Cover Image: Jovienne

Jovienne

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Member Reviews

Amazing, mind-blowing, and so well written. Kick ass first novel and the beginning of an enthralling series. Highly recommend!!
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Let me start off by saying I really liked the plotline and the world-building. I love reading Angel/Demon books and this is one of the most awesome plot-driven Angel/Demon stories I've read. But I definitely had some remarks on this book as well, unfortunately. 

At times, there was just way too much going on I think and it was hard to feel connectivity between those situations and it just wasn't fluently written because of this. The story would start going off in one direction and then take a completely different turn without any real motivation provided for what is driving it. I couldn't connect easily to Jovienne as a female lead who kicks demon ass because she often was quite childish in her reactions, I really hoped I would come to love her since I normally love heroines like her. Given this is the first book, I'm curious to see how her character develops throughout the second book though. 

Overall, I think it was an okay read but nothing spectacular because of the execution of it all. It has an interesting story concept, something I fell for right from the bat, but I felt like the delivery could have been a bit better. I'm still in doubt whether or not I'm really looking forward to the next book or if it's going to be a series that I won't continue reading. I want to find out though if there's any progress in the writing and to see how the story continues and if there's any good character development since I really did like the world and the concept of this story. On the other hand, I've got so many more books on my tbr and I'm feeling very contradictive about this one and I don't know for sure if I want to give it another go. It's so difficult when a story has a great concept but the execution of it all just lacks a bit, you know? The struggle is real haha.
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Jovienne is the story of young woman who, through a series of unfortunate events, finds herself caught up in an epic battle between good and evil as she is trained to fight demons. As a result of her training, she's raised to an adhadhon status. Readers are introduced to a variety of classes of angels and some pretty gnarly hellspawn demons. For me, there was just way too much going on and not a lot of connectivity. The story would start going off in one direction and then take a completely different turn without any real motivation provided for what is driving it. The action scenes were a little drawn out and repetitive. I had a really hard time connecting to Jovienne as a female lead who kicks demon ass. She came across and really naive and gullible at times, which didn't jive with her demon slaying side. Interesting story concept, but felt the delivery could have been a bit better.
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It was a very interesting idea for a story but it didn't seem to be told as well as it could.  The world that it was set in was underdeveloped and could have been so much more.  Having said that, I did enjoy the characters and what we saw of the world that was built.
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Jovienne was something of a mixed bag read for me. I adored the plot idea, which was original, fresh and full of great potential. However, I never really connected with Jovienne. I wanted to care about her, relate to her, but I simply couldn't, and that lack of empathy with her affected my overall enjoyment of the story. I did like the secondary characters, such as Araxiel and Andrei. Even so, right from the start Robertson throws the reader into a complex plot, starting at one point and then jumping back in time, without sufficient world building for us truly to understand what's going on. Things do become clearer as the story progresses, and I came to appreciate the mythology, but Jovienne's decisions still seemed completely erratic. In conclusion, I am awarding this book three stars. I adored the premise; however Jovienne's characterisation and insufficient world building early on let down what could easily have been a four star story. This is the first work in a series. Based on this first book, I would consider reading the second, but I wouldn't rush out to grab a copy.
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Jovienne is nothing if not an ass-kicker of a book. The eponymous lead seems to be modelled on a gothic rocker from the 80's, which may or may not be your cup of tea. Add into the mix an unhealthy dose of Christian mythos, atheism, Hawaiian witchcraft, murder, and a sickeningly touchy feely demon and you may or may not have yourself a party. 

The story follows Jovienne, a young woman who, after suffering the loss of her family in a car accident, is trained to slaughter demons by her tutor Andrei. Right at the beginning, her learned skills are put to the very literal test - if she kills a powerful demon, she will be rewarded with abhadon status. (An abhadon is a kind of angel specifically created to kill demons). On the other hand, if she fails, she'll be tortured in hell forever after. So there's a fair bit riding on this test. The real hard stuff comes later, when Jovienne struggles with her new status/servitude and what it means. 

The story is quite convoluted. I found it difficult to follow each character's motives. Jovienne's motives were the most clear - she wanted to be free from her forced servitude. However, I couldn't understand so many of her choices! At first I thought I was missing important information so once she did something I would skip back a few chapters to check what I'd missed - but I hadn't missed anything. It was just hard to follow and Jovienne's headspace is a difficult one to get into, especially considering all the info dumps, changes of POV, and 'revelations' that meant nothing to me since I didn't understand where these revelations came from or what they meant. (See: the nephilim? What).

The world building needs a little work, as does the plotting. Being introduced to so many characters and ideas so early on before they had any bearing on Jovienne's story made things difficult for me. Also, there were some characters who I thought were utterly expendable (looking at you, Nathan!)

Jovienne was at first a character I was lukewarm towards. I appreciated what an ass kicker she was and liked her fiery spirit (note: the sassiness, fiery spirit etc does not need to be mentioned every 10 pages. We get it.) However her bitterness and rage get tiresome quickly, especially when I just couldn't understand her at all. In the second half of the novel I'd gone from being lukewarm to actively disliking her and her foolish, rash decisions. The only thing I didn't mind about her was her apparent interest in saving innocents, but SPOILER ALERT - she murders Nathan without a second thought at the end, who had done nothing but be unlucky. I also HATED how she behaved around Araxiel - because she is a virgin, she allows this creep-o to tear her clothes off and be unspeakably rapey??? No thank you! I expected more of you, Jovienne! 

I felt much the same about other characters - Andrei, who was kind of flat and dull; Eitan, who we barely got to know; Araxiel, whose motives were unclear; and Damsel, who was as one dimensional as possible to ensure we had no sympathy for her. 

Overall, the action scenes were many and fun, but there was little word building, or character growth. Add to this a weirdly happy ending for what was a grim book and I had sincerely run out of patience for it. However, I truly believe that with a bit of editing and altering, this would be someone's perfect novel. It's dark and violent and full of cool angels wearing leather and stabbing hell spawn. Not my cup of tea, in the end, but certainly somebody's.
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This was my first Robertson book. This story was intense and complicated. There was a lot going on. We didn't get a ton of backstory on the characters, but the way the story moved it wasn't really necessary to understand the characters. I liked the storyline as well as the writer's voice. I'm very curious as to where the story will go in the next installment.
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A difficult book, both to read and review. Jovienne is a strong woman, forced into being something she does not wish to become, leading to what amount sto disregard both for her life and for God, making her rebel against any type of authority. Haunted both by her mentor and a demon, she must fight, not really knowing the reason for her struggle. Imaginative, and I will be on the lookout for the next installment.
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Three and a half
A new author to me but such an eye catching cover. I'm always on the lookout for original urban fantasy and certainly feel that this books ideas ticks all the right boxes. Yes it's about Angels so if theology not really your thing then it might not suit but as it's the story of a human woman who becomes a warrior for God I thought I'd give it a go.
It's hard to like Jovienne and even though she feels that she has been manipulated and is used I really couldn't quite see past her bitterness at times. Yes she is incredibly brave ( although some might say foolhardy ) but her anger meant she makes hard decisions and takes such stupid chances. Yet this book details her progression in such a way that I found it hard to put down.
Frankly at first I was a little confused by the authors use of different perspectives as she introduces characters that initially have no bearing on what Jovienne is going through in San Fransisco and then it all falls into place as the connections start to happen. 
Andrei was a sort of mentor and trainer to Jovienne and clearly has feelings for her but having pushed her away it's hard to trust him and yet he does have redeeming qualities.
Nathan is introduced as a man marked by stigmata and he turns out to be more than instrumental if Jovienne is to rise above her base instincts. Sometimes she can resist anything except temptation !
Then we have Araxiel, a demon hiding on Earth with no desire to return to Hell . His selfish thoughts are consumed with his own wellbeing leaving him with the cunning idea of manipulating Jovienne and quite frankly he does a pretty good job.
We do meet other characters as Jovienne isn't the only one fighting against the Demons and the author lets her imagination play here. Are Angels all good? Do they always do the right thing? Perhaps more importantly though is what is the right choice as after all we were all given free will . Plus just what does it take to become demonic?
So many questions and yet some answers trickle through. There's very good reason why Jovienne is the way she is and her past helps define her. Hurt, betrayed and yet she carries such guilt because of one small childish action and I understood why her own survival meant little to her. 
It's a little wordy at times which occasional meant it felt dry and I wanted more feelings, more humanity I guess. Yet Jovienne really wants to help but her hands are tied. Speaking of hands those blessed by God have unusual powers that range from being able to move at great speed occasionally to the use of ghost like hands that stretch like something out of the Fantastic Four ! Plus I understand the use of more angelic terms but some of the words used just didn't wow me. All in all very different to other books I've read and it's the start of a series that hopefully will be fleshed out enabling the various characters to show more warmth and feelings.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review from NetGalley.

I read a couple of books from the author before from her Vicious circle series and even thought i wasn’t really fan of the writing style or didn’t love the series the author have great ideas. So when I saw the gorgeous cover of this book and read the synopsis there was no doubt in my mind whether to read it or not. Unfortunately, I misunderstood the synopsis a bit and not just because of this but ended up struggling with the story.

First of all, I didn’t realize how much this story revolves around angels and God and such. Yes I could have expected it based on the cover but the synopsis didn’t give too much indication regarding this so I went into reading with hope. Well, this hope of mine got dashed pretty quickly but regardless of my dislike of angels there are a couple of great ideas in it.

My main problem other than the topic, was the writing style or more like the way the story was presented in a discursive and unfocused way. And this didn’t help me create a clear picture of the world building which is complex but really confusing and holey. Not just the supernatural aspect of the story but the basic world too. Sometimes I felt like it had a dystopian background with the devastation some scenes represented but I couldn’t be sure because it was just a feeling I got during reading. So in the end I didn’t understand the meaning behind half of the plot and it bothered me so much. I tried; I really did but had no luck in really immersing myself in the story. 

As for the characters, the story is told from 4 different points of view and this was my favorite thing about the book. These four characters not just completely different but also represent different sides of the world, the story even though they all had something common. I loved how it showed the good, the bad and everything in between. 
There is Jovienne, who is an abhadhon, basically an enforcer angel who does the dirty work for God. The thing s though she is really didn’t want to become one but her loneliness and infatuation with her teacher lead her to this path. She only realized that she had a choice when it was too late. So in the beginning she is bitter about her predicament and starts to fight tooth and nail to get out of it or to find some freedom. As she progresses she finds out a lot of things about her past and herself. She could be interesting character but her point of view is specially detailed and there is a lot of extra information and scenes that just confused me about her. But she is a fighter for sure. I absolutely loved her connection with Eitan. Their bickering was a great addition to the story.
Then there is Araxiel, the demon who got a taste of freedom from Hell and doesn’t want to go back. no matter what, so he is even willing to approach the one who can send him back and offer her a tentative alliance, at least until he reaches his goal after that everybody is for themselves. He is cunning and greedy and manipulates others around him spectacularly. 
Or Andrei, Jovienne former teacher who is lost, who was lost even before meeting the girl. I didn’t particularly like him; he is a bit of a coward at the beginning and makes a lot of bad decisions but slowly starts to redeem himself.

I didn’t enjoy the book and even think that starting the book after Jovienne training and the initial realization of her new powers created an empty space in the plot and also helped with my confusion. It’s a shame because I had high hopes for this book.
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