Review: Unchained

unchainedReviewed by Carrie

I’ve shied away from fallen angel books in general because I honestly find the whole mythology confusing.  However, I have enjoyed Jennifer Armentrout/ J. Lynn’s writing and when I was offered a review book, I thought I’d give it a go.

Lily Marks is a Nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human.  Her life is devoted to working for the Sanctuary, a clandestine group of Nephilim tasked with hunting and eradicating minions (turned Nephilim) and deadheads (possessed souls) while trying to avoid death by the Fallen (angels).  She’s always been the wild card at the Sanctuary, but her hijinks are quickly forgiven.

Enter Julian, the Fallen angel that has been stalking, and saving, Lily for the last 8 years, ever since she put a blade in his gut.  Each time Julian saves her, Lily doubts her training and the Nephilim doctrine that states Fallen are inherently evil.  She also can’t stop her body from responding their undeniable chemistry.  When a mole is suspected in the Sanctuary, feeding important names to the Fallen, the finger is quickly pointed at Lily.  She is surprised when Julian vows to help her find the mole and clear her name.

Lily could be and interesting character but there is not much revealed about her background other than she was brought to the Sanctuary very young.  The reader is told that she is tough and that others bow to her strength but there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to support that.  She gained a measure of depth as her conversations with Julian began to progress and she started to question all she had been taught and, more importantly, question herself as to what she wanted to gain out of life instead of blindly following orders without question. Even though much of Julian remains a mystery, I found myself likening their relationship to early Anita Blake/Jean Claude.

First books in a PNR/UF series usually suffer from information overload in trying to world build, but unfortunately, this is not the case here.  The pacing for the first half is slow.  The story would have been better served by cutting out at least half of the love scenes and amping up the action because when it finally gets down to the nitty gritty in the last 15% of the book it really flies.  There are also a couple of side characters storylines that I assume will be developed in later books. The author states in the afterword that this was the second book she had written (I’m assuming that it was a while ago and was recently pick up by the publisher) and the roughness shows.  Despite this, I think the premise is interesting though and I’ll probably read on to see where the author takes this.

Rating: C

*ARC provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon

Unchained
by J Lynn (Jennifer Armentrout)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Entangled

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