13 JulUnseen 30/52

The thing about stand-alone books that go bad is that you can finish it and not have to worry about reading another one. With a series that goes bad, especially if you’re already a few books into it, it’s an intense debate whether or not you should bother to keep going.

That’s where I found myself at the end of Unknown. I’d enjoyed the book, but I wasn’t sure if it was enough to keep me reading. The first two books just weren’t as great as the Weather Warden series, but here I was already two books in. Should I give up or keep going if I wasn’t really enjoying them?

Taking a leap of faith I went for the third book, Unseen by Rachel Caine.

After risking their lives to save Earth Warden Luis Rocha’s niece, Luis and former Djinn Cassiel have come to realise that Ibby Rocha is manifesting powers that she is far too young to be able to handle. Faced with choices on how to keep her safe from the people who captured her in the first place and keeping her safe from her power, they decide to take her to a Wardens sponsored safe house. There Ibby will be taken care of by other Wardens, and Luis and Cassiel will have an easier time watching their backs.

Except they know that Pearl – the supposedly dead Djinn who has been kidnapping warden kids like Ibby – needs to be stopped before she destroys more children by burdening them too early with their powers (and of course, turning them evil). Cassiel takes a risk and disguises herself so that she can infiltrate the camp.

For the first half I had a hard time getting into this book. It’s a whole lot of arguments between Cassiel and Luis about what they should do with Ibby, and an eventual sabotage of trust. It felt like this section droned on for the sake of extending the book’s word count. I was a little disappointed with the characters as well, because the development of them that had taken place in the last two books has suddenly vanished. They do a 180 on each other and sever that trust that was built so quickly it feels as though Luis wasn’t really honest to Cassiel to begin with. And it wasn’t so much that part that bothered me, it was the fact that after all this time together he can’t seem to understand Cassiel’s viewpoint. Like he wasn’t the same Luis anymore, and not in the “character has developed” kind of way…. More in the “forgot the voice of the character” way.

The story finally gets some legs when Cassiel infiltrates Pearl’s camp. The pacing of the story picks up, and for a time you can’t help but wonder what’s really going on in Cassiel’s mind. From this point to the end is really what saves the book, because it makes you feel like yeah there’s actually a reason you’re reading this book. As a reader you feel like you can invest in the characters because Cassiel has almost gone “woah, wait a second…”. The characters become once again the ones read about in the first two books.

Because the first half was blah and the second half was more enjoyable, I give this book 3 stars. The book ended well (as in good read, not necessarily well for the characters) so I’m definitely more optimistic for book 4 than I was going into this one.

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