Unborn – Amber Lynn Nautsch

Unborn

By: Amber Lynn Natusch
Amazon Publishing

Publication: August 26th, 2014

Acquisition: NetGalley








Summary: 

Khara has spent centuries discovering everything about the Underworld―except her place in it. But when she’s ripped from her home, solving the riddle of her origins becomes more important than ever. With evil stalking her through the dark alleys of Detroit, she finds salvation from an unlikely source: a group of immortal warriors sworn to protect the city. Khara needs their help to unravel the tangled secrets of who and what she is—secrets many seem willing to kill for. But time is running out, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer necessity binds her to an arrogant fallen angel.

Can their shaky alliance withstand that which threatens her, or will her soul fall victim to the unholy forces that hunt her―those that seek the Unborn?


My Review:

I was incredibly and pleasantly (surprised) autopsied by this novel. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of things that leave the reader wanting more (and not in a good way), but overall it was well thought out.
There is a prevalent element of mythology in this novel. Aspects of Greek mythology like the Underworld, Hades, Ares, and other (demi-)godly players are rampant throughout the story. But, it’s combined with the (fallen) angels and heaven of religious mythology and stories. It’s a strange combination that doesn’t lend itself to logical commingling, although it worked relatively well here. Perhaps I’m just biased because I adore the mythology in all cultures.
My highest praise for this novel is the writing quality, not the characters, world, or plot – just the simple allure of a book that’s written in proper, intelligent English. A surprising rarity in Y.A. books. The author has a wonderful command of the English language and uses vocabulary that make a reader wonder, “What does that mean?” I love books that will chose to use words strode or sauntered, rather than another banal alternative when expressing how someone made their way down the street. You want them to reference a thesaurus to make their lexicon as diverse as possible. No one wants to hear, he said, she said, they said over and over. Perhaps they shouted, or she bit back her words? Anything to give the story real depth and reality.
The shortcomings? Character development and world building. Don’t get me wrong, it was certainly there but not as well thought out as it should have been. Relationships were crafted much more quickly than reasonably could be expected and it created a sense of falseness. If more attention had been given to those two aspects, it would have been a strong 4-star rating (rather than my 3/4 rating.)

Another trait of a good story, be it in a book, movie, tv show, or something else is a lack of predictability. If you can guess what it going to happen in the story from just the first 50 pages, then it seems less appealing to continue. On this account, the author both confirmed my suspicions and utterly surprised me. Not long into my reading, I was jotting down notes and thoughts as I felt a situation professing. I wanted to have quotes, events, and feelings to reference later – especially if my expectations were fulfilled. The end of the book on the other hand – completely unexpected.

The ending of the novel certainly set up the next book, leading me to believe this is meant to be a series. As such, I think it would benefit greatly from the eventual addition of novellas. They would help strengthen the characters, world, and events that are alluded to during the story but never revealed in their entirety. Don’t read this part if you don’t want small spoilers, but some of the story lines that I felt were lacking were: Khara’s time in the Underworld and with Hades, how Ozereus fell, how Kierson was saved by Oz, a tale of the brother’s rounds including some of the supernatural beings they encounter, and even mini-stories that help develop the character’s personalities.

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