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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: The Unseen by J.L. Bryan

Be sure to stop by my The Unseen Blitz post to enter to win an ebook copy or awesome prize pack!

The Unseen

by J.L. Bryan
Format: eARC
Source: author

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.
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I received an eARC of this title in exchange for my honest review

J.L. Bryan does creepy and dark well…really well! The Unseen is a creeptastically dark, gritty read full of the macabre and the unexpected. The Unseen’s heroine, Cassidy, is a young tattoo artist, drug enthusiast, and, as she discovers, surrounded by the supernatural. Cassidy finds herself and her loved ones caught up in the deadly doings of a demonic cult and its dangerous disciples. Cassidy must learn to trust and tap into her own supernatural powers to save the people she loves.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, J.L. Bryan is an enthralling and talented storyteller, and in The Unseen he weaves a scary awesome story! At times it seems like everything supernatural has been done, but Bryan has infused his world of demons, angels, and paranormal elements with invigorating originality and thrilling twists. As usual, Bryan’s world-building skills are excellent and he creates an atmosphere that is alluring, addicting, and creepy in the best way possible. The unseen world Cassidy finds herself unwillingly immersed in is full of both the familiar (demonic possession, astral projection, witches) and the sometimes startlingly and imaginatively new (spirit sucking hellbugs, tattoos that come to life). I love how smartly crafted the history and layers of this demonic and supernatural world is; this is a richly developed and complex world that feels very real.

The Unseen starts off a bit slow, with some superfluous character description, but quickly finds its flow, and once the action and real story-building begin, they don’t slow down for a second! Another thing I’ve come to expect from J.L. Bryan is relatable and well-developed characters, and he didn’t disappoint in The Unseen. I love how un-heroine like Cassidy is! She’s incredibly flawed- she drinks too much, does too many drugs, and can be quite selfish and thoughtless- and is perfectly content with ignoring the supernatural world around her and her place in…but this is what makes her feel so real and relatable. I like her rough, jagged edges and how she’s an unconventional heroine. There’s an eclectic cast of supporting characters, all of whom are well-developed, but I think my favorite is Ibis. Sweet, funny, dorkily charming Ibis *swoon*. And Bryan really brings the awesomeness with his nasty, nefarious demonic characters, which made me delightfully shiver!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The Unseen, with its originality, great characters, and captivatingly creepy, dark atmosphere, is the perfect Halloween read and it thoroughly entertained me! 


J.L. Bryan

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