Unwept by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman
Published by Macmillan, Tor Books on July 1, 2014
Unwept -- the beginning of a spellbinding new trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman bestselling co-creators of Dragonlance and RavenloftGamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who claim to be friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, and that her memories may return in time. But, for her own sake—so they claim—they refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state.Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?Only her lost past holds the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she falls prey to an unearthly killer.
Sometimes I’m in the mood for something different from my normal reads, something outside of the books I know are telling stories I want to hear in a style that I enjoy. Sometimes this results in a huge payoff as I read and enjoy something quite different. So, I will admit this is the mindset I was in when I decided to read Unwept. That, plus the gorgeous cover.
The story intrigued me. A girl wakes up with complete amnesia, remembering nothing before a train ride that has brought her to be reunited with her friends and life from before her “accident” (whatever that may have been) that resulted in her memory loss. Imagine suddenly becoming aware of everything and everyone around you with no recognition or familiarity. A part of you has to ask if you should trust these people. That was my hook. The potential for a story that makes you question everything and everyone. What if these are not her friends? What caused her memory loss? What other possibilities exist? Those questions are why I chose this book. There could be some seriously suspenseful creepy things going on, and so I wanted to find out.
I did find some of this with Unwept. We do wonder about this strange place she has awoken to. There are no children, the rules seem more lax and there is just something odd about the place and the people. You definitely can tell that this is not just a simple case of amnesia. But I also found some of the story terribly predictable. And the writing style is just one that tends to not work for me. I hate to say its “too YA” because YA can mean various things depending on who you are talking to, and there are so many different styles represented within it. It also makes it sound like an insult, which I would never want to do. There are some phenomenal YA books out there. But, I feel this was too typical of the common YA that most people think of when they hear the label. There’s an audience for those books, it just doesn’t typically include me. There’s nothing wrong with that and there are plenty of books I read that other readers would feel the same way about. It just comes down to different styles for different readers. I knew this book was going to be a bit of a gamble for me. And while I enjoyed the premise, I just never was as drawn in as I had hoped. I may have been just looking for more of a horror story than this turned out to be. And I can’t fault a book for not being something its not.
It is quite a quick read, which in my case was a good thing. I may not have finished it otherwise. But, I was curious enough to see if my suspicions were correct to read on to the end. I guess I am glad I did, because now I know. I don’t think I enjoyed it quite enough to continue on with the series, but it wasn’t so disagreeable that I can completely rule out the possibility.
If you don’t plan on reading the book, I do have one ranty complaint full of spoilers.View Spoiler »If you had a carriage house that was stacked to the ceiling with dead bodies, would you keep the key to it in a crystal bowl in the foyer? And then make sure that characters know something nefarious must be in the carriage house by threatening them that under absolutely no circumstances are they ever to look in the carriage house. EVER. But then also make sure they are fully aware that the key is kept out in the open with easy access. Really? I mean REALLY? I have a hard time taking a book seriously when it expects its characters (and readers) to be that oblivious. « Hide Spoiler
Many thank to MacMillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review