Seven’s mother is gone. Rahn claims she’s left the Untamed settlement and become a member of the Enhanced. Seven wants to mount a rescue mission to go after her, even though she knows it never works. Once a person has a taste of the augmenters the Enhanced use for supernatural strength and speed, she never comes back willingly. The augmenters are too addicting.
Shortly after her mother’s disappearance, Seven learns that she holds the key to an ancient power that will mean the survival or doom of her people. When the Enhanced begin to target her, she must depend on her friends to prevent her capture. But the greatest enemy she must face may come not from an outside attack, but from within herself.
The fast-paced action of Untamed really drew me into the story. Disaster seemed constantly imminent, and it was difficult to tell who Seven could really trust as friends and allies. The threats of betrayal from within and the feeling that her enemy was closing in around her from the outside really kept the pages turning and me wanting to find out what happened next.
One thing I really struggled with though was the lack of story world development. There are some great elements present (the Gods, the spirits that swarm during these purple sky moments) but they remained undeveloped. Where did the lore come from? What Gods? Do their names somehow tie the story to a futuristic earth or is this a completely different fantasy land? I wanted more information, more weaving in through the events of the story. I loved that the spirits played a role, but I still felt like I didn’t understand how they got there to begin with or what their story was.
Seven has a dog with her for much of the story. A dog without a name. She talks about wanting to give the dog a name but not settling on anything and instead refers to her as “my dog” or “the terrier” for the whole story. I didn’t really have a clear picture in my head of what the dog looked like. But more than that, I feel like she would have called the dog something. A nickname or something at the very least. Terri? Good Dog? Something. But that’s really a minor point in the larger scope of the story.
I wanted more of a sense of how the Untamed and Enhanced fit into the larger story world. I wanted to better understand why the Enhanced were evil. Some things were obvious, but it felt like a whole world existing moment to moment, without a larger scope or goal. I think the conflict between the two groups was easy to understand, but it lacked that epic feel that I think would have come from having larger leaders with world-changing goals.
Other than the issues with story world, I enjoyed reading Untamed. I found it easy to root for Seven as a character and really wanted her and Corin to get together! I liked that she was flawed but still strong and smart enough to work some things out on her own. Readers who enjoy dystopian novels would enjoy this book.
Vague references to the Gods and spirits. At one point it seems that there’s a way to control the spirits. Everything stays very vague.
The Enhanced leaders torture captured members of the Untamed. Untamed steal from Enhanced cities to survive and kill Enhanced members if necessary. The Enhanced claim to be nonviolent, but they also try to kill the members of Untamed groups.
The Enhanced use vials of liquid with specific purposes, to calm them or enhance speed, etc. The solutions are extremely addictive.