Saturday, March 8, 2008

Driven Review

Book: Driven
Author: Eve Kenin
Category: Futuristic
Grade: B+

Raina Bowen knows she can handle herself just fine against anything the harsh Northern Waste throws at her. Until it throws her an enigmatic stranger called Wizard. First, she has to haul him out of a brawl he can't hope to win. And next, her libido is shooting into overdrive at the feel of his hard body pressed against hers on the back of her snowscooter. But there's something not quite right about this guy. Before she can strip bare Wizard's secrets, they're lured into a race for their lives, battling rival truckers, ice pirates...and a merciless maniac with a very personal vendetta.

When I began reading Driven I was immediately sucked in to the futuristic atmosphere. The story took off at a running pace and never slowed down.

Raina Bowen is used to being a loner and she likes it just fine. The little female, big rig driver even thinks that being alone is better than having people in her life. In her experience, people she gets close to end up getting hurt or turning on her and as far as Raina is concerned, the less attachments, the better. But Raina does have one attachment, a sister that she recently found out about. Wanting to win a cash prize so that she can ensure her little sister stays taken care of, Raina enters a contest to race across the longest stretch of highway in the world: The ICW or Intercontinental Worldwide.

All Raina needs is a pass that will allow her to bypass the Jansen trucks that basically run the ICW. The Jansen drivers are big bully's that feel like they own the ICW. Raina knows that without the pass she has no chance at a win. Luckily, there is a pass out there with Raina's name on it.

Wizard is the man with the pass that Raina has been guaranteed, but before she can get the transaction over with, Wizard gets into trouble with the Jansen drivers. Raina ends up dragging herself into his drama and from there, chaos ensues.

This story hit the ground running and never let go. The pace was fast and entertaining. The characters were very likeable.

Raina is a do it herself, no strings attached, need no one type of girl. Her past experiences have made her that way. While many heroines that I've read with these type of characteristics tend to aggravate me with their constant "need no man" mantra, I didn't find myself being bothered by Raina. I understood why she was the way she was and I enjoyed seeing her evolve into the woman she became.

I do wish that Wizard would have gotten more POV. His perspective was short lived, giving us limited insight to his thoughts. This is where the story read almost like a first person book to me and caused my grade to slip a bit. I guess I like to know what's happening inside the brains of both of the lead characters, more than just one of them.

Even though the tone of Driven is serious, being that the Raina and Wizard are in constant danger, there were moments of comic relief; mainly from Wizard. I found much of what he said to be funny. He was so clueless when it came to emotions and when he tried his hand at jokes or simple sentiment it proved to be hilarious. I really wish there was more of his view point throughout the story.

Overall, Driven was a great book. Kenin's descriptions and explanations of futuristic devices were thorough, but not overdrawn. I never felt lost which could easily happen with a story based in the future, I appreciated this greatly. Grade B+


Kenin also has a second book coming out soon, Hidden, will follow Wizard's younger sister, Tatiana. We learned a little about her in Driven and now I'm eager to read her story. Here is the synopsis:

Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody's mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one badass chick, all right. Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can't be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too-including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind.


  1. Ahh! So you found time to finish it *g*. It is very good isn't it? I thought Raina was a great heroine too. And I loved Wizard. He was so strong yet had such a vulnerable side to him too. I'm also really looking forward to the next one.

  2. Like Kristie, I'm glad that you've finished it and liked it. :)

    I found that I liked Wizard a tad more than Raina. For a half-machine, he was a great character.

    As for the sequel, I was expecting Yuriko's story, not Tatiana's! Tatiana didn't really capture my interest in Driven, so I'm hoping Kenin will make her great and prove me wrong. :)

  3. Yes, I finally finished it.

    Jace, I liked Wizard a lot, and yes, even more than Raina. That's why I was upset about his lack of perspective. I found him to be the more interesting character of the two of them, yet he had the more limited POV.

    About Tatiana over Yuriko. I think that Kenin wants to show the other side of the siblings, the side that is still trapped We already have some insight to Yuriko's side of things, Kenin probably wanted to show us Tatiana's before she finished Yuriko off(?) I'm actually looking forward to seeing how things are where Tatiana is being held.

    It also seemed to me that Yuriko would end up with Trey. He seemed to be harboring feelings for her.

  4. Hmmm ... your thoughts on Yuriko and Tatiana make sense. *grin* It was precisely because of the Yuriko and Trey angle that I was looking forward to Yuriko's story. I couldn't wait to see how things would develop between them. Looks like I'd have to wait a little longer.

    BTW, I've tagged you for a meme ... courtesy of Kristie. LOL Check it out here.

  5. Nice review!
    I was expecting Yuriko's book next, too... with Trey as the romantic interest. But now I'm thinking that storyline is too straightforward. We know very little about Tatiana, so there is more opportunity for Kenin to really surprise us. And maybe during the course of Hidden's storyline, there will be a zinger on the Yuriko-Trey relationship so that they will have to really work at their HEA in the book following. If they are even meant to be together. Eh. But what the frig do I know? LOL

  6. Hi Christine! Thanks for stopping by.

    "We know very little about Tatiana, so there is more opportunity for Kenin to really surprise us."

    I completely agree. That is probably why Kenin went with Tatiana over Yuriko.

    And you know, maybe Tatiana's book has to come first for reason's unknown to us. Event's in her book might aid in introducing Yuriko's in some way...

    Just my thoughts.