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Book Review: UNCHOSEN by Katharyn Blair

UNCHOSEN eerily parallels the world we are facing today.

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair depicts the consequences of a pandemic not taken seriously, and the effects it has on the world, and the people that live within it. The book tells the story of a disease that has spread quickly and without a cure. It slowly turns its victims into flesh eaters, and spreads through eye contact with those infected. As the world slowly descends into anarchy, however, there are whispers of a cure. A cure that can be brought about by the chosen one, but the problem is no one has any idea of who they are, or could there be a possibility that three young sisters know the answer that everyone is searching for.

Charlotte Holloway, our heroine of Unchosen, embodies what it’s truly like to be the middle child. The story follows Charlotte as she attempts to navigate a crumbling world cursed by a woman standing up for herself. Charlotte finds herself stuck between a sister fighting for greatness and a sister destined for it, and the only thing she can do is help them achieve their goals. I think that’s what makes Charlotte one of the more relatable heroines I’ve read about in a while. She has no clue what she is doing, she isn’t destined for anything, and her main motivation is just protecting the people she loves. She is thrown into a world she barely understands pretending to be someone she’s not all just to protect her loved ones.

Along with Charlotte, this book is filled with other kick-butt females that drive the plot. We first meet Charlotte’s two sisters, one who fights and leads a resistant force against the curse that spreads across the world, and the other a kind, caring, and gentle soul, who wants to live a normal life, but is fated to be the chosen one and save the world. The relationship between Charlotte and her sisters is the heart of the book. The reader learns about their past, and how they came to be where they are in this post-apocalyptic world, and why each of them have assumed the roles that they have fallen into. I almost find myself wishing for more of their relationship in the book, since the bulk of the book takes place following Charlotte around the world, but there are many other dynamic characters that Charlotte meets during her journey who are just as interesting. She comes across a colorful crew of characters who have a mission of their own lead by a captain who may not be everything Charlotte has come to hear. This book is mixed with characters you will either learn to love or hate, and even features a few that will surprise you.

Unchosen creates a familiar, yet unique universe. The author builds a world ravaged by disease with characters who fight to get back the world they still remember, while the powerful build a system where those free of the disease can seek shelter. It is a fascinating plot where the reader gets to experience the end of the world, and see how the human race adapts to the new conditions that have been thrust upon them. The reader does have to remember, however, that even though everything is based in our reality the disease that actually sweeps across the world is caused by a curse. There is some element of magic in the story meaning moments of the story can also be cured or solved with magic, but science also plays its part as well. The disease passes through eye contact, but can also be cured by passing it to other people. This creates an interesting dynamic where characters have to decide what’s more important: their life or the lives of the people around them.

The only grievance I have with this book is that it came to an end too quickly. The characters were exciting, and the plot was interesting and thought-provoking, but the one shortcoming, however, is that as I got closer to the end, I felt like the story started to feel rushed. I felt attached to these well fleshed out characters who have been trying to uncover the mystery of the pandemic, and the rising numbers of the cursed, but once I finally reached the end for the final pay-off, I found myself a little confused and wanting more from the solution. Along with this, I feel like the book couldn’t decide if it wanted to focus on the magic of the disease or the science of it. I feel like this could have been addressed if the book had a few more pages, but unfortunately the book feels like it was cut short. This is a book that feels like it should have been written into two maybe three books, which I would have ingested in days, but was unfortunately crammed into one. With this thought, however, I still strongly recommend you add it to your to do list.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Unchosen will be released on January 26th, 2021, and you can pre-order it through the links below.

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