The Unseen (Order of the Bell Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Recommended Age: 13+ (some strong language)
Favorite Quote: "'The heart houses the soul, and I see that you, too, are missing something vital in the center.'"
I received an e-book version of this book for free for being a representative of Blaze Publishing. This relationship did not affect my decision in any way. Also, slight spoilers from the previous book. If you've not read the first book in this series you may not want to read this review.
Plunged through the looking glass and into Wonderland, which is a former shell of itself, we've returned back to our heroes: Enzo, Rosana, and now Zack, Peter Pan's son. And just like the previous book we're privy to split POV between multiple characters, so we also get to see the action through Alice, Hansel, and Snow's eyes just to name a few. With the mirror broken you'd think that the world is safe from Avoria's reign... but she is lurking and she will strike when you least expect it. Will all of our favorite fairytale and "real life" characters make it out alive?! You'll just have to read to find that out for yourself, but I will say that the book is definitely a very tense book. The way Jacob Devlin builds the tension and stress in this book is phenomenal and I'm going to need at least one deep tissue massage before I return to normal! Besides the tense feeling of the book, I found the plot to be very well developed and well thought out and I found the writing quality to be amazing. I also found the pacing to be perfect. It wasn't too fast of a read and it wasn't too slow as well. It was just right as Goldilocks would say.
However, I did find the character development to be a little issue for me. There is a HUGE cast of characters in this series and I found that while I received a lot of answers and back-story on many characters, that some were still lacking in being developed. The amount of characters also made it hard for me to remember who the side characters were during some moments of the book. I also think that some of the characters who lost their soul in the first book should have acted a bit more like Snow (who was one of the best developed characters in this book! Bravo to the author because Snow almost NEVER gets development in any platform with the exception being Once Upon a Time), but that's just my opinion. I was looking for signs of these characters having lost a part of themselves, but some of them acted normal. Just my opinion though, because other than that the story is FANTASTIC and I can't wait to read the next book in this series! I also need to read the side series book: The Ivory Queen. This book just came out recently and if you've not bought your copy I'd suggest doing so, especially if you love retellings!
Queen Avoria is still working on her plans to gather more power. She controls the King of Hearts and has collected valuable pieces of souls. Several of those who stand a chance against her have been captured or are lost. Will they be able to find their way out of their imprisonment, will allies of the past be reunited and is there a way to fight against Queen Avoria or is she too strong for anyone to have a chance?
The Unseen is another gripping Order of the Bell story. I loved to read about each single member of the group of characters from The Carver again. Jacob Devlin writes about many of my beloved fairytale characters like Hansel and Gretel, Alice, Snow White and many more in a great thrilling way. It was fun to see how each character has their own small mission withing the bigger picture and that every person in the book is somehow connected. It works and the result is a dynamic and amusing story filled with action and surprising twists and turns.
Jacob Devlin's writing flows easily and I love the way he works with suspense. Every chapter has an interesting edge and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what would happen next. He also skillfully gives existing settings a new function and appearance while still keeping their essence. The Unseen is a story about many different main characters, but it's easy to follow because of this familiarity. I felt like I knew everything and everyone while I was still reading something new and original, which is quite an achievement. I loved The Unseen and highly recommend the Order of the Bell series, it's a fantastic adrenaline-rush.