Early Christmas – day one – Driven

First, here’s a special speed blog by Eve Kenin:

DRIVEN was inspired by a confluence of ideas. Joss Whedon’s amazing series, Firefly, with its vicious Reavers, do-what-needs-to-be-done captain, and cast of quirky and fascinating characters was part of my inspiration. Also, at the time, I was just getting into Manga and Anime (Trigun, Full Metal Panic, Hellsing, GTO, Ruruni Kenshin… to name a few). These stories drove home the point that a little bit of humor can go a long way in a dark tale. The element of the frigid environment came from my own personal dislike of the cold. I’m certain there are other ingredients that tipped into the brew boiling in the cauldron of my imagination, but I can’t think of them off-hand. I will say that DRIVEN was a blast to write.

Wow, so she got her inspiration at least partially from Firefly? Is there anything Joss Whedon can’t do? I wish the man would get a TV series back on the air, because I so need something else to watch religiously. For me, the Manga / Anime influence was less readily discernible, despite the cover, but that might be because I’m not as familiar with them. Anyhow, let’s talk a bit more about DRIVEN.

You want my take on it?

Holy crap, this was good. You know how JR Ward has the knack for writing a strong, charismatic male with just enough emotional trauma to make him intense and interesting? Eve Kenin has that gift too. But what’s more (and better!) — she has the knack for writing strong heroines as well, one who is her own person: smart, tough and capable. You know how sometimes, you half don’t understand why the uber-awesome hero is interested in that damp dishrag of a woman? Not so in DRIVEN.

This book was addictive. I literally couldn’t put it down. I carried it around the house with me, read it while I cooked dinner, while I was supposed to be watching TV with the family, and then took it upstairs to bed, where I read it nonstop until I finished it. DRIVEN gets an A++ from me. It has everything — a heart-wrenching love story, great characterization, lovely writing, and an utterly kickass action-driven plot.

I can’t guarantee Eve will stop by because she’s utterly slammed with deadlines, but if you have questions about the book or her work, feel free to post them here. Someone mentioned on my Friday post that she wants to know what happened to Wizard’s sister. I’m wondering about both his sisters, myself. I’d love for her to revisit this world, that’s for sure.

Wizard was a perfect hero, as far as I was concerned, and I thought she did a brilliant job of conveying his nature without hitting people over the head with it. As for Raina, I was so happy to find a heroine who could seriously kick ass and take names. And talk about an action driven plot…

Have you guys read this? What did you think?

As I said on Friday, we’ll be talking about books all week. Participation will be rewarded.

Posted in contest, early christmas

33 Responses to Early Christmas – day one – Driven

  1. CrystalGB says:

    I have not read Driven but I have heard that it is awesome.

  2. Sweet says:

    I really enjoyed Driven. At a time when I’m kinda getting burned out on series books.(they’re all I seem to read now) I found myself wanting more of these characters and more of their world. It just had a frozen Mad Max feel that I really loved.

    From my post on Friday, I don’t know how I could have forgotten about his other sister. There is totally something going on with her and Trey. They both really intrigue me and I want to know their back stories like yesterday.

  3. Ann Aguirre says:

    For me, Driven was perfect. Somewhere else, I remember someone making fun of the name “Wizard” for a hero, but once you read the book it makes perfect sense. I’m more tired of action-hero style names without a reason behind them. Rogan, Stone, Deke… they sound like they’re straight out of a Mack Bolan novel.

    I’d rank Driven up there with Nalini Singh’s Psy / Changeling novels. From what I hear, we can expect another Eve Kenin novel in 2008, but I don’t have confirmation whether there it will be set in this world. Anyone know?

  4. Angela/SciFiChick says:

    Sounds like a fun story. But unfortunately, the manga thing is too much of a turn-off for me.

  5. Ann Aguirre says:

    It’s -really- not like that, Angela. I don’t like anime or manga much myself, but I loved this book. The cover was sort of a turnoff too, but I read enough glowing reviews to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did.

  6. Wendy says:

    I’ve heard great things about this book but at first I thought it was Manga-ish too and I really don’t like that but I’m glad to hear it’s not -really- (hehe)like that.

    I agree with you, Ann, the cover was really a turn-off, no wonder I thought it was Manga! I really wish they had used a diferent one but oh well, apparently the book is awesome and I want to read it! :)

  7. Ann Aguirre says:

    Wendy, you should definitely give it a chance. If you like sci-fi romance at all, then I bet you’ll love this. It’s the perfect blend of love story and action.

    I find that standard romances are a little slow for my tastes these days; I’m always looking for something sexy cross-genre. This was perfect for me.

  8. Wendy says:

    I love sci-fi romance so I’ll definitely give it a chance.

    And I know what you mean – lately I’ve been looking for a book with a bit more “hmph!” to it..if that makes any sense at all, lol.

  9. Ann Aguirre says:

    Definitely! I want the love story, and I want the sexy, but I want it in a fast-paced framework. Ordinarily, I’d say that suspense might be a good match, but romantic suspense often has them doing it in the dirt while bullets fly around them. And that usually doesn’t work for me. So I’ve been turning more to paranormals that edge toward urban fantasy and sci-fi romance, these days.

  10. Angela/SciFiChick says:

    So it’s not a graphic novel? The only manga is the cover art?

  11. Ann Aguirre says:

    It is absolutely not a graphic novel.

    It’s a totally kickass sci-fi romance, all words, chapters, and complete yumminess. I cannot read graphic novels. My eyes get all confused and I get a headache, trying to figure out which word box is next.

  12. RachaelfromNJ says:

    I haven’t read Driven yet. Sounds like a great book!

  13. readingissomuchfun says:

    I haven’t read Driven yet. Sounds like a great read. I have it on my wish list.


  14. Carrie Lofty says:

    I’m all curioso now…

  15. Wendy says:

    Urban Fantasy! love that genre!

    Hi, Rachael! *g*

  16. Kimberly B. says:

    I am not normally a fan of science fiction (more of a fantasy reader), but when I read that Kenin was, in part, inspired by the tv show “Firefly,” I had to give “Driven” a shot. Boy, am I glad I did. I really enjoyed the gritty setting (though, as an aside, I’m glad I read it in October, before we got all this snow), and loved Wizard, something I don’t say about a lot of romance heros. Raina was tough, but not obnoxious about it, and I especially liked how she and Wizard took turns getting each other out of jams. I recommend this book to readers of science fiction who don’t normally “do” romance, and readers of romance who don’t normally “do” science fiction. It’s just that good!

  17. Ann Aguirre says:

    Kimberly has expressed everything I loved about it, exceptionally well. Raina wasn’t bitchy; she was tough. Which can be quite difficult to pull off.

    Kimberly, remember the scene toward the end? After Raina had Wizard’s back? (I don’t want to say more for spoiler’s sake)

    What he said to her, afterward, was so deliciously awkward, and yet heartbreakingly intense. At least, it was for me.

  18. Kimberly B. says:

    Oh, yeah, I remember the scene you’re talking about, Ann. And that delicious awkwardness is part of what makes me like Wizard so much!
    For the people wary of this book (and probably others in the Shomi line) because of the manga style covers, don’t be. I have read all three of the Shomi books, and while “Driven” is my favorite, all of them were good. The actual stories don’t strike me as too “manga-esque” at all.

  19. Angela James says:

    Angela, having seen some of the books you read and review, I think there’s great potential for you to like this book. It’s got a unique world-building and a non-typical hero. And I don’t read manga either, it’s one genre I’ve never gotten, but I enjoyed this book.

    I’ve been seriously considering throwing myself on the mercy of the marketing department at Dorchester and asking for the sequel.

  20. Wendy says:

    You guys are making me want to read this book so bad but I have to wait until this weekend! :(

  21. Cathy says:

    I can’t even remember the last Sci-Fi romance I read, and I keep hearing so many good things about Driven, that I added it to my wish list.

  22. Michele Lee says:

    I can see I have lots of reading samples and adding things to my wishlist a head of me…

  23. Kat O+ says:

    OK, it’s on the list. :-)

  24. Sue A. says:

    I had heard about the book, but hadn’t given it any further thought, but Ann, you’ve got me taking another look at the book with your A++ grade!

  25. Ann Aguirre says:

    I don’t think anyone who takes a chance on this book will be disappointed, provided they have some liking for sci-fi romance. Someone who prefers contemporaries or vampire stories might not be engaged, but otherwise, I can’t imagine this book not working. It’s just SO GOOD.

    And Kimberly is 100% right. It’s Wizard’s awkwardness that makes him so lovable.

  26. Allison says:

    Better late then never…. to rave about the great read Driven was. Have already re-read it several times since and the funny thing is I would never have noticed/picked it up if I hadn’t read another’s glowing review of it! Don’t think it’s been mentioned yet but Eve Kenin’s next title is Hidden out in July 08 and I believe it’s about related characters! Hurry up July!

  27. Lauren Dane says:

    I’m loving all the shomi books. I don’t normally read in the car because it makes me woozy but I got this one right before we left on a road trip and I devoured it and I was so into it I didn’t even get woozy.

  28. Cherie J says:

    I have not read this book yet but I think it sounds great. Hope to read it sometime soon. Been hearing great things about it.

  29. catslady says:

    It sounds wonderful. Any book that people say they can’t put down has to be a winner.

  30. Ann Aguirre says:

    It really was. A winner and un-put-downable. (I love that word)

  31. ChristyJan says:

    I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, but it is on my list to Santa.

  32. lrwirum says:

    I have seen this book. After reading the comments I think I will have to take another look at it. Sounds like a good one. :-)

  33. Estara says:

    I realise I’m not going to change anyone’s mind here – I won’t give my reasons for my opinion after all – but after all these manga putdowns I would like to say:

    I’ve been reading comics, romance, scifi and fantasy for 25 years now, I’ve been reading manga for 13 years (I’m 40 ^^): you haven’t come across the good stuff in the vast sea that manga is these days, if you run to avoid it.

    Fair enough, but there IS good stuff out there even for romance readers, just in case you might enjoy. Probably one of the reasons why Jan occasionally reviews manga at Dear Author.

    Other than that I liked Driven, too ^^.

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