Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.
But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.
Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.
Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?
I feel like I went into this book with a grudge. I think I’ve read too many Christian novels where Joshua is basically a Jesus character and too perfect and somehow I always find the romance in those stories to be hard to buy into.
But actually, that was a huge misconception about this book on my part. Joshua is a relatively average guy (even if he does seem pretty perfect to El). I think the best part about this book is easily the voice. It’s different than a lot of other books in that you’re in El’s point-of-view so deep that it’s like her reactions are immediate. At first I had to get used to this, but once I did, I found I really enjoyed her sort of oddball girlishness, and she’s so easy to like that even if I’d struggled with the way the writing is, I probably would have stuck with the story to the end.
I liked how the fantasy story world and the real world intersect in the book with the portals to different places and the way they connect. All of Eliyana’s life, others have protected her, and suddenly, she must make decisions for herself and find her own strength.
The romance between characters definitely took some directions I didn’t expect. I liked that Joshua isn’t perfect and that there’s way more going on there than he lets on. In some ways I’m not a huge series reader, but I’ve already got the sequel to Unblemished on stand-by and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. If you liked The Storm Siren Trilogy by Mary Weber or Tandem by Anna Jarzab, you want to add Unblemished to your reading list!
The characters seem pretty homogeneous culturally.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief kissing. El learns that her mom had her when she was sixteen.
Two forces shape the world El lives in. The Verity—a force for good, which inhabits the Vessel who’s supposed to rule. The Void, a force for evil, which can inhabit someone and make them soulless, sort of bad zombie soldiers.
Each person can possess one in a series of gifts, like the ability to heal, transform, paralyze others, etc.
Battles between El’s team and the cruel king’s soldiers. Not a lot of gory description, but some characters die or get injured.
El attends a party where she sees several teens drinking.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.