Monday, January 19, 2015

REVIEW: Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars
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?

The premise to this story sounded pretty interesting, but the execution fell a bit short in a few areas, namely character and world building.

Khara was a denizen of the underworld, where she grew up as a ward of Hades, never knowing who her real parents were. One day, quite unexpectedly, she's taken up above ground by a Dark One and mysteriously dumped in the middle of the slums of Detroit, where she's nearly killed by someone who then claims to be her brother... which apparently he was able to figure out just by touching her, a trait that was never really explained or expanded upon. And therein lies the crux, it felt like a lot of key points were left out for the reader to figure out on their own. Not so bad in a mystery, but it made certain parts of the plot a bit muddy.

I would've liked to have gotten to know Khara a bit better too, but she felt a bit flat and one-dimensional. It wasn't just the formal speech, I get that, it made her seem more like a stranger in a strange land and all, but we never really get inside her head and find out what makes her tick. And unfortunately, the brothers came across the same way. We've got the level headed one, the caring one, the smart one, and the one that's always itching for a fight. Beyond that, we know next to nothing about them except that they work for an organization called the PC (Petronus Ceteri) that polices the supernaturals in Detroit to keep the balance.

The author then falls back on Greek mythology to tell the story about the rest of the characters and Khara's background, though none of them really play a key role in this book so far, so I guess the lack of enlightenment here's alright for now. Unlike many other first books in a series, where the author does way too much describing and set up, this one goes in the complete opposite direction and you never really get a feel for the characters or the world around them. Those were my principal problems with this book.

That said, I did like the premise of the story, as I already stated, and the Greek pantheon thrown into the mix. I'm not sure it really jived with the whole fallen angel thing, but I think I'd still be interested in reading the next book to see where it goes, especially since I have it waiting here on my TBR pile anyway. :)

Thanks to the publisher, 47North, and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.