Things Unseen is the first book in the A Long-Forgotten Song series, an urban fantasy written by C.J. Brightley.
So what's it about?
Aria Forsyth is frustrated. She became a history major because she wanted to understand the past. Unfortunately, the last paper she wrote that deviated from the norm earned her an F. Her professor refused to grant anything more to a paper so full of unsubstantiated, unpatriotic drivel. It didn't matter, of course, that everything within the paper was cited, and that she had given opposing viewpoints, rather than proclaiming those words as truth.
That yearning for knowledge of history was clearly bad for her future. More so, however, her curiosity turned out to be bad for her health. After overhearing a conversation in a bookstore, Aria found herself unable to keep from paying attention to a man whose very presence was strange. Anything deemed unusual should be pointed out to the authorities, but Aria couldn't help but follow him so that she could learn more. Little did she know, her decision would change her life forever...
Brightley gives us a world in which people's knowledge clashes with the truth. Even things people remember are false. There's a whole world that goes unseen by the majority of the human population. People believe what the authorities tell them, never questioning what lies beneath the surface.
Hmmm... sounds kind of like our own world, doesn't it?
Ok, ok... I realize I'm being a bit of a cynic here, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Brightley was trying to point out this very issue.
It's very possible that I'm trying to dig a little too deeply beneath the surface. Like Aria. Of course, Aria's curiosity leads her toward the truth, so maybe I'm not so wrong here. Hmmm...
Brightley takes us into a world where the government was toppled a few decades prior. "Things are better" now, of course. Nobody has any reason to doubt that.
No reason that they understand, anyway...
And therein lies the problem within Aria's world. People believe in their government wholeheartedly. They have no doubts. The government protects them, keeps them happy, and makes their lives comfortable.
That is, as long as they're not too curious...
Unfortunately for Aria, she is. When she meets a man named Owen, one that very clearly doesn't seem to belong, she discovers that much of what she thought she knew was wrong. Not only is there more to the world than she thought,
There are more than just humans.
Owen isn't human. Rather, he's fae. He's stronger, faster, and older... older than any human, though he appears to be relatively young. He's also trying to save his entire society from the human government, which is trying to eradicate them... and they're doing a rather good job of it, too.
Aria finds herself drawn not only to Owen, but also to his cause, and soon she finds herself in a deadly battle with the human authorities and their experimental pets.
Brightley created a vivid world with vivid characters.
She took pieces from several different myths and legends in order to create the fae within these pages. These are not the fairies that you're accustomed to, with flitting wings and mischievous giggles. They're strong, they're rough around the edges, and I never saw a single wing flitting about.
Brightley did something different with their creation, and I strongly recommend that you discover the intricacies of the species of fae that she designed.
The characters are well fleshed out and easy to relate to. Even the fae, whose entire society has different rules from our own, can be sympathized with. You don't just like her characters... you really like them. And the ones you dislike? They'll truly disgust you.
This work is well worth reading, and I look forward to the next book in the series,
Things Unseen can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.