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REVIEW: Unforeseen by Lauren Grimley

Unforeseen by Lauren Grimley
Malachite Quills (Sept 2012) | Ebook, 322 pages
Urban Fantasy

To be honest, after the first couple of chapters I began to worry that this book was trying to emulate the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. There were many similar themes to begin with: there was a band of vampires living among humans whilst trying to protect them from a rogue group of vampires who want to be on the top of the food chain; a king or leader who is trying to hold things together, even when his thoughts and feelings are against the status quo; and finally the outcast of one of the noble families in the vampire community.

However, once you dig a bit deeper into the book, you begin to see that this is not a copy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Grimley has managed to carve out her own distinct world with its own rules. By the end of the book, my reservations of this being an imitation of its well-known cousin were firmly behind me and all I wanted to know was what was going to happen next.

This book is clearly part of a series, for although a few of the plotlines are tied up at the end of the book, there are still a few loose ends left. Although Alex has come to terms with the fact that she is a Seer and that she is now integrated within the clan, she is still at the very beginning of her development. I also really want to know how she will settle into the domesticated life as a mate to one of the members of the clan named Markus.

There is not much action within the book, for the majority of it takes place within the walls of the compound. This does allow a lot of background to be covered through Alex asking questions, mainly directed at the Regan (or King). This results in it feeling a bit like a pilot of a TV show, which although not a bad thing, does tend to mean it gets a bit wordy. It is a novel approach and you do get a better understanding of the world as a whole, but at times I wanted something to happen.

The side-plot that did keep me interested was the dreams that Alex kept having of her elder brother. Both her elder brothers were killed before they went through their transition, where they got their full Seer powers. From the very first “dream”, I could tell something was off. My suspicions were proven to be true for we find out that Alex’s elder brother had been kidnapped due to some prophecy where the “Last of Three” would be the most powerful Seer. As I said, Grimley has created a very intricate world.

My favourite character out of the whole book had to be the outcast, Rocky. For me he was just such a complex and interesting character to read about. Here he was, the only son of one of the most powerful and respected families in his clan yet, due to a loyalty to his baby sister, he ended up paying a hefty price to protect her honour. It should have been an instant death sentence, for he knocked out one of the fangs of a male who was taking advantage of his naive sister. Instead, he has been disowned by his family and is now working off his debt to his victim’s family by being a soldier in the Regans’ household. He can’t be a warrior, a highly respected position, for he no longer has a good family name behind him.

Rocky could have come across as a victim or the wrongly accused, thrashing out at everyone, yet you see that he is such a loyal soul, that though he is no longer part of his family, he would rather live with this burden than ruin any chance of his sister making a good match. He is one of the characters that I hope is explored in greater detail in any future books.

Sage, who is a “Knower”, was a rather strange character. He can read other people’s thoughts and minds and so complements Alex’s role as a Seer. This is due to Seer’s only really being able to sense emotions. At first I thought that Sage would be a potential love interest for Alex and was preparing for some sort of confrontation between Sage and Markus. Everything seemed to point in that direction and so it was a bit of a surprise when Alex comes out and relates to the fact that she sees both Sage and Rocky as substitute brothers. I quite liked Sage for he was trying to be a mentor to Alex, while at the same time trying to maintain order in the household. I would like to know more about his backstory as it’s only briefly covered in the book.

Finally, I come to Alex, who I have very mixed feelings about. At first she was a character I could really sympathise with due to the fact she thought she had been kidnapped by Sage and Rocky. When the truth of her heritage comes out, she begins to become more and more brat-like. Before Alex arrived in the household, the group were living in relative harmony. True, she is still getting used to her new found gifts, but at times she comes across as very selfish, even when the Regan tries to explain the danger she is in and the fact that her actions could have fatal consequences. Yet, time and again she seems to ignore him and pushes many members of the group too far. The person who she was really nasty to was Rocky.

This was when she was trying to get them to train her like they would any other Seer. This all stemmed from the fact that all the histories seemed to point to only males being Seers. Being the type of society where females are to be protected, the Regan is reluctant to put Alex through any sort of training. Alex pushes and pushes, ’til she gets a compromise where if she can beat Rocky, then the Regan will agree to her training. It is during this sparring session that Alex uses her gift to really wound Rocky. It’s a low blow and the kind of which I would have thrown her out on her butt. This is a character trait of Alex, where she almost throws a tantrum to get what she wants. She uses the “I’m the Seer” card quite a bit. To be honest, if it weren’t for Sage and Rocky I wouldn’t have given this book as high a mark as I did.

The ending of the book was ok, but the action was over pretty quickly. As I said at the start of this review, I did enjoy the book, but at times I felt it lacked that certain spark that made this good book, great. I think this was mainly down to Alex as a character and trying to cram a lot of backstory into the first book.

VERDICT

Overall, it was a reasonable start to a promising series. There is enough there to make me want to read more about the world. Now that Alex’s role in the clan has been clearly established, it may mean we will get to see a much more action packed tale. There is enough character’s to warrant further exploration and development and I would like to see where this will go.

RATING:

LAUREN GRIMLEY ONLINE
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Gemma

A self confessed geek who likes all things paranormal (except zombies as they scare her) Genre wise she likes horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fiction. [Gemma no longer reviews for BCC]

9 Comments


Melanie February 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

Good to see that you don’t have any competition for BDB!

Reply

Gemma February 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

Its not competition as such. More of another way to look at the genre. It was an interesting start to the series and I do want to read more.

Reply

Carolyn February 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

Based on that cover, I would have NEVER picked the book up. It almost looks like a kids book, the silhouette figure running looks like a child, but I’m assuming is the heroine??

Anyway. As you say mustn’t judge a book by it’s cover (although we all do) I’m glad this book surprised you and you enjoyed it overall.

Reply

Gemma February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

I have to agree with you on the cover. If it hadn’t been a review book, I don’t think I would have picked it up. It is a shame because the cover is no reflection on the book. I really rather liked this novel approach to the genre where rather than have wall to wall conflict, time was taken to build the world up. It is very much the begining of a series andit shows a tonne of promise

Reply

Melanie February 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Weirdly I quite like this cover. It has a comic book feel to it.

Reply

Lauren Grimley March 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for the review, Gemma! Book 2, Unveiled, will be out this spring, and I really appreciate all the feedback from reviewers and readers that helped me grow as a writer. (And, I’m working hard with the publisher to improve the cover for the next one!)
: )

Reply

Gemma March 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks for stopping by, Lauren. I really did enjoy the book apart from wanting to give Alex a good talking to for the way she treated poor Rocky. I think he may be my favourite. I have a soft spot for the underdog. :)

Reply

Lauren Grimley March 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Me too! No spoilers, but I’ll think you’ll be pleased with book two. I show Rocky some love!

Reply

Gemma March 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm

YAY! I’m glad to hear it. Though from the trailer for it hints at heartache for him though!

Reply

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