Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick
Series: The Unseen Series
Publisher: The Penguin Group
Publish Date: 2003
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller
Too many deaths, too many terrifying visions and sleepless nights have taken their toll on Lucy Dennison. She wonders if she can trust anyone or anything anymore – even her own mind. Lucy knows there must be something, somewhere that can tell her why she was chosen to receive the terrible visions, why she feels the sinister presence all around her. As Lucy searches desperately for answers, she knows time is running out. Too many people have disappeared – or worse – and the constant feeling of being surrounded by something truly evil grows stronger each night. Can Lucy defeat the evil in time?
The second installment in the Unseen series picks up shortly after the first book left off. The novel’s protagonist, Lucy Dennison, is haunted by her past experiences. Her world is turned upside down when she stumbles across an open grave while taking an evening stroll through a cemetery. To her horror, she discovers a young girl in the grave with a dagger embedded in her chest. In her final, dying breaths, the mysterious girl imparts a dangerous power upon Lucy. With this power comes a new, deadly world that Lucy blindly stumbles into. Lucy’s life is in shambles, and as she attempts to piece it back together, she becomes aware of a non-human creature that watches her every move, haunting her every waking moment. This stalker lays in silent wait, carefully calculating the exact moment to strike.
Overall, I enjoyed the first section of the book (which is technically the third book in the series) more than the second section (or the fourth book in the series). Despite the fact that I was thoroughly confused for the majority of the 3rd book, the sudden twists and turns made it an exciting read. Readers were left to guess how individual events were connected and attempt to identify Lucy’s stalker. The events moved along at a fairly fast pace, keeping readers in the dark as to what would happen next and leaving them searching for answers. Beginning the fourth book, however, was like running headfirst into a brick wall. A very solid one, mind you. The plot took a turn for the worse, becoming even more confusing and rather hard to follow. The plot came to a standstill, containing a good deal of unnecessary “filler” chapters.
My main complaint was regarding the conclusion. Both books in the series were leading up to the climax, which occurred fairly late (within the last 40 pages). As a result, both the climax and the ending were rushed, leaving readers with a decent number of unanswered questions. For example, the true identity of Lucy’s stalker is never fully revealed. The author hints at his identity on multiple occasions, but leaves many gaping holes. Additionally, there is a large amount of information revealed about numerous characters in the final chapters of the book. This information is hurriedly flung at readers, not giving them enough time to absorb these new developments. If these facts had been revealed gradually, it would have been a different story altogether.
I enjoyed the differing points of view, which tended to switch from Lucy’s perspective to that of her stalker. The chapters that were written through her stalker’s eyes were very well crafted; the author managed to conceal his identity until the final chapter. Readers are provided with brief glimpses at the stalker’s plans and motives, but are left guessing as to who he truly is. Also, the transitions between different narrators were smooth and well executed, as opposed to the more common, abrupt, and choppy transitions.
Lucy’s character was frustrating at times, due to her indecisiveness and naive nature. She constantly denied the events that unfolded around her, choosing to ignore the truths that were clearly spelled out in front of her. When forced to confront these truths, Lucy concocted countless excuses, placing the blame on someone else. Additionally, Lucy was overly trusting, placing her faith in complete strangers. Consequently, she was extremely gullible. Lastly, she repeated the same mistakes over and over again. It was evident that she had not learned from any of her previous mistakes.
And now for the romance, or lack there of. Despite Lucy’s attraction to nearly every guy within a 50 mile radius, the novel contained minimal romance. Very minimal. As in two quick kisses in the entire series. There was no chemistry between the characters whatsoever. Readers were privy to Lucy’s thoughts for the majority of the book, yet she never openly discusses her love interests. Therefore, it is impossible to determine whom Lucy truly loves.
This book was decent; it had both its flaws and its perks. It was a relatively quick read, making it much more bearable. The plot became a bit complicated at times, however, so I would definitely recommend reading the first book in the series before tackling this one. It is imperative that you read carefully, or else you will miss important details. In general, I would recommend this to someone in search of a fast, easy read that differs tremendously from other YA books.
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