I have been caught up in a whirlwind of emotions reading this series.
I was gifted the first book of this series, Finding Sky, when I was 13 and I was so hooked by the concept that I became an avid fan. I read every single book and novella, up until the series finished in my first year of uni when I turned 19. I fell into this series again, as I was having a conversation with a friend one night during lockdown, and we somehow got talking about books and book series we were obsessed with when we were younger, and I stumbled upon this series again. Since then, I spent one week reading all nine books and novellas, losing myself in them once again and being reminded as to why I loved, and still love, this book series so much.
synopsis (finding sky):
You have half our gifts, I have the other . . .
When English girl Sky catches a glimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can’t get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love for ever.
Shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. She must face the dark even if it means losing her heart. Will Sky have the strength to embrace her power and be brave enough to control her own destiny, or will the demons of her past prevent her from realizing her true potential?
my rating: 4.8/5
Sky moves to Colorado, America from Richmond, England with her artsy foster parents. She’s 16 and has been through a lot for someone her age, however, she’s chosen to bury her memories of her troubled past and live a life in the present with her parents. Moving doesn’t prove so bad at first, she’s not popular in school, but she finds her own group, and place with the music band and that’s seemingly enough for her. Whilst at school she meets Zed, who’s a moody, somewhat intimidating yet handsome guy. Her and Zed do not hit it off at all from the get-go. Zed seems to think he’s better than everyone at the school; doesn’t get on well with the staff; isn’t always popular amongst certain students, but he has a reputation not just because of his looming sense of danger, but also because of who his family is – the Benedicts. Over time, Zed and Sky’s liking for one another grows, despite the bumpy patches, they are bonded by their Savant gifts and are each other’s soulfinders. Their bond gets them through a difficult time, and helps Sky move past her fears of who she was and who her biological parents were.
The concept of this book is revolved around there being a small group of people in the world called Savants. Savants have an extra ‘edge’ to them, each has different gifts, or powers, that give them a little extra something. Some are healers, some do telekinesis, some read emotions, some read minds, some control water, some take other’s emotions, some stop time, some enhance music through emotions. Basically, the gifts are limitless. Within this, each Savant also has a Soulfinder – a person born around the same date and year as them, their gifts match and enhance one another and they are eternally bonded. Not all soulfinders are destined to meet, some meet their soulfinders at a damaged state and some bonds aren’t always healthy but, there is always a choice.
If you haven’t read some of my other book reviews, I am a sucker for romance novels. I love a good romance novel, as they give a sense of escape and the hopeless romantic in me seems to forever wish for a love as such. I wholeheartedly believe that this book series is one of the many things that has set high expectations for men, people, and relationships in my life. Joss Stirling has a way with words and cultivating slow-paced stories that give you hope, leave you feeling worried for the characters, whilst simultaenously creating a bond with them where you feel as if you are also part of their world and family.
Over time, I have grown to love all seven of the Benedict Brothers, their parents, their friends, and their extended family. And this time around reading the series, I realised one of the many reasons I adore Stirling’s writing and this whole concept and series, is that compared to the time, and even now, there is so much diversity within this series. There are strong, developed female characters, and neither are the characters presumed to be white, with the descriptions of skin tones, hair, and personalities not being stereotypical. There is representation for everyone in this series, and it’s one of the reasons it’s felt like home for me. You can tell Stirling did her research before writing these books. From the way the places are described with such detail, and how people in those places are given personalities that blend with the environment but are also uniquely them. The romance isn’t the spearhead of all the books in the series, there is real growth and character development. Each person has been shaped to be themselves, and throughout the series, there is consistency even when characters make a small appearance in another’s book.
I guess the only critique I’d really give the series is that, at times even though the love grows slow for a few of the characters, once set in there can be such haste into them knowing one another and their love deepening to a point where it seems unrealistic. However, that’s partly what romance books are like but, as there are so many intricacies and details to the characters, I expect the same for their love. Maybe I’m biased, but the Savant/ Benedict Brothers series has deeply founded my love for supernatural stories that are set in the real world. It gives young people and adults the chance to be embedded within a story, whilst feeling as if they are actually a part of that world, too.
Overall, I highly recommend giving this series a read if you feel the need to escape from our world’s realities, whilst placing yourself in a world that feels like home but gives you a glimpse into something that is different from other books. I am so glad I revisited this series as it’s really spurred on my reading, and has given me a passion to read more books that have complexities in their characters. I’ve been delving more into Stirling’s other books that I haven’t previously read and I am thoroughly enjoying them, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the Benedict Brothers and their kooky family.