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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cheryl S. Mackey's The Unknown Sun Shines with Promise

A broken girl.

A strange new world.

And a destiny.

It's time for another YA Fantasy review!

image via http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pN8c1QS1_gc/U4cS2PfW24I/AAAAAAAAANo/COnLCGr9Jes/s1600/unknown+sun.jpg

The Unknown Sun is the first installment of The Destiny Series, a YA fantasy romance written by Cheryl S. Mackey.

So what's it about?

Moira fears becoming too close to anyone. Every person she's ever loved has died, and she feels cursed. It's a lonely life, but the pain of losing anyone would be far worse, so she goes through each day of her life trying not to be noticed.

All of that changes one day, though, when she's assaulted by a young man that seems to have something against her, personally. "Why you?!" he yells as he attacks her. Just as she begins to black out, she hears the voices of two people coming to her defense. 

And she awakens in an entirely different world. A world where people have dense, powerful wings and speak of a prophecy - one that Moira is at the center of.

Intriguing, huh?

When the author contacted me about the possibility of a review, I took one look at the cover and fell in love. The artwork gives us a sense of both fragility and power, and the design whispers a promise of secrets and mystery.

Yep. I loved the cover.

Mackey gave herself a tough job: She created a girl that was horribly, severely, emotionally broken... then set about the task of healing those wounds. Not only that, but Moira had the future of an entire world on her shoulders. Not an easy task.

How does a person emotionally recover from not one, but two near death experiences that took away the people they love most? And how does a person learn to love again without fearing another heartbreak?

In Moira's case, it took traveling all the way to another world in order to make this happen. Her companionship with Skylanders Airi and Bel gave her the strength necessary to transform herself. This friendship was strong, and romance blossomed between Moira and Bel.

Mackey did have a tendency to use a bit too much of the passive voice, and quite a few adverbs were sprinkled throughout the story. This caused it to lose energy at some points. At around 60% through the ebook, however, Mackey picks up the pace with stronger word choices. The energy picks up and The Unknown Sun becomes truly engrossing.

I was particularly interested in Airi. 

She wasn't the standard female friend. She was strong, determined, and she kicked some serious butt! Airi had what I would call the leadership within this group of friends. I found her to be quite an admirable character. I'd like to see more of her in a future ebook.

I was also fascinated with Mackey's decision to meld the world of the story in with our own world. How does she do that?

Historic Architecture.

Ancient history, to be specific. Our two worlds were connected by portals that have been locked for thousands of years. The Parthenon? That was built when the first humans came to our world from theirs. The Pyramids? Same thing. That's right - Earth isn't our original home.

While I'd like to see a future update of this title with stronger verb usage in place, The Unknown Sun is well worth the read... even without taking that step. Mackey's paints a beautiful world, and weaves our own planet into it, making it personal.

The Unknown Sun can only be found on Kindle, or as a  Barnes and Noble paperback (Only paperback).

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