Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Unforgotten by Jessica Brody

Unforgotten by Jessica Brody    
Release Date - February 25, 2014
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Some memories are better left forgotten...

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.

Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.
Imagine losing all your memories over and over again. Not knowing who to trust, or what's real. Not having a clear sense of your past, and how that would impact your future. Seraphina lives this, and she also happens to created by scientists in a laboratory. Unforgotten looks at what makes someone human, and what it means to have free will.

I found this book's pacing a little slow at first. Everything we find out, all the secrets and reveals that will impact the next book, come mostly at the end. It made the beginning feel a little dragged out. The middle, and end are a much stronger, and fast paced. There is interesting developments and enough is revealed to keep me coming back for the third. I just wished this had been a little tighter in the beginning.

An intriguing premise made me pick up the first novel in this series. A promising first novel ensured I would pick up the sequel. Unforgotten delves a little deeper into the themes of the first book, without veering from them. The main focus of this one is free will. What it means to have it, and in Seraphina's case, can she ever be sure she has it? I found this aspect fascinating, especially since Seraphina is grappling with what Diotech wants from her, and what they expect her to do.

Diotech, and their agenda, are only starting to be revealed. We learn quite a bit about them, and their motivations in the later half of the novel. We learn how important certain events, and people are to Seraphina's creation, and ultimately we begin to learn why she was created. These answers, and the promise of more, is what kept me immersed into the story. Seraphina, and her struggle for identity, is the heart of this novel, and it's what drives it forward.

Zen, as the synopsis reveals, spends most of the novel ill. As a result, there is almost no character progression for him. We know he loves Seraphina, and will do anything to protect her. We also learn a few of his secrets, but he remain rather illusive. Kaelen, a new character that is introduced, provides the potential for a love triangle. Kaelen is fascinating. Exploring what he means for Seraphina and the story in general is only beginning in this installment. I expect the aftershock of his introduction will still be felt in the last installment.

For a novel that appears to be science fiction heavy, it's surprising light on this element. It's developed enough to follow, and provides a jumping point for the character interactions more than anything. This story revolves around the romance between Zen and Seraphina and them trying to constantly find their way back to each other. As someone who doesn't mind romance heavy plots, this allowed me to become absorbed into the story easily. If someone is looking for a more science fiction heavy plot, they might be disappointed.

Fans of the first book will find much to love in this sequel. A romantic, sweeping story of how our memories define us, and how the connections we form make us human. It's slow unravel of the plot left me a little lukewarm, but overall I am enjoying this series as a whole.

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