Book Review: Unblemished by Sara Ella
As soon as I finished reading this book I sat down and pre-ordered the second, which was finally released today. Unblemished is the first book in a trilogy by Sara Ella. When I first saw the cover I thought it was beautiful, the story fits the cover.
The story begins in a modern world but there are parallel universes and ways to move between them so of course things get complicated. The story is lyrical and magical. I was a bit unsure with the start of it, it felt all horribly contemporary to me but then the strange things started happening and stuff got cool!
I enjoyed the themes of love and light and dark, Verity and the Void, and the 'reflection' that it has to Christianity. Although love triangles are sometimes nasty this was the best one I have ever read, so pretty good for a love triangle. I really liked how it all worked at the end with the 'magic'. It is central to the plot without the plot being about which one should the girl choose. (thought that is certainly an element) I am still a bit annoyed about some of the things that happened there. But I must say no more.
The magic/gifts/powers some people had were really cool and made sense. It was a page turning story. With some twisty bits at the end but I still had to spend most of the book wondering who was double crossing, and not trusting anyone. The world building was average and fairly simple/normal as far as fantasy books goes, though the magic was interesting, and not exactly the same as anything else I have read. Some people not familiar to the genre may find there is a lot of world building, but in my pov there was not that much. (but I did just finish a Robert Jordan Wheel of Time Book just before reading this one)
There were some cliches that bothered me a bit like the bad guy info dumping as he has the good guy backed into a corner, and just explaining everything. (which happened big time twice) Things also happens so fast at the end that it was a tad confusing but I forced myself to read it all slowly and it does make sense. Though I still have quite a few questions I want answered. At first I thought there would be more allegory, but it did not turn out like that so I suppose it is all in the theme and is not meant to be allegorical.
As far as content goes it was pretty good. There was not really any bad content, obviously there was fantasy kind of violence, and romance/attraction/girl looking at guy way too much. There are also some references to affairs and children born outside of wedlock. Only one this made me a bit uncomfortable and that was the fact that one of the callings/magical abilities is shape-shifting, and when those characters turn back into humans they are described as naked (nothing more).
I had a few other peeves and a lot of questions (but it is the first book in a trilogy so there should be questions.) I was bothered that some elements I thought were significant never turned out to be. Maybe they still could, but maybe I look way to deep into things.
Still I did want to hit the MC over her head every time she went out at night alone or only with one other person....just aaggh, don't put yourself in that position. El narrated the story and she gave the story its own unique/distinctive voice. I liked the musical references and it was nice overall, but I personally would prefer a less modern feel. As I said though, I am waiting excitedly for the next book and I have heard good thing about it from some influence readers!
Have you read Sarah Ella's book?
What is the best book you have read in the last month?