December 28, 2011

Unnatural Law - a new voice in urban YA

Title and author: Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry
Date: October 26, 2011
Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
Source: Publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psychokinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie.

As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own. The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power. So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away.

Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all.

My thoughts:

An intriguing idea with a setting in Northern Alabama, which was a nice change, Larry offers readers a superhero set of characters that will leave many feeling satisfied.

Character development was not as strong as I would like to see in a sequel. I feel many of them were stagnant, but if readers enjoyed the first book it will not matter to most of them in the second, as long as Larry provides true development in the third.

The pacing of this novel was spot on. The author thrusts readers right into the story with zero lag time within the pages. While the plot was developed satisfactorily in the novel, as a reader I feel that the story should have been told through the eyes of one of the characters, preferably Jaycie. This is not a series that should be told with a third person voice. As readers we need to feel the characters, and in a novel such as this that first person point of view would have made a huge difference in the story’s delivery and development.

The strength in this novel lies with its multicultural cast, which is refreshing addition to YA literature, and I feel the novel will appeal to readers who enjoy YA urban fantasy.

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