Haven

Ivanovich, I.R. (2011). Haven. No Location: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Kindle.

Reader’s Annotation

Katelyn Kestrel has always had a special talent for finding things. When she decides to find an exit from her ideal homeland in the valley to seek out the mysterious land her ancestors came from, only read about in history books, it is no different. She soon finds out that somethings are hidden for a reason, and it’s a fight for her life to get back to her home.

Plot Summary

Katelyn Kestrel lives with her dad, step-mom and half-brother in a fairly happy home. She’s got a couple of close friends and they get up to the kinds of adventures that any teen would envy– care for some urban exploring anyone? After school the teens head over to the abandoned theme park and try not to die messing around on the ferris wheel. On top of all that Katelyn has a special ability, it’s not like magic or anything, just something she’s always been able to do, her talent. So when Katelyn starts asking questions in history class that no one can answer about the origins of their country, Katelyn decides to take matters into her own hands and find a way Outside the beautiful valley she calls home.

Finding a way out is the easy part for someone with her talent. Once she’s Outside things begin to get interesting. She meets the injured Rune, who she helps rescue from certain death. Shortly thereafter she’s captured by the brutal military forces and held prisoner by the handsome and arrogant Lord Dylan Axton, who offers as many freedoms as possible, but what does he expect in return?

Soon enough Katelyn is transfered over to the real prison, and into the care of the terrifying part man, part machine Comanders and their robot-like Dragoons. Now she must decide who to trust, Lord Axton or Rune? Which will lead her to safety and protect her as she finds her way back home?

Critical Evaluation

I really wanted to like Haven, and when I think back on it I almost like it, but then there is something that keeps me from giving it my full approval. I think it’s because Katelyn is simultaneously a brat and playing the part of the damsel in distress. The first warning sign happens pretty early on, Katelyn goes gaga for Rune after having spent like, I dunno, 20 minutes with him? She has to go back to the Outside because she can’t stop thinking about him. She’s got this sweet dorky guys at home falling all over himself to impress her and all she can think about is some dude who she barely exchanged 100 words with. It’s ridiculous. Then, when she does go back Outside and get captured she just hangs out and waits for someone to rescue her rather than using her talent to get herself out of the mess she’s in. Ivanovich tries to cover this plot-hole later when Katelyn is in  the scary prison, saying something like “it would be no problem to use my talent to get out of here, but then I’d just get caught again and brought back”. Well then use your talent to evade your would capturers, dummy! Bah. So okay, I really want to like Haven, but Katelyn just doesn’t have enough backbone for me, she needs to spend less time worrying about the intentions of Dylan or Rune or whoever and more time figuring out how to save her own booty.

Author Information

A.R. Ivanovich is an enigma wrapped inside a mystery. Her website bio is incredibly vague, she says that she enjoys, ” being swallowed by forests, sleeping on lakes, and watching the sky”. She spent 3 years in the video game field before taking up full time writing, but otherwise there is no available biographical information. She has no entries in the Literature Resource Center and not even Wikipedia article.

Genre

Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Steam Punk

Curriculum Ties

n/a

Booktalk Ideas

Reading Level/Interest Age 

14+

Challenge Issues

This book can be pretty gruesome, and some parents may object to their teens reading this kind of literature. We assume that parents and teens have an understanding about what is appropriate material for them to consume. The library supports each reader’s right to read as well as their right to privacy. We are proponents of the ALA Library Bill of Rights and thus defend censorship. That said any user is welcome to challenge any material in the library, finals decisions will be made regarding challenges by the director after review.

Reason for inclusion

This is the only steam punk title in the collection.

References

Ivanovitch, A.R. (n.d.) Author. A.R. Ivanovitch. Retrieved from: http://www.arivanovich.com/

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