Monday, June 16, 2008

Kristie and Katie Discuss Eve Kenin's Hidden

Kristie and I were such big fans of Eve Kenin's first release, Driven, that we couldn't wait for the sequel, Hidden, to come out. And, we were also very lucky to receive advanced reading copies. Without further ado, we welcome you to read out reviews and another wonderful chat discussion!

Katie(babs) Thoughts:
Eve Kenin, who is also known for writing gothic historical romance under the name Eve Silver, made quite a splash last year with her post-apocalyptic hit, Driven. It was a fast paced, on the edge of your seat thriller with a hero and heroine we all rooted for. I can’t help but compare Driven to the cult classic Mad Max movies, and I must give Dorchester Publishing a hand for coming up with the Shomi line that allows for very “out of the box” books like Kenin’s.

When I heard Eve was writing a sequel about Wizard’s sister Tatiana, who was talked about but in Driven but did not make an appearance, I made sure to put Hidden down on the list of must read books this year. The question I had was if Hidden would be just as great as her first?

It is 2093 in the Northern Waste, a setting known all to well to those that have read Driven. (I know I keep bring up Driven, but honestly in order to understand and get the feel for Eve’s storytelling, you really should read Driven first. BREAK OUT THE CHECKBOOKS! *G*)

There is a lone woman who goes by the name of Tatiana. She survives by retrieving stolen items for people. She is really quite good at what she does, but Tatiana is not normal. She is a very special woman who has an amazing genetic makeup where she can regenerate and survive from the harsh weather or even death. Tatiana also can read people’s thoughts. Actually, this is a pretty handy thing to have when you know someone is out to kill you. Tatiana has suffered horribly because she was imprisoned by a crazed scientist along with her sister and brother who were to be used as secret weapons in order to take over the world. She was able to escape after years of torture and is barely making a life for herself. Tatiana wants revenge against Gavin Ward, the scientist who used her as a human guinea pig. Also, she is searching for Ward’s right hand man who goes by the name of Tolliver. She will find Tolliver and make him tell her where Ward is. Then she will kill them both, making sure they suffer the same way they made her suffer.

Tatiana is not the type of woman who can remain hidden and because of that she catches the eye of Tristan, who is also a scientist roaming the frigid tundra. He is a man on a mission to stop a deadly virus from taking over the world. One thing leads to another and he comes in contact with Tatiana and unfortunately she catches this virus. Because Tristan has no clue that Tatiana is immune because of her genetics, he wants to help save her, partly over his guilt for bringing this virus into the world. Since Tatiana needs to lie low for awhile, she goes with Tristan and he introduces her to a world she is so unfamiliar with.

During this time they become close and she begins to have feelings for Tristan, and also the people he protects in their small commune. There is a point in Hidden where Tatiana has an epiphany of sorts because Tristan sees her as a person and not just a woman:

“She froze, her hands on the rock, her heart flipping over. She wanted that. Wanted him to see her as an equal. A partner. Not as a woman. And at the same time, she wanted him to see her as only that, a woman.”

For the first time in her life, Tatiana is not a means for those evil corrupt individuals to get what they want. She is special, a person who is able to be loved by another. But even as Tatiana and Tristan become “special friends”, Ward is on their heels. Tristan also has a major secret that will ruin everything he has accomplished with Tatiana and is so horrible in his mind because he feels he is responsible for the deaths of so many.

So, the question I asked at the beginning? You better bet your booty that Hidden is just as good as Driven. I am all for a heroine who kicks some major ass and doesn’t even care about their names. Tatiana is truly an unique and amazing character who you will feel such compassion for because of what she has gone through because of the uber-villain Ward. Tristan also adds to the story because he has some quirks like Tatiana does and when you find out who he is, his identity leads to some morale questions, perhaps on the reader’s part.

Everything in Hidden is about the will to live and the survival of the fittest. Death, murder and destruction are scattered throughout this complex world Eve Kenin has invented. If you don’t have her on your author’s to be read list, you are missing out on an author who is re-inventing a genre and writing such excellent books that I can not compare with any other being published today.

**If only Wizard had more of an appearance… perhaps Eve should give us a nice short story about Raina and Wizard and how those two wacky kids are doing… *HINT HINT*

4 out of 5 stars

Kristie(J)'s Thoughts:
I loved Driven, the first book by Eve Kenin aka Eve Silver. In fact I was wowed by it. It was the first book I’d read in the Shomi line and the first book in what could be considered Urban Romance. I’d been holding off reading it for a while figuring I wouldn’t like it, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

So when I got an ARC of the next book in the series, Hidden, I was ecstatic though part of me wondered whether I would be as impressed with it as I was with Driven.

I was.

I took this book to work to read and I was late back from breaks. I was late back from lunch. I silently groaned when someone came and sat next to me as I was reading, since I figure it’s bad form to be reading while someone is talking to you and I reluctantly tucked it back in my purse until I had another chance to pick up where I had left off.

Hidden is the story of Tatiana. For those who had the good fortune to read Driven, Tatiana was the youngest of the three siblings and seemingly the most helpless. Well not anymore!! She has turned into one kick ass heroine who can take care of herself just fine thank you. She has become like this the hard way. Tortured endlessly as when she was younger, she has quite a few super powers of her own now. I tell you, I like these kinds of heroines. Tatiana has been alone for most of her adult life and she is very afraid of love. She’s not even sure what it is.

Tristan, the hero of the book is very mysterious in his own right and we only get to know him in bits and pieces. He is one very intriguing hero and when we finally do learn his lonely past, we get a chance to see how good he and Tatiana are together. He eventually breaks through the walls Tatiana has raised to protect herself and they are very tender together.

Here is an example of the depth of their love:
For a long while she stared at him, feeling the emotion pulsing from him in waves. And suddenly she understood.
He did love her. Truly loved her. Enough to kill for her. Enough to die for her. Enough to walk away from this if she asked him.

And if you thought the villain in Driven was evil – he’s lightweight compared to the villain Gavin Ward. He is one chilling bad guy – one of the most chilling I’ve read.

If there was one thing I might have liked to have seen, that would be more of Wizard and Raina from Driven. They only appear very briefly in this book. I don’t know if she has a book planned for Yuriko. I hope so. And I hope I get to read it early, because reading it I will be doing!

I have a number of Eve Silver books in the TBR pile. I really need to get to them. Because Even Kenin writes Very Good Books.

Driven was one of my favourite books of 2007. Hidden is one of my favourite books of 2008.
Grade 4.5 out of 5

The Discussion:
KristieJ: After reading your review and you reading mine, it seems as if we are in agreement on this book
KatieBabs: Great minds think alike!
KristieJ: And our minds seem to be in cinque/sinque - how do you spell that word anyway?
KatieBabs: sync
KristieJ: sync - that's how! heh heh
KatieBabs: psych!
KristieJ: see? So - what did you think of Tatiana’s transformation from book 1 and 2?
KatieBabs: Tatiana was such a lonely soul. She felt she was not worth anything. Tristan made her a person and than a woman
KristieJ: She was a lonely soul wasn't she? After her brother and sister left, there was no one for her. I think the author really got that across - how lonely they both were
KatieBabs: She also thought she was weak but she was so strong, even more so than Raina in Driven, IMO
KristieJ: Oh I agree. Raina had a rotten childhood, but she didn't endure nearly the horrible things that Tatiana did
KatieBabs: What that psycho Ward did to her? OMG
KristieJ: I KNOW!!! Wasn't he one scary evil dude? I thought the villain in Driven was bad, but this guy was ever so much worse!!
KatieBabs: I agree on that point. The villain in Driven was all about greed, whereas ward was a sick mo fo who wanted to rule the world.
KristieJ: I like that how strong she writes her heroines - and she does write them strong, Raina was one tough cookie and so was Tatiana, although she seemed more vulnerable, the author also writes great heroes for her heroines. What did you think of Tristan and how would you compare him to Wizard?
KatieBabs: Wizard was so unique in his thinking and actions, where as Tristan was more at ease with himself, maybe because he had a different upbringing than Wizard? I also liked how Tristan brought up things about his past we are so familiar with. And Tristan's love for his family, and Tatiana's love for her siblings were the same
KristieJ: yep I agree - the road hockey *g*. Wizard was more like Tatiana in his uniqueness - duh - being as they were raised together. And I loved how underneath all his toughness and protectiveness of Tatiana, he was just a geeky scientist at heart
KatieBabs: Ah yes, sexy geeky scientists
KristieJ: You gotta love those alpha, geeky scientist types don't you? *chuckle*
KatieBabs: Tristan was definitely one of them. Plus he can protect himself and others so well. What was your opinion about the sensuality in the novel?
KristieJ: Hmmm - well, I read it a while ago and I know you didn't read it that long ago, but from what I remember - keep in mind the brain cells aren't quite as active as they were when I was in my 20's, I thought it very good. I wouldn't have minded it being a bit steamier - more brilliant, geeky scientist sex. But what there was, I liked. What about you?
KatieBabs: I think the sexual tension was very believable and when Tristan and Tatiana were finally together, it was a very peaceful and loving moment. They for once were calm
KristieJ: He was so tender with her wasn't he? I really liked that, especially because the setting and people are so harsh and deadly. And if I remember, she wasn't quite sure about the enjoyment aspect of sex before she met Tristan. She had tried it - but didn't really 'get' it
KatieBabs: I like that also. She wasn't a naive virgin who didn't know was a penis was
KristieJ: or what it's used for
KatieBabs: or his little friends on the side. LOL
KristieJ: So - in reading your review, it looks like we were both disappointed in one aspect of the book. This is what kept it from getting a five from me. I think your last sentence says it all
KatieBabs: In my review?
KristieJ: I think we were both disappointed we didn't get to see more of Wizard and company
KatieBabs: oh this one: **If only Wizard had made more of an appearance… perhaps Eve should give us a nice short story about Raina and Wizard and how those two wacky kids are doing
KristieJ: yep - that sentence *g*
KatieBabs: I think most fans of Driven and Hidden wouldn't mind perhaps a short story in an anthology per say about Wizard and Raina...
KristieJ: I wonder if she has something planned for Yuriko?
KatieBabs: Hopefully Eve will. Yuriko is still very much an enigma.
KristieJ: Have you ever seen the Mad Max movies and did these remind you of those movies? They both did me - not so much in the character of Max, but of the desolation of the world
KatieBabs: Oh yes, I have see all the Mad Max movies, which Eve's series is so comparable to. A great comparison!
KristieJ: And the way the find all the scrap they can and use it for all kinds of things. And that band that helped Tatiana and Tristan near the end - they were really Mad Max type characters. Because I've seen the movies, I could picture them so easily in my mind when I was reading about them
KatieBabs: Where is Tina Turner when you need her? We need a theme song for Hidden
KristieJ: LOL - I could almost hear her singing in the background
KatieBabs: yes! I love that song
**We are watching You Tube**
KatieBabs: Mel looks so hot
KristieJ: Mel was hot in his day!! You should see him in The Bounty. Have you seen The Bounty? He is TO DIE FOR
KatieBabs: oh yes drool
KristieJ: So - let's finish - you gave this one a 4 out of 5 and I gave it a 4.5 out of 5. Looks like it get's a thumbs up from both of us
KatieBabs: thumbs up definitely
KristieJ: She has another winner in Hidden I'd say
KatieBabs: She is 2 for 2!
KristieJ: Yes she is! I'm very impressed with these two and hope other readers are too!
KatieBabs: If you love Sci-Fi or futuristic novels, you will not be disappointed in the least
KristieJ: LOL - I seem to be in Sci Fi mode lately
KristieJ: then you'd best check out the Susan Grant book too then *g*

KatieBabs: me too. What does that say about us? Head in the stars!
KristieJ: We are star struck?
KristieJ: there are no guys in this time so we have to look to the future for mens?
KatieBabs: well except Hardy from Blue Eyed Devil
KristieJ: Roarke's from the future though
KatieBabs: I know! *pout*

Be on the look out for Hidden to be published in July!
**I do believe this calls for some "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner**


KT Grant said...

I have watched this video 3 times since I posted this.

Kristie (J) said...

I love this video and this song!

Shaymless Aymless said...

Love the music, thanks. And yes I've put the books on wish list for next month's book purchases, at this rate all my book money will be gone by the 1st of July! LOL

Heather Massey said...

This post just nudged Ms. Kenin up in my TBR pile. I've only read the excerpt in DRIVEN, but I was very impressed. Gritty and edgy.

Kristie (J) said...

Oh Heather - you do need to read Driven. As a fellow fan of SciFi romance, I think these books might be right up your alley.

Aymless: you should have seen how excited Katie was last night when she found the video. It seemed to fit in so well with what we were talking about *g*

Brie said...

Loved Driven. Wizard stole my heart. I stopped halfway through Hidden, guess I wasn't in the mood for a futuristic tale. I'll have to pick it back up soon. Great review, ladies!

little alys said...

Ugh, more kb and kj crack. My wallet hurts...wait, no it doesn't. Shopping therapy. :D

Ana said...

OK you win! I will bump Driven to the top of my TBR pile!

: )

Jace said...

Katie, Kristie...

Great job, ladies. :)

I really liked Tatiana and Tristan. Big plus - nice names. *grin* For me to like a story, I need to first like the leads.

Don't you just love the whale moment? That was so beautifully done. :)

Kristie (J) said...

Jace: Oh yes - saving the whales. I really did like that part and it showed such a glimpse of who Tatiana was that she was so moved by their plight and Tristan that he saved them.

Ana: I'm thinking this is one both you and Thea would enjoy. The two of you should do the same thing!! It's as much fun reading duo reviews/discussions as it is to do them *g*.

LA: book shopping is wonderful therapy when depressed. Or not depressed. Or whenever :)

Brie: I find that - you have to be in the right mood to read books - otherwise then enjoyment just isn't as high as it can be. Hopefully you will be in the mood for this one again because as much as Wizard steals our hearts in Driven, Tatiana does the same in Hidden, as does Tristan when we get to know more about him over the course of the book.

Kati said...

*MK turns green...AGAIN*

I can't wait to read this book! I adored Driven, and like Kristie, it was in my top 10 reads from last year!

Great review ladies!

PS - Did y'all tell Eve you were doing this? She'd love to read your reactions, I'm sure.

KT Grant said...

MK: Eve knowns, and we will be posting an interview with her also :D
Kristie and I have some much fun on AIM, especially when we discuss our reviews. We hope to do more in the future.

Kristie (J) said...

"Kristie and I have some much fun on AIM, especially when we discuss our reviews. We hope to do more in the future."

Except when we get distracted and have to go to sidebar *laughing* which means it doesn't necesarrily get into the post. Like we got pretty distracted by a young Verh Hot Mel Gibson in The Bounty. Of course that's almost the most fun - except when she starts taunting me about Robin Hood - and telling my how good it is. Then I go deaf.

Unknown said...

I haven’t read any of her books yet. I think I need to add Driven to my next list of books to buy. Hey look my list now has four titles which means it’s over $25 and that means free shipping. OK I’m off to B&N website :o)

Sarai said...

WOW what a great review. You 2 are so much fun to watch and talk to. I have got to get internet so I can chat again!!!

Thea said...

Kristie, Katie you guys are too cute :) I loved this review!

Driven and Hidden both sound awesome. I'll have to pick up Driven on my next trip to the bookstore!

Oh, and Mad Max is freaking awesome--ESPECIALLY Beyond Thunderdome. Great vid :) Now I'm off to youtube 'California Love' ;)

ReneeW said...

Looks like my review agreed with you two :) Now I'm looking forward to the next book.

Kristie (J) said...

Renee: I'm always amazed at how close we are in tastes. I don't think there has been a book yet that we've disagreed on - I like that!

Thea: Well - if you're a Mad Max fan, I can pretty much guarantee that you will love these two books. Think many of the same kinds of chase scenes except on ice rather than on a desert - and it gives a real good feel for them.

Sarai: Yeah for having internet back. I'm off on vacation next week - out of town - and I'm freaking that I won't have as good as access as I normally do. And then at the end of August a girl from work and I are headed up to a cottage for a week. While I'll have LOTS of time for reading - for a WEEK I will be completely away from the internet. AAAACCCCCKKKK!!!

Leann - both these books are incredible - totally different from anything I'm used to reading - and I love it!!