Book Review: Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry

Details from Amazon:

Product Description

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.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 537 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Penumbra Publishing (October 26, 2011)

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Initial Thoughts:

So I usually don’t do this section for books but since this is this first time I’m doing a review for a copy I received from the author (Thanks!), I figured I’d make an exception. As I stated in my new Review Policy section (just to the left of this) I will still give my honest and fair opinion. I can, however, pimp a fellow Penumbra author a little Smile. If you’re interested in her books (and want to connect with a great person) you can check her out at her blog.

Also worth pointing out is that this is the first novel I read entirely on my iPod Touch. It was a different experience but one I enjoyed. The iPod is so small that I could carry it anywhere and be able to read. The program I use (Kobo) also has some neat features like night-reading, enlarging text, automatic book marks and achievements like a video game. My only wish would be for a slightly bigger screen, I’ll have to save up and buy the iPad 3 when it comes out Open-mouthed smile.

What I liked:

This book presents an interesting, well-written and complex story (which is a good thing!) with several plot twists, rich and realistic characters and a very imaginative take on fairies, slayers, super-powers and magic.

I enjoyed how science and magic are interwoven and the explanation that many of the characters are just the next step in evolution (triggered by a traumatic event in their lives) is both interesting and a great story element for each character.

I’m a huge geek, so I especially appreciated the references in the book to Family Guy (and I knew the episode instantly), Bruce Lee (also knew the scene described right away) and X-Men.

I particularly loved how many of her characters while good, do take actions that are questionable and if you think fairies (the Dey-Vah) are friendly and harmless, you are sorely mistaken.

I also greatly enjoyed how all sorts of magic creatures would just appear out of nowhere. Often to the surprise (and annoyance) of many of the main characters. Some even say they will try to knock in the future (lol!), which I can’t see why a vampire would ever do Winking smile.

The dream scenes with Allison and the rose were beautiful and created great atmosphere and foreshadowing (look at me all technical! Winking smile). I always enjoy dreams worked into a novel.

Also I thought using characters experiences to talk about issues such as racism, suicide, mental illness, therapy, rape and emotional abuse was an excellent way to bring up these important issues, without being heavy-handed in the approach.

I’ve never been in therapy but the way Natasha writes it here makes it sound fairly pleasant and helpful. Of course there probably isn’t a doctor as good (and brave) as Dr. Ando in the real world Smile.

Now I’ll talk about individual chapters and characters I enjoyed the most. So consider this a SPOILER ALERT.

Jaycie: How can you not love a character that is a super-powered geek who loves fast cars, causing destruction, Bruce Lee movies and painting? For me the best parts of the book with her are when she really lets loose with her powers. She has a dark side and I loved to see it come out. She is also this most powerful character in the book and the creative uses she finds for her telekinesis were also a pleasure to read. The fact that she is emotionally unstable and can literally tear the house down only adds to the fun.

Haylee: I love this character! Someone who acts sweet and innocent (at least some of the time Winking smile) yet has an intense hatred for anyone who is evil (and has the power to literally make them burn for their sins). She has suffered so much and yet stays strong. Her unfailing devotion to Jaycie is touching and her ability to sense evil certainly comes in handy.

Allison: She is a lot of fun. I love the idea of someone who doesn’t age and also keeps the attitude of someone in her 20’s (despite being over 90). She’s a tough chick and is tested in this book but ultimately triumphs.

Clarissa: Another character I adore. She is always funny as she just says whatever is on her mind, has no tact and just announces life and death visions as if they were the weather report. She doesn’t take crap from anybody, though she is forced into some embarrassing situations which were quite funny to read.

Alonzo: A medium who can speak to spirits of the dead and can order them around! (very clever take). The spirits appear in front of all to see and can even be used to attack or defend against others. He is manipulated into working with the big villain, Michael, and just when you think he’ll be killed for his actions, his honesty saves him. He is also a hopeless romantic infatuated with Jaycie (who has a boyfriend) which leads to some amusing scenes with Matt.

Layla: My kind of vampire! (I love vampires as I’m sure you know Vampire bat) She commands respect from humans,super-humans,vampires and Dey-Vah alike. She is the leader of her vampire family and a skilled huntress. She knows what needs to be done and does it no matter anyone else thinks or says. She also is helpful to the Inner Circle (main gang of heroes in the book) and has the kind of haunting, piercing beauty that I always imagined a vampire would.

Chapter 8:

Jaycie get’s her torture mojo working on Matt’s dad, Michael (who is a total asshole). Finding his biggest fear and then acting on it (with shards of a broken mirror). This was an excellent idea and made for a memorable scene. Jacyie’s Dad has to clean up the mess but I always enjoy a glimpse of Jacyie’s dark side.

Chapter 14:

Jaycie is forced to really open up on Allison (who attacks her because a telepathic bolt that went astray). She is also is seriously pissed at her Dad’s girlfriend Debbie and decided to wreck her house and nearly kill her (which was a treat to read.) Evil Jaycie is my favourite kind Winking smile. We also get to see how tough Allison really is and it is Haylee who saves Jaycie (and we get to see her use her vision power for the first time).

I don’t want to spoil the whole book so I’ll just say there were a bunch more chapters that I loved and plenty more action and excitement contained in them. As one final example when a Dey-Vah tortures a slayer its genuinely creepy and another favourite scene of mine.

Dislikes:

As you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed this book but there were a few things that could have possibly been done just a little better (in my humble opinion).

-The chapters in the beginning that focus mostly on  Jaycie and Matt were a little slow. I think I felt this way because I never experienced that intense, unrequited infatuation that a teenager has (I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 23). So it’s not that they were poorly written, just that I had a hard time relating to it.

-I thought a better ending for the book would have been at Chapter 33.  I enjoyed the last two chapters but I found that these would have served better at the start of book 3 rather than the end of this one. This would have left some suspense for what exactly Matt would do solve Jacyie’s power/control issues. These two chapters just made the book a tiny bit too long for me.

-I’m sorry if this sounds really nitpicky but I couldn’t help but notice it. Almost everyone seemed to “plop” or “plopped” down in their seats. I have nothing against the word I just felt words like “sit”, “collapse”, “fall” or “rest” might be feeling a little neglected Winking smile.

Final Thoughts:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this book has several excellent plot twists. In particular I enjoyed how the Inner Circle learns how to defeat the evil Dey-Vah and how they had been controlling Allison and Alonzo were great surprises that I didn’t see coming.

This is rich, engrossing world with believable and engaging characters. It is very unique and imaginative with some truly touching scenes along with some intense and creative action to boot. I felt fully apart of this world by the end and I am eager to find out what happens to everyone next (and to find out how it all started in book 1 Smile).

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Young-Adult fiction or generally to any Sci-fi/fantasy/horror fan such as myself. I hope Natasha has a bright, successful career as a writer and continues to expand this enchanting world for years to come. A strong 8/10 from me. For $2.99 (kindle version) you really can’t go wrong here Thumbs up.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent review of an excellent part two to an excellent series <–i go overboard somtimes, nevermind me..

  2. Thanks! I tried to do a very comprehensive review. I’ll be reading part 1 in a few weeks. I forgot to mention in the review how much I enjoyed the chapter titles, very clever. Especially the one that was just two symbols (alpha to the omega) 🙂


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