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Review – Unraveling by Karen Lord

Unraveling
Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Development - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
    8/10
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Summary

Author: Karen Lord
Book Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304 pages
Release Date: June 4th, 2019

Book Description:
“In this standalone fantasy novel by an award-winning author, the dark truth behind a string of unusual murders leads to an otherworldly exploration of spirits, myth, and memory, steeped in Caribbean storytelling.

Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files.

It appears the true mastermind behind the murders is still on the loose, chasing a myth to achieve immortality. Together, Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster must travel through conjured mazes, following threads of memory to locate the shadowy killer. As they journey deeper, they discover even more questions that will take pain and patience to answer. What is the price of power? Where is the path to redemption? And how can they stop the man–or monster–who would kill the innocent to live forever?”

 

Unraveling by Karen Lord

Unraveling is the latest novel by Karen Lord. The novel is this fascinating combination of murder mystery, fantasy, and the questioning of ethics in a fantasy setting, all wrapped up within Caribbean lore. It’s both unique and compelling, and with good reason.

Karen Lord - Unraveling (June 2019)
Karen Lord – Unraveling (June 2019)

The novel follows three main characters, Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, Chance, and the Trickster. Together these three need to solve a series of murders and figure out who was the one pulling the strings. And ideally, they need to do it before something drastic happens and changes things for good (or rather, for worse).

While it is described as being a standalone novel, that isn’t entirely accurate. Or rather, it didn’t feel that way. You see, this novel could also be considered the long-awaited sequel to Redemption in Indigo. Honestly, you can read the novel either way (as a sequel or a standalone). But I have noticed that fans that have read it as a sequel are happier about it.

Writing

Karen Lord has a way of writing these elegant and thought-provoking stories. So it was really no surprise when Unraveling ended up staying true to that form. It explores rich Caribbean lore, while also debating ethics and morality. And all of this occurs while dealing with the main plot itself—a murder mystery of sorts.

Unraveling was full of strong characters and richly described moments in time. There were times where it seemed like if I simply reached out I could touch the scene. Yet never once did it feel like I was drowning in details. It was an interesting balance, but one perfectly achieved, nonetheless.

My one major concern about this novel would actually be the marketing. It’s been consistently described as being a standalone novel—yet it didn’t quite read as one. Yes, all of the information, and even the main plot itself, can be understood without having read Redemption in Indigo. But there’s also an assumption that you already have all of the required knowledge. You can infer a lot of it, but it does make the reading less smooth at times.

Development

There is a bit of an ebb and flow to Unraveling. It’s not slow; rather, it takes the time to tell the story it wants to tell. With the amount of detail and description included, that’s probably not much of a surprise.

The characters are ones that have been introduced in a previous novel. Yet there is plenty of time for us to get to know them here as well. Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster are all vastly different characters—and it shows. While it is easy to tell that from the start, the more we get to know them, the more apparent it becomes. In a way, it was an interesting character study.

The plot moved along steadily, regardless. It always felt like there was something lingering in the background, and that helped so much with the tone of this novel. It was somewhat foreboding. But it was also enchanting.

Conclusion

Unraveling was a unique experience of a read. There was so much to, well…unravel, when it comes to this novel. There were multiple layers to the plot, the characters, and even the supporting characters. The use of specific lore only helped to enhance the whole telling. I thoroughly enjoyed my read of this novel, and as I mentioned above, I only had one real regret. It was captivating, but it was also oddly relaxing in its own way. Perhaps because it truly pulled me into the plot, distracting me from everything else going on.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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