Charlotte is a bit of a boring character. She reminded me of myself, just more normal, and I know I'm boring. I would have liked to see more flair in her personality, but she may grow as the series progresses. Joel was all right, but he didn't exactly blow me away. Charlotte's friends and co-workers were kind of strange. A lot of the interactions in this novel didn't fit in the normal section of the bell curve of normal behavior. And a lot of the interactions and reactions didn't seem believable to me. That also took away from the story. When Charlotte, who has been drugged, instantly trusts Joel, whom she woke up next to the morning after, it is just strange. I wouldn't have trusted him; I would have kicked him in his business and ran out the door to call the police. Especially given Charlotte's history with men, it just didn't click for me. It was like that with many of the interactions and reactions, but in an effort not to spoil the novel, I won't go into further detail. 

Another thing that, in my opinion, could have been improved upon is the whole mystery/adventure aspect of the book. They're trying to find out who drugged Charlotte and why. That's all fine and good, but it's an incredibly mundane "adventure" for a paranormal book. Maybe I've been spoiled, but I prefer the save the world, good vs. evil battles that I've seen in so many paranormal and fantasy novels. It's just more intense, and I feel like more is at stake. Since I only had lukewarm feelings for Charlotte, I didn't really care who drugged her or why. Maybe if the entire planet had been at risk, I would have cared more. Maybe not. 

All of that being said, Maravel's writing is excellent, and she's onto a good idea with this series. The ending was exciting and interesting, and once things started picking up, I couldn't put the book down. Also,  since University of Michigan is one of the graduate schools I'm applying to, that made me have at least a bit of a connection with Charlotte. It's not that this book is bad. It's actually quite good, especially for a first novel, but from the glowing reviews I'd read about the novel, I just expected more. Because of the hype, I was disappointed. If I had gone into this book without any idea about what anyone else thought, I probably would have given it a higher grade. I do recommend it to anyone who's a fan of paranormal mysteries, but I'd have to warn you to stay away from the reviews before reading this book. Over all, well done, Shawn. 

Want to try out Volition for yourself? Print Kindle E-book

Barnes and Noble: Print


  1. Great review. I'm not one for tons of details either. I like to be able to use my own imagination.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm following you now, too.

  2. Thanks! Yea, it's hard for me to say focused when there are a ton of details.

    Thanks for the follow! :D


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