Full disclosure: I’m friends with the author, Jen Sights. We met through NaNoWriMo. But she did not provide the book to me or ask me to review it. I’m doing it because I want to.
Divided is the story of private investigator Elena Ronen. When she’s called on by a mother to find her missing teenage daughter, Courtney, it seems like run-of-the-mill case. It turns out to be anything but. Elana is pulled into a world of witches, covens and dangerous power plays she never knew existed. Along the way, she discovers her own power and meets Vittorio, a handsome fellow witch to whom she’s instantly attracted. As the case progresses, magic, fate, love and human machinations intervene to blur the lines between friend and foe, illusion and reality. Elena is determined to find out the truth and rescue Courtney, but doing so may cost her life and endanger those she holds most dear.
I downloaded Divided because I wanted to support my friend and fellow writer. Never in a million years did I think I’d finish it in a matter of days. I couldn’t put it down and spent way too many nights awake reading when I should have been sleeping. Jen does a great job of turning what could be a conventional urban fantasy plot on its head. She deals with magic in a way I’ve never seen before (and I’ve read LOTS of books with magic in them), plus the powers Jen gives to her witches and the mythology governing them are fresh and believable (I’m still waiting to discover mine). Her storytelling ability is evident in the way she uses the missing girl plot as a way of revealing the bigger story of Elena, Vittorio and the coven they could rule or may kill them both. And if you’re wondering about character development, let me just say this: I’d like Vittorio to leap off the page and kiss me (although sometimes his devotion gets a little cloying for me). I also yelled at the book (out loud) when something bad happened to one character, so Jen definitely got me to care about them.
While the book has some flaws and typos, Jen is a promising author and Divided is an excellent illustration of her talents. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Ravaged (which comes out September 26) and watching her grow both as a writer and in her career.
Have you read Divided? What did you think of it? What similar types of books would you recommend?