Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Title: Unleashed
Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Length: 382 pages
Original Publishing Date: November 22nd, 2011
Series: Wolf Springs Chronicles #1
Where I got it: Audiobook from the e-library
Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

Main characters: 3.5/5

I'm still confused about my feelings on Katelyn. One the one hand, I was disappointed in a lot with her. I didn't like how gymnastics was her life in Los Angeles, and then she moves to Wolf Springs and suddenly rolls over like a puppy (pun intended) and never mentions gymnastics again! It made her seem like she didn't have a backbone to stand up to her grandfather and wasn't all that passionate in the first place. With this being my first impression, I didn't care for Katelyn at first. She also didn't seem to have any other interests or defining characteristics, so there was that. However, Katelyn grew on me. Her relationship with her grandfather and with Trick made her stronger, and I loved how she began to stand up for herself. By the end of the novel, I felt like I knew her, and I guess that made up for the beginning.

Secondary characters: 3/5

I understand that we're supposed to sympathize with Kat at the beginning and thus Holder and Viguie sort of alienated Kat's grandfather. However, I felt like there was a lot of potential for him and learning about his past that was kind of sidestepped in this book. Maybe it will come in the sequel?

Trick was intriguing. He was goofy and adorable, and he sounded like he had a unique physical appearance (which I feel doesn't happen often). Yay Trick. There were a few parts where I was upset at him (as Kat was), but I feel like this was the intent of the authors trying to put me in Kat's shoes (it worked). I'm sure that his issues will be explained and I have faith that he is a good guy. In other words, I love Trick!

The whole mystery with Cordelia made it hard to connect with her, because she appeared to be hiding so many things! Regardless, I liked her unique blend of confident and nervous, and I felt it made her a fascinating secondary character.

Now, all these positive characters in place, I was extremely disappointed with the Justin subplot. I didn't like Justin, and I didn't like Katelyn when they interacted together.

Writing style: 3.5/5

Like many novels, Unleashed started a little slow and needed some time to grow into its plot. The exposition led me to believe that the novel would be different than it actually turned out to be. Luckily, I liked the way it ended up better than the initial promise. Holder and Viguie's writing was mysterious, kept me entertained and confused, and moved quickly. There wasn't anything adept or beautiful to the writing style, but it did its job and I was always interested in what was happening.

Plot: 4/5 
There was some good, and there was some bad. On the plus side, Unleashed is chock full of mysteries. I was swept away in them, constantly trying to figure out, but Holder and Viguie managed to stump me and constantly leave me guessing! I love that in a novel. There was also always something happening. I was never left sitting, waiting for the next big event. Also, I caught that nod to King Lear.... love it!

On the negative side, there was little new about the supernatural premise and I was disappointed with the direction of the plot toward the end.

Ending: 2/5

Not impressed. The ending was much less surprising than I thought, and it left almost too many questions unanswered. Nothing was resolved, and it left me with more questions than answers.

Best scene: The party scenes with Trick

Reminded Me Of: Shiver meets Twilight

Positives: Intriguing main character, Trick, the pacing, the mysteries

Negatives: Slow beginning, Justin & that whole subplot, the ending

Cover: Just okay. It's not particularly striking and I don't really understand the main photo

Verdict: An entertaining, if not deep, read with plenty of mystery!

Rating:  6.4 / 10 (3 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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