Unwept: Book One of The Nightbirds
Ellis Harkington wakes on a train bound for a seaside town called Gamin, accompanied by an odd nurse and a fussy baby. She has no memory of where she came from, who she is and why she can’t remember. When she arrives, the people of the town know her, including the handsome Merrick and her cousin Jenny, whom she has supposedly come to stay with. They tell her she’s there to recuperate, but they are all very cryptic about why they won’t help her remember. When her nightmares seem to push into reality, she discovers things that she’s certain can’t be real and she realizes no one can be trusted.
While the story quickly draws the reader in, the extent of each character’s cryptic behavior makes it hard to feel invested in any of them. Quick changes in plot direction and conflicting stories that Ellis is told makes it easy to feel her frustration and confusion, while the slow sinister change in each character give the story an atmosphere of eeriness. We’re left without any hint of what is truly going on for a bit too long, slowing the pacing, but the dark mystery kept me reading to the end.
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