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?
From the author of the bestselling Caged series comes a pulse-pounding new romantic urban fantasy series.
by Amber Lynn Natusch
Unborn #1 (Spinoff of the bestselling Caged Series)
August 26, 2014
Thanks to my own writing exploits, I am soooooooo late getting this review done, but, better late than never, right? Without further ado….
Unborn was a departure from anything I have read by Amber and I have read it all. If you’re a Caged fan, you’re probably more than aware that the Unborn series is a spin off of the Caged series. However, be warned, if you are expecting more of the same, you’re going to be disappointed.
Unborn is its own animal on all accounts. Although it takes place in the same world as the Caged series, everything about this book was different. The characters are totally different people. The atmosphere is NOTHING like Caged. Overall, the book has a MUCH darker tone. Although Caged is “serious” in nature, it’s just a much lighter read than Unborn.
Right out of the gate, our main character took some getting used to. I loved her, but, like I said, if you’re just expecting another Ruby, prepare yourself because they could not possibly be more different. Khara has no frame of reference when it comes to our world. For instance, the bar/night club dealy, 10th Circle. I’m a Dante freak, so, as soon as I heard the name the first time, I was all “Nice! Inferno!”. This reference absolutely FLEW over Khara’s head. When she’s told it’s a play off of Dante’s Inferno, there may as well have been ‘vacancy’ signs flashing in her eyes. She’s sharp, she’s just lacking the exposure to our world to understand certain things. References aren’t it either. Signs of physical affection kind of baffle her, too. I guess it would be a fair assessment to say she appears a little odd, but, only because the things that are foreign to her are everyday commonplace to the reader. I found myself enjoying “watching” her react to our world.
The book opens with her being brought here. I wont go into any of the details as I don’t want to blow any plot points, but, I will say I was a touch confused in the beginning of this book. Only because I had no clue WTF was going on, but, it quickly gets explained. When you start reading this book, stick with it. The 64.5 questions you start out with? About 53.9 of them get answered by somewhere around page 20.
The cast of this book is spectacular. If you were a fan of the PC boys in the Caged series, you get to meet a whole new group of them, and one of them was right up my alley.
Oh……just……Oz……… Sigh…… This book taught me an important lesson: My love of *bad boys* has reached a point where I may need therapy. May…..
Do you remember back in the day when I reviewed Caged? Do you remember how I was all like “Eww, not Sean! ERIC!!!!”??? Well, take everything I loved about him, strip away the shitty person factor, and you’ve got Oz. Sigh….. If this guy exists, or the inspiration for him exists, ummmmm, point me in the right direction. He’s a BBF, for sure. ((that’s Book Boyfriend for those not in the know))
The rest of the guys are pretty amazing, too. I sooooo heart Drew, but he’s a little bit of a cross between Cooper and Sean. If you were all swoony over them, you’re probably going to LOVE Drew.
I also have a serious case of the lady boners for Casey and Kierson. They’re both a little bit snarky, but when push comes to shove, they get shit done. I wont go into details here for the sake of keeping some secrets, but there’s one scene in particular where your heart will bleed, and it involves one of these two fine male specimens.
Also, I dont remember the exact page, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 170-175 is a frikkin HILARIOUS moment. I dont know if everyone will find it as funny as I did, but I was losing my shit laughing.
For you out there, like me, who love a good plot twist, there is one hell of an unexpected one toward the end of the book. You wont in a million years see it coming. It makes sense when it happens, but, you still wont be predicting that one at all. By the end of Unborn, I was MADLY in love with our main girl Khara. She may be a little odd, but she’s all kinds of awesome. I cant wait to see what she does next!
On the technicality front, as I said with Strayed, the author’s writing has really bloomed. To go back and read Caged after reading her latest work would be a little disappointing I think. It’s always been good, but she’s really come into her own in the last year. There’s a lot more care put into details. The characters are all much more deep. The plot lines are BEYOND intricate. She really come a long way from that first venture into publishing. Brava! *applause applause*
I think the only thing I didn’t like was the way it opened, but, as I said, the majority of it to bring you up to speed is explained within the first 20 pages. Given that fact, I dont think it’s fair to say I “didn’t like” it. It was just an abrupt tonal change from what I was used to with her writing. Once I got comfortable with it, the book sped right along and I was hooked.
Where Caged was best described as urban fantasy and paranormal romance, I would say Unborn is best described as dark fantasy or dark urban fantasy. If you are a fan of the writing style of Joseph Nassise and his Jeremiah Hunt series, I think you would love Unborn. My one word of caution is you really cant dive into Unborn without having read Caged. This book does not work well as a starting point for the world they’re in. Had I not been a fan of the Caged series, I think I would have been lost on a lot of the material and references to back story in Unborn.
This book deals with a whole different lot of baddies. Baddies you’ve never encountered before in Amber’s writing. Prepare yourself. Shit is about to go down!
On a personal note, I couldn’t be more proud of Amber. Unborn is proof that she’s trying her hand at writing styles which are outside of what she’s become comfortable with. It would have been very easy for her to just build onto the tone she already had established with the Caged series, but, she instead chose to venture into new territory. Making a move like this with her writing style is exactly what any author should do to keep from getting stuck in a rut where they end up churning out the same story year after year. Also, the little shout out at the end of the book made this bitch all sorts of teary…..
The review copy of Unborn was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.