Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review: Unwept

Unwept (The Nightbirds, #1)
Unwept by Tracy Hickman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Ellis Harkington is a young woman who woke up to find herself in a train accompanied by a nurse she can't seem to remember ever meeting and a baby. She has no memory of what happened before the train ride nor any memory of why she is there. The nurse tells her that she is going back home to Gamin.

When the train does stop at Gamin and Ellis gets off, she is greeted by an old doctor who takes her to the home he says she was living in before she left the town. Everyone seems to be staring at her. She feels ill at ease but tries her best to understand what is going on. Some residents of the town claim to be her friends and try to encourage her to attend a party in her honor. At the party, she is introduced to the Nightbirds -- a book club. However, as much as the Nightbirds claim to be a literary club, none of the members seem to like reading much.

Soon, she starts having disturbing dreams. A man, with a scar or mark in the shape of a paisley on his face, comes to her and claims to be there to help her and that she is in danger. There are moths or insects. To make things more complicated, she finds a secret room in the house where she is living with her friend. Then, she notices the fact that Gamin seems to have only young adult residents -- there are no babies nor older people except for the doctor. There are also mutilated bodies found around Gamin. A really bad fire and a shipwreck too. What is going on? Is Ellis truly in danger? From what or from whom?

Unwept is a young adult fantasy novel. The first several chapters of the book is interesting and even exciting. The premise of waking up in a train without any memory of why you are there and where you are going is quite stimulating. However, things go downhill around the middle of the novel.

There are too many elements being introduced all at once which ruin the flow of the story. It appears that the young adults are actually trapped in a game created by a young man who fancies himself the leader of the group. The youngsters are unable to leave Gamin Ellis has managed to leave and to come back.

As much as I enjoyed the first half of the book, I am afraid to say that I disliked the second half of the book. Therefore, I can't really give it more stars. My rating is more like a 1.5 stars because only a small part of the book is worth reading.

It is sad that such a story that started off with a great story ended up with a dud of an ending.



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