Author: Amber Lynn Natusch
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.89
Published: August 26th, 2014
Born into mystery. Shackled to darkness…
Khara has spent centuries discovering everything about the Underworld―except her place in it. But when she’s ripped from her home, solving the riddle of her origins becomes more important than ever. With evil stalking her through the dark alleys of Detroit, she finds salvation from an unlikely source: a group of immortal warriors sworn to protect the city. Khara needs their help to unravel the tangled secrets of who and what she is—secrets many seem willing to kill for. But time is running out, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer necessity binds her to an arrogant fallen angel.
Can their shaky alliance withstand that which threatens her, or will her soul fall victim to the unholy forces that hunt her―those that seek the Unborn?
"To Survive in the Underworld, one would show no vulnerability. I had mastered the art of indifference centuries ago."Karah is the adoptive daughter of Hades and Demeter. Her whole purpose in life is to switch places with Persephone six months out of the year in order for Persephone to spend Spring topside with her mother Demeter. One day put of the blue Karah is plucked from her underworld into the world of the living and put in the path of her real non-adoptive brothers so they can find her and spend the rest of their lives regretting the decision to bring her home.
Karah has supposedly lived for centuries, so you would think she would have all this history and past experiences right? Wrong. Karah has no personality to speak of, no emotion, no passion. She is just an empty vessel of a character really. I did not connect with her in the slightest. She has lived for CENTURIES yet she has no valuable information, no skills, and no talents. What DID she spent doing all those centuries?
*DANGER WHORE SHAMING AHEAD* Also she is such a hypocrite. At one point she is at a club and she needs to go to the bathroom and when she goes inside she finds Oz (I'll get to him later) fucking some girl against the sink. I am not in support of fucking in the club, but to each their own right? What bothers me is not this but Karah's reaction:
"I have seen where your hands have been this evening Oz. I would prefer not to wear your whore, if it is all the same to you."Yet, moments earlier she had said...
"Expressionless and brutal, Oz embodied his very essence even in his sexual encounters. It made something in the pit of my stomach seize. H e belonged in the Underworld with the rest of the depraved souls that served my father; such brazen acts were rampant there. I knew much about them, having looked upon those activities from a very young age. At times, I found myself involved in them."
Karah, the pot calling the kettle black. No woman in the story is to be better than Karah, all the ladies when they look at her show aggression because of course Karah must the the ONLY female in the story, and the BEST. She is extremely off putting. It is like the author can't decide if to make her a Mary Sue or a part time vixen with experience. She wants her to be the BEST of both worlds. Inexperienced with life but with experience in the dark arts of having sex. As a character she fails miserably. And just about every aspect of her life was either only hinted at (like her "miserable" time spent in the Underworld) or extremely glossed over. She has spent half of her entire life on the surface, but she doesn't know what a cell phone is, but she does know what a car engine is.
A lot of things in this world were just glossed over really. The world development was poor to say the least. It is greek mythology mixed with angels/demons, mixed with a ton of other supernaturals. Which isn't too bad IF YOU DO IT RIGHT. An example of someone who mixes all these mythologies right: Supernatural, the show. It does a fantastic job of bringing everything together. But then again, it took time. In Unborn you are just told that there are a bunch of Supernaturals out there and that the sons of Ares are tasked with keeping the balance between supernaturals beings and humans. Why is this again? Do the other gods have children? What kind of supernaturals are out there?
They have this specific supernatural they fight, The Stealers/Soul Breathers. At one point the children of Ares struck a deal with the Stealers/breathers relegating them to a single city and a strict diet that kept the supernatural population in line. Only, their deal makes no fucking sense. Why would the Stealers, who are able to reproduce like rabbits, struck this deal with their enemy? I do not know why the bad guys would have struck this deal at all! They could have easily win against the Ares children it seemed to me. In a realistic setting the Stealers would have said "screw you very much" and just taken over not only the city of Detroit but the world.
Speaking of the children of Ares, they are probably the sole reason I gave this title 2 stars instead of 1. Even though it is stated that Areas has hundreds of children we are only introduced to five. Drew, Kierston/Pierson (they are twins), Casey, and Sean. Drew is basically the leader of the "children" in Detroit, he is level headed and is just looking to keep everyone alive and in order. Kierston...
"While Kierston behaved like a sex-driven juvenile, Pierson was positively serious in nature, his eyes analyzing everything around him."This is how WOMEN react to Kierston:
"How's it going, Special K?" She was intoxicated by him, his mere presence alone enough for her to nearly fall to her knees in service of him. When he winked ar her in response, she bit her lip and inhaled deeply."He is like catnip to women. Seriously, didn't that woman just act like a cat on catnip? He is compared to a drug. He is like "Special K" which I think is a reference to Ketamine. *sigh* Kierston doesn't deserve the reference really, he was actually one of the only reasons the story is readable.
So Kierston is the man whore and Pierson is the analytical twin who is more than a little cold. Kierston though is a sweetie, the one with the most heart. I really disliked how often and frequently the issue of incest was touched upon the novel, like Kierston couldn't control himself around his sister. Which was so not the case, I thought the incest reference was unnecessary and awkward. Despite this I seemed to like Kierston the most, as well as Casey. If you have read The Black Dagger Brotherhood then you might find Casey is like the PG version of Zhadist. I mean, it is UNCANNY:
"They looked wary of him, and, upon further inspection, I understood why. His nearly black eyes were sunk deep in his face, the rest of his features dominating. His head was smooth, with only a trace of hair shadowing the surface. His skin was lighter than the twins', which served to highlight the darkness in his eyes."Is he inspired by Z? I do not know, but the resemblance is there. Nevertheless Casey turned out to be one of the few instances of amusement you get from Unborn so I am glad to have him around. Kierston's twin, Pierson, was mostly just an intelligent ass. He likes to read a lot (SCORE) but then he is not very approachable so who cares. Sean, the real fearless leader, spends little time in the story so I don't feel like I know him very well. All I know is that you want him on your side in a fight. I feel like the author did a mostly good job with the side characters, if only such attention had been spent on the MAIN character.
Now, for the romantic mess. OZ is a fallen angel that spends his time hanging out with the Ares brothers. He is a self proclaimed man whore (see above paragraph for reference of his activities). This is how OZ described himself:
"I'm irresistible. You've seen the way women fall at my feet. Why would you be any different?"But of course, as soon as Khara enters the picture his behavior starts to change. Because he LIKES her. WHY? She is bland, emotionless, she doesn't even try to make connections with her brothers or those around her. Empty vessel. There is no real reason why OZ would like Khara, only that she is the main character and so the tortured angel MUST fall for her. Oz is also a clear dick with no redeeming qualities so I don't feel any attachments to him. Maybe they deserve each other after all.
"Oz has proven to be selfish, arrogant, abrasive, and even vile at times, but one thing he has never proven himself to be is a liar. I do not suspect he will do so today."Since I already spoke of how one of the brothers remind me of Z from the Black Dagger Brotherhood I will tell you that OZ is Lassiter. Inspired by or not the connections are there for the taking. If I were to take it further Pierson would be V, Kierston would be Rhage, and Sean would be... Wrath? The fearless leader? Drew would so be Thorment, no question.
YA? NA? Romance/fantasy? I believe this book was going for the NA territory, but with YA tendencies. I thought it was YA, until I saw the references to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. So, NOT YA even though the cover looks extremely YA. It is New Adult surely, even though all the characters really just act like teenagers (and they are CENTURIES old! Twilight syndrome for sure).
Final Verdict: Better luck next time! I do not know if I will pick up the sequel quite honestly, even though I really would like to go back and see the PG-13 version of the brotherhood. I guess for them I might, but certainly not for Karah. Or OZ.