Friday, August 8, 2014

Unwept by Tracy & Laura Hickman {review}

by Tracy & Laura Hickman
♦publisher: Tor
♦release date: July 1st, 2014
♦hardcover, 272 pages
♦intended audience: Adult
♦series: The Nightbirds, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.

Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who purport to be her friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, that her memories may return in time, but refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state. For her own sake, so they say.

Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who among them can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?

Only her lost past hold the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she fall prey to an unearthly killer.

Review: Unwept, for me, was an odd one. I found myself quickly and completely drawn in to the dark mystery of how Ellis lost her memory, the creepy town where everyone is just a little shady, the eerie atmosphere, and finally the touch of fantasy as her nightmares start seeping into her real life. But somewhere along the way, it lost me. And as the ending crept closer, even knowing that this was a planned series and that a conclusion would not be reached (thank you for the warning, Rachel!) I still felt unsatisfied and that the idea behind the story was a bit confusing and muddy. 

As each characters introduced themselves, I was immediately curious about how they fit into Ellis's story. However, I found as the story went along, the extent of each one's cryptic behavior made it really hard to feel invested in any of them. Jenny, Ellis's cousin, was especially annoying to me, constantly childish and pouty. We're sort of left in the dark about what is really going on for a bit too long, which would have been okay if we had interesting players to cling to, but without that connection, I just found it slowed the pacing. Still, several of them take a slow-building turn toward the sinister, which turns the whole thing very dark and macabre. As Ellis starts to have strange nightmares and visions,  and everyone seems to be telling her a different story, her confusion and distrust and certainty that everything is just competely wrong in Gamin becomes palpable. 

Just the sheer need to find out what this crazy town was all about, to be let in on the big dark secret, kept me reading this one until the end. I can't say whether I will give book 2 a chance to clear up some things that I was left confused about (for instance: chapter 1???) or to find out what will happen next to Ellis, Merrick, and the bizarre moth-man. But Unwept was a interesting, eerie reading experience---just one that didn't completely work for me.

Find Tracy & Laura  Hickman online:  Website  •  Twitter 

Purchase Unwept:  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. Ugh, I totally agree with you. Bizzare is the word to use for this book (I did my review some time ago: The more I think back on it, the more I'm sure I won't be reading book 2; there are just so many better books to read!

  2. I'm still unsure about this book. Okay, not really, lol. I just think the cover is really pretty :D But won't read the book. I love your review. <3 Thank you for sharing. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this book, as it do seem a bit interesting :D But I'm sorry you didn't fully love it and had some issues with it. Sigh. If only all books were perfect reads, hih :)

  3. I become really disappointed when books on rare instances just don't work that well for me. I have the highest and biggest expectations to love the book based on what others say about it and after reading the synopsis and teasers a bunch of times and when I finally read it, it's like what is this? This isn't what I expected...and it's just sad. I haven't really heard of this book before but I feel like you might have felt the same way I've felt other times. I'm just glad I could learn this book isn't super awesome before others say it is :)

  4. You're welcome!! :D I'm so with you on all of this! It's so cool and atmospheric, and it stays atmospheric, but a mystery should unravel at a pace that keeps you intrigued but somewhat satisfied, which this doesn't. I couldn't believe how little I knew when I got close to the end. I think I'm going to read the second one, but past that, we'll just have to see. I needed some satisfaction, which it just doesn't give.

  5. Hi! I had never heard of this book, but I like bizarre books so this one goes to my to-read list! ;)

  6. Your review confused me. No wonder you had trouble with it.
    It sucks when you get the book for review and you don't end up liking it. I usually just don't review it at all.

  7. The cover alone makes me want to read it! So pretty! But man... only 3 cupcakes? Maybe I'll check it out when I absolutely don't have anything else to read :]

  8. This cover is gorgeous! I might just have to pick the book up and give it a shot. Thanks for the review! :)