From Kirkus Reviews
Gemma Pointe is a college student with more than the usual cause for young adult turmoil: no parents, inaccessible memories, a peculiar birthmark and recurring dreams that are soothing by day, terrifying at night. All converge in her true identity, which she learns only after a menacing green-eyed stranger named Malakai recognizes and pursues her. Like him, Gemma is a supernatural, a member of a race known as the Essen, which has individualized special powers, potent and relentless enemies, and a mandate for secrecy among outsiders. She’s in the process of activating her abilities and marked for a pivotal role in her race’s destiny. She’s also attached to Jonny, to the boy next door, whose devotion provides ballast, torment and complications as she explores, fights and faces her fate. Shuttling between her previous reality and the world of the Essen, she unearths game-changing truths about herself, her parents and the history of the Essen. Seymour has created a well-described, living, breathing human environment that grounds and carries over into her handling of the fantasy realm. Human and Essen dialogues flow with ease…Gemma may be supernatural, but she has a banged-up humanity that renders her appealing and believable…by midbook, both the pace and ingenuity of the plot propel readers to a climax that delivers satisfaction and surprises. The dénouement neatly lays the ground for further installments.
A worthy contribution to the earthbound fantasy genre.
Unearthed, Karen Seymour’s fast-moving fantasy debut, tells the story of a young woman discovering her own identity while uncovering a strange, secret society of supernatural beings. It is a story of loss and regret, as well as victory and pride.
Gemma Pointe is a young person on the cusp of maturity, a self-doubting college student who is just beginning to realize that her relationship with the cute, funny, musically talented boy next door might be something more than a childhood friendship. Unfortunately, she’s not just another girl next door. Her past includes not only tragedy but mystery, and now a grim, hulking stranger has appeared in her life, dropping menacing hints that she is fundamentally different from everyone around her. Gemma is an “Essen,” or supernatural, and as she approaches her twenty-first birthday, she will undergo fearsome and painful changes. Worse yet, her very existence will become a deadly danger to everyone around her.
Gemma is not the first fantasy protagonist to reluctantly receive supernatural gifts she’d rather not have, or to discover the existence of a hidden world inhabited by strange and magical beings. What sets Unearthed apart is Seymour’s invention of an original mythos. Rather than relying on familiar fantasy tropes like elves, faeries, vampires, or wizards, Seymour introduces her protagonist to a small society of supernatural beings who follow rules that are a complete mystery, and whose nature and motives are revealed only gradually, at great cost to Gemma and her loved ones…
The short chapters and propulsive action keep the story moving rapidly, and Gemma is an interesting protagonist: well-intentioned; slow to trust, but devoted to those she loves… If the first installment is any indication, Gemma’s journey will be an entertaining ride.
- Foreword Clarion Review