UNCHOSEN, by Katharyn Blair, Katherine Tegen Books, Jan. 26, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 14 and up)
After a bone-chilling curse upends the world, one girl finds herself holding the keys to humanity’s survival in Katharyn Blair’s Unchosen.
For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.
The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.
The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.
Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.
When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.
The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.
But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.
Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning. —Synopsis provided by Katherine Tegan Books
Unchosen fits within the familiar zombie genre, this time playing out along the Pacific Coast. I’m not a huge fan of this genre so I was glad that author Katharyn Blair chose to focus more on the survivors than the gore. Her ability to create tension is the highlight of this book. A number of strong plot twists — most of which you won’t see coming — keep this a fresh read.
Harlow is a compelling character that readers will want to succeed. Her sisters are equally as interesting, though not as developed as I would have liked.
There’s a definite “ick” factor to Unchosen that readers will want to take into consideration before picking it up. While Blair does a good job of balancing things, it may make some people squeamish. I suggest ages 14 and up because of this.
Unchosen is a fast-paced read that I finished within 24 hours. I recommend it as a library read.
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