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"Without him now, darkness descends.
Where it begins, my light does end."
With the continuation of book one, Unblemished, Unraveling will draw you deeper in to the faerie tale. You will be immersed in to the legend of the Verity and the Void. You will be tossed around, like a ship on the sea, by the emotions and heartache, and you will be left wondering if light will truly prevail over darkness.
The Plot: Following the events of Unblemished, El is now training to understand her calling and her status as a mirror. Being the new vessel for the Verity, coronation day comes quicker than she would like. Believing all is right in the reflection, and finally having Joshua outwardly profess his love, El begins to feel safe, until all goes terribly wrong during her crowning. Discovering that the callings are beginning to fade away, and that she is now psychically linked to Ky, El embarks on a dangerous journey to find answers and restore her kingdom. Can she find the truth, save Ky from the Void, and figure out who she truly loves?
I began Unraveling in hopes of having a mild reprieve from the craziness and confusion in Unblemished. Instead, the book jumped right back in to the thick of it all. I enjoyed the faerie tale aspect of the books, but still just feel like the writing style is not for me (i.e. there is no real separation between real time story line and memories, Eliyana does a lot of internal speaking and weird onomatopoeia actions, like gasp or huff, without clear separation from the narration, and it feels like the author tries too hard to throw in real word references, like song lyrics being sung in El's head, or movie references). Again, I feel like there was enough uniqueness and intrigue within the story to keep me reading, but the writing style and the forced love triangle keep me from jumping to recommend the books.
From the ending of Unblemished, we learn that the Verity felt that El was pure enough to become its vessel and since she loved both Josh and Ky, they both took on the burden of being vessels for the Void. Because El gave Ky a Kiss of Infinity, they are both physically linked as far as feeling each other's pain. Since Josh gave El the same kiss, he can feel her pain and she can be healed by him since he is an Ever, which means Ky can also be healed indirectly. It's a somewhat interesting and new approach to the love triangle trope, but it still feels a little forced, and confusing. It also leads to the confusing point of the plot. El embarks on her journey to find out the origin of the Verity and Void. In book 1 we learn that they balance each other, and one cannot exist without the other, but El's journey leads us to search for answers on how to destroy the void. What?
"It should be easier to trust the boy I've known for years rather than one I just met." (Ella, Unraveling).
I didn't intend to be quite so negative in the review. I enjoyed the books enough that I will pick up the 3rd one when it comes out so I can find out what happens. I just felt that the love triangle was forced and over used. El seemed so much more focused on figuring out her love triangle situation than she did about really learning about her abilities or figuring out how to save the kingdom.
I did enjoy the faerie tale feel. It seemed that the author took inspiration from Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Beautiful Creatures, and City of Bones. I still feel that the world building for the reflections was enchanting and does help make up for the overused trope.
"This Reflection continues to astonish me. A beautiful Troll. A hulking merman. A childlike leviathan..." (Ella, Unraveling).
I would rate this book about 3-3.5 stars. It had enough unique qualities to keep my interest and I will be reading the 3rd book when it is released. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.