April 10th 2013
Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz
First off, let me say, as a non published author, I respect any author whom is out there and were able to impress an agent, publishing house and audience enough to be represented. As an author whom is most likely going to take the indie author route, I see the process and it is difficult to receive representation, as publishing books is a business. You can love writing, but at the end of the day, people will only invest in you if they believe you can make them money.
Unleashed however was a book that did not impress me from start to finish. It is a paranormal romance story involving a teenage boy destined for the Ivy Leagues, and a biracial(half black-half white)delinquent whom has discovered a type of mushroom,that she, her twin brother and two friends get high with and use as a source to become a werewolf.
While this was a bit different take from most werewolf books, considering the werewolf bit added nothing to the plot for me, I almost believe it could have been completely written out. Without the werewolf plot, it could have easily just been a YA romance lit book.
I didn't hate it, but here are the good and bad about the book.
I didn't feel as though the narrative was clear. I couldn't tell whose perspective it was being told through at times, and sometimes it seemed as though it were being told from both of them sentences from each other. I, for one, enjoy multiple perspectives. At times, if characters speak or think too much, I feel as though they reveal too much plot,and when told through the eyes of two people, just when I learn something juicy, I like to be ripped from that comfort to learn something that the other character is hiding, in hopes in the book it'll tie well together. I didn't get that from this book.
There was no clear villain. I LOVE villains, especially those villains that have you understanding them by the end of the story. I suppose the wolves in the characters COULD have been that, but because it wasnt a tangible villain, I was never truly sure. I know evil can not always be personified, but this story did little to show me what form the villain was.
The main female protagonist Misty was biracial, and while I love diversity, I didnt understand why she couldnt have just been written Caucasian. She was as pale as a white female, and while I feel as though the biracial need to be represented, they showcased her as a delinquent or "hood rat" as they liked to call her,when she didn't share the speech of someone who lived in an urban area. Im not saying all black girls have to be head shaking, finger snapping, hands on their hips types of personas, but her speech, personality or clothes NEVER indicated she deserved the names they kept calling her. It was an insult to assume that everything negative about her was due to her being biracial,and apparently most people had a problem with racism where they were from, so I wasn't sure why her being biracial was an issue. And the fact Daniel gave up doing well in school just to get high to run around stupid as a werewolf, led me to assume she was more a bad influence on her than good.
THE AUTHOR WASN'T DESCRIPTIVE ENOUGH! I went the entire book with two vague descriptions of the main male protagonist Daniel(whom all I know had green eyes and dark hair) and Misty(whom was described as yellow,sallow and sickly looking). Daniel's girlfriend and friends were never described,as well as Misty's, so I wasn't even sure what their races, sexes, body types or any distinctive markers that shape how one should see a character in their minds,were. Im certain Misty's friends weren't black, but I was never sure. And most of all, Daniel's own girlfriend was never described. Bad job publishing house. You didn't catch that. How do you stay in business?
I wasn't turned off by the drugs and sex, but in order to become a wolf,you had to be high all the time,and I wasn't sure that was a good premise for introducing lycanthropy.
Daniel, the main character was often described different ways at points in the book that made me wonder why they heck he was so special. First he was a smart kid. Then he WAS an athlete. Then he was a shooting star. All of this should have been introduced early on. Even if not at the same time, not 180 pages in the book,when I've already made my mind about the character. The character development overall was very sloppy, but Daniel stood out the most,as he was supposedly the main character.
To me it wasn't much. But what I will say is I didn't once put it down. Not because it had me turning the page,but mainly because I was hoping the story would pick up. It never did.
Despite the lack of description, I still had certain faces I dreamcasted. Since it was mainly about Daniel and Misty, I'll only do them.
Matt Lanter and Antonia Thomas was how I pictured Daniel and Misty. That's the best I could do with the description that was given to me.
I wanted so bad the give this book a 3 star,but the ending didn't redeem it, so 2.5 is the most I will go. It was not a book I hated, but I wouldn't exactly hope for a sequel anytime soon.