I like Gena Showalter. But even an author you really like can write a novel that doesn’t quite work for you. Unraveled falls into that category. There were parts of it that I enjoyed, but the book felt like it was standing still.
When I reviewed Intertwined, I noted that it had a huge cast of characters and that many of them were underdeveloped – especially those of the voices in Aden Stone’s head. As Intertwined focused on one of the voices, I expected subsequent novels would do the same. But Aden’s three remaining voices are mostly shoved to the side in Unraveled. Poor Caleb gets close to the limelight, but doesn’t get any answers because the other characters don’t have time to figure out anything about his past other than the fact he’s connected to the witches harassing them.
The end of Intertwined introduced the witches, who placed a death curse on Aden, Mary Ann, Victoria, and Riley. The beginning of Unraveled introduces the fairies, who loathe the vampires. Aden kills the fairy who tries to kill him and then must hide his deed. Both of these plots need to be dealt with, but there are also lingering issues from Aden becoming the vampire king. He needs a vampire queen and they won’t let him pick Victoria without considering other girls first. Plus, he has to wait to be crowned since the old king might not be dead yet.
The vampire plot takes up most of the novel, with the witch and fairy plots periodically showing up before Aden again turns his attention to the vampires. (He pretty willfully ignores that he should do something about his therapist.) That is until the witch and fairy plots take over for a big fight scene to finish the novel. The witch plot does get a bit more attention when the novel focuses on Mary Ann. She’s finding out that her ability to dampen other’s abilities might not be that innocent. She’s also trying to hide the extent of her relationship with Riley from her father.
I liked the development in Mary Ann and Riley’s relationship, as Victoria and Aden’s still fills kind of shallow. They do have some good scenes together as well, however. That’s the whole problem with Unraveled. There are good scenes, but it’s all kind of shallow. There’s too much going on. Showalter never focuses on one thing long enough for me to feel invested. Every time she sucked me in she pushed me right back out to moving on to something completely different without offering any resolution.
I may continue this series just because I like Showalter, but I vastly prefer her Lords of the Underworld series. She does a much better job there of setting up plots that run through multiple books while still developing and resolving a single book plot.
Since coming to Crossroads, Oklahoma, former outcast Aden Stone has been living the good life. Never mind that one of his best friends is a werewolf, his girlfriend is a vampire princess who hungers for his blood, and he’s supposed to be crowned Vampire King—while still a human! Well, kind of.
With four—oops, three now—human souls living inside his head, Aden has always been “different” himself. These souls can time-travel, raise the dead, possess another’s mind and, his least favorite these days, tell the future.
The forecast for Aden? A knife through the heart.
Because a war is brewing between the creatures of the dark, and Aden is somehow at the center of it all. But he isn’t about to lie down and accept his destiny without a fight. Not when his new friends have his back, not when Victoria has risked her own future to be with him, and not when he has a reason to live for the first time in his life….
Read an excerpt here.
Other books in this series: