By Kelly Bridgewater
Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a 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 like he does: 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?
In Sara Ella's debut fantasy novel, Unblemished, she creates a unique story at looking at how God views his creation. Ella has mentioned in her numerous Facebook posts about her love of fairy tales, but I hoped for a fairy tale type story, but Ella surprised me with a complete different story. Unblemished was not the type of story I was expecting, but I enjoyed spending a couple of days with the storyline.
Even though this was Ella's first chance at creating a storyline, I admire her skills. Ella's greatest strength in my humble opinion is her ability to really get into her heroine's perspective. I watched her struggle with her birthmark, her identity in this parallel universe, and dealing with the emotions with the "loss" of her mother. As someone who joined the club of losing a parent, I could empathize with Ella's heroine. Ella did not shift from her first person point of view, so it was easy to follow her story.
As for the fantasy plot, it was different. A lot of fantasy stories begin with a portal taking the main heroine to the parallel universe. C. S. Lewis did it with a wardrobe. J. K. Rowling did it with a train station. But Ella uses a pond in Central Park. The story takes off from there where I watched the main heroine struggle with her captivity and trying to understand this strange world she hurled directly into. While I was drawn into the story right away, as the story progressed, I did want to put the book down and move onto other things. It wasn't a story that held my attention through the whole book. At the two-thirds part of the book, the story does pick up and grabs my attention again.
The romance between the main heroine, Joshua, and Ky slowly developed but will blossom throughout the rest of the continuing stories by Ella. Like most continuing sagas, the romance starts in the first book and increase in its importance at the series moves on.
Fans of Mary Weber's Storm Siren Trilogy will enjoy this novel. I recommend it to young adults and fans of fantasy novels.
I received a complimentary copy of Unblemished from Thomas Nelson books, and my opinions are all my own.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Do you enjoy fantasy novels? If so, do most of them have parallel worlds that exist next to with our world?