Author: J.L. Bryan
Publication: October 31, 2013
Reviewed by: Isalys & Jen
Reason for Reading: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review.
Cassidy is a young tattoo artist living in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. She’s always suffered terrible nightmares, and sometimes the hideous creatures seem to follow her out of her dreams and into her waking life, though she’s the only one who can see them. Drugs and alcohol can blot them out, but never entirely chase them away.
When a demonic cult begins to take control of the people in her life, including her younger brother, Cassidy discovers that the unseen world of monsters is very real. She can no longer avoid it. To protect those she loves, she must accept her own hidden supernatural talents and face the forces of evil before the sinister cult achieves its twisted goals and casts the world into darkness.
Jen: Unlike you, this was my first foray into the mind of JL. I was both terrified and intrigued at the same time. I knew from the first paragraph that shit was going to go down. And down it went. Who were some of your favorite and least favorite characters?
Isalys: Well, off the bat I knew that Reese was going to be a problem! And then that thing happens and I was like, “oh hell nah, JL is not going to hold back!” lol
Jen: Gee what could possibly have tipped you off about Reese? Lol! I really liked Cassidy. Poor girl had all kinds of things thrown at her (literally and figuratively) and I think she handled it as well as she could. I really liked her friend Barb. She was funny and had Cassidy's back no matter what. Someone I did not like, other than Reese, was that jerk Peyton.
Isalys: Peyton was a total douchecanoe! I expected him to be just a typical guy but there were several scenes where I really wanted to backhand him! Barb on the other hand was amazing! She was so loyal to Cassidy and I loved that about her. Truth be told, I loved Cassidy but was concerned about her substance abuse. Then again, can you really blame her considering all the shiz she was seeing? And her family! Her poor mom! I wanted to hug her. She’d been through so much. Whoda thunk that she had so much baggage - er, history! I wished she had been more upfront with Cassidy when she was younger but I guess she figured ignorance was bliss - and safety! What are your thoughts on her brother?
Jen: I felt for her Mom, too. Imagine having to keep all those secrets only to realize it may have hurt more than helped. I'm just glad she fessed up when she did. Oh Kieran. What can I say other than I may have wanted to junk punch him once or twice but I think he was perfectly portrayed as a typical teenager. Which would explain the junk punching. Teenage angst aside, I think the kid has a good heart and would do just about anything for his sister. On a side note, what did you think about Ibis?
Isalys: Yeah! Keiran was kind of a pain in the ass, although he wasn’t really a bad kid. I can see how he felt like he needed to find acceptance. I think he eventually learned that his sister loved him more than he realized. Being a big sister myself, I don’t think little brothers always understand that - lol. Dude, IBIS!! I am speechless, lol.
Jen: I don't want to give too much away but I really like what JL did with his character. I kinda like guessing games. What did you think about the setting for the story?
Isalys: Omg, that curve ball with him toward the end….HOLY SHIT! I was not expecting that. I really thought he was something else. I liked how that became an opportunity for Cassidy to learn to trust her instincts. In that one scene, I was both shocked and impressed by what happened with both Ibis and Cassidy. It was pretty smooth of JL to be able to pack shock-factor and character growth into one scene.
The setting...hmm, well I learned that if a “church” is in a rundown neighborhood, next to a whorehouse, don’t trust it! It’s okay to just go with your gut on that one, ya know - lol
Jen: Lol! Excellent call my friend. Creepy Youth Outreach Center and Church aside, I liked the world building. I felt like I was walking or bar hopping the streets of Atlanta. I like when an author can do that. It adds an extra layer to the reading experience.
Isalys: Definitely! I loved seeing Atlanta through his eyes. Especially since it’s where he’s based, I trust it to look exactly as he wrote it. I love it when authors base their settings on the cities they live in. Makes it so much more real. Make sense?
Jen: Absolutely! Ahh! There's so much I want to yap about but, I friggin' can't. This is definitely the kind of journey you have to witness unfold for yourself. A rollercoaster isn't as fun when you know what's coming, right? It's the same with this story.
Isalys: What did you think of the plot? JL is great at coming up with unique plots and this one was all kinds of cray-cray. The demons gave me the heebie-jeebies!
Jen: Heebie Jeebies would be an understatement. I really enjoyed the plot. I like how the story was paced and how things unfolded the way they did. I enjoyed the 'holy crap' and 'wtf' moments and the way they lead to the big reveal.
Isalys: Yes, it was fast-paced in the sense that it was action packed but not so much that events didn’t make sense. There was a sense of urgency that was necessary because of Cassidy’s predicament. And I LOVE how JL gives his heroines so much backbone. I live for those “who’s the bitch now?!” moments, in the big reveal to which you referred! WHEN you read Jenny Pox, you’ll really be able to appreciate that quality to his writing.
Jen: *hangs head in shame* I know! I hear it's a really good read. I'll have to add it to the never ending TBR list. *sigh* So is it safe to say we're giving The Unseen the Book Soulmates stamp of approval?
Isalys: Always! Especially to those who love dark, edgy, fast-paced, action-packed, sit-on-the edge-of-your-seat-while-you-bite-your-nails-off kind of books ;)