Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Unborn (Unborn #1)" by Amber Lynn Natusch

I received this ebook for free via NetGalley, but in no way did it affect my literary taste buds. This critique is my honest opinion.

This is the only book on NetGalley that I actually didn't know I'd been approved for until I logged on and peeked at my dashboard (usually I get an email). So this book was a surprise, which I began reading immediately to satisfy my curiosity.

Having read lots of paranormal romance this year, I found some similarities between this book and the Black Dagger Brotherhood series- mostly the similarities were the Brotherhood itself. The main character, Khara, has a cast of half-brothers that bear resemblance, personality-wise, to some of the vampiric brothers. There's a dangerous one (Zsadist/Casey) and a deep-in-thought/protection-oriented one (Vischous/Pierson), but as far as I can tell they aren't completely the same- Casey is left alone with Khara, which was something that would never happen with Zsadist.

The Plot:
Khara has been a ward of Hades and Demeter for most of her existence. She is suddenly stolen from the Underworld, with no way of returning, and dropped in Detroit, where she is confronted by a man bent on killing her, for fear she is an Empty (soulless person looking for another soul to steal). The man turns out to be her brother- they have a common father in the war god Ares. But when Khara is brought to live with a group of her brothers- it appears she alone is ungifted by her patriarch, save an uncanny ability to attract their enemy, the Breathers/Stealers. Will her brothers be able to save her life, or will the task be taken on by an enigmatic fallen angel?

Khara is an interesting character, who I like, but am not entirely sold on. Her emotions have been repressed by years spent hiding from the terrors of the Underworld, and they slowly bob to the surface. The story itself is written in first person, so we get a lot from her perspective, but at the same time, there's often areas where she's doing something and not thinking about it- at all. I have a personal preference for third person, and believe I probably would have liked it better had it been written that way because of those 'she acts before she thinks' moments.

Most of the mythology in this book is based on Greek myths with the Jewish-Christian-Islamic theme of angels thrown in. I'm not sure where this puts the book as far as original content- it's a bit too early to tell due to the page count (256) and this being the very start of the series, but I liked what was done with it.

Unborn is a fast-paced cross between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but some of its scenes may leave you scratching your head (why on Earth would she do that?). Although the main character proves to be an enduring puzzle, I greatly enjoyed most of the things this book had to offer: action, paranormal beings, and a little bit of mystery. I recommend Unborn to those who want a quick paranormal read with interesting characters.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars for a great start to an intriguing series.

Content: Ages 18+ for some coarse language, occasions of brief nymphomania/nudity (I thought Khara was a nymph O_o), and violence.

Page Count: 256 pages in the paperback edition

Monsters Within: Evil villains and soul-eating Stealers

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