Unwept Authors: Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman Series: Nightbirds Trilogy 1 Publisher: Tor Books, July 1, 2014 Format: Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages List Price: $22.99 (print) ISBN: 9780765332035 (print) Review Copy: Provided by the Publisher
Unwept -- the beginning of a spellbinding new trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman bestselling co-creators of Dragonlance and Ravenloft
Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who claim to be friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, and that her memories may return in time. But, for her own sake—so they claim—they refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state.Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?Only her lost past holds the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she falls prey to an unearthly killer.
Unwept is intriguing from the start. Set during the First World War, the story revolves around Ellis Harkington, a young woman who has no memory to speak of. She awakes from a macabre nightmare and finds herself aboard a train with a nurse that she doesn’t recognize. In fact, she has no recollection of boarding the train, no knowledge of her destination and needs to be reminded of her family name. She arrives in the small coastal town of Gamin, Maine where she learns she will be recuperating at Summersend, the home of her cousin, Jenny. Ellis is disturbed by the news that a serial killer is at large and is murdering young women in the area. Worse, nothing in this isolated seaside village is what it seems and Ellis quickly gets the feeling that things are amiss. Will she have the strength to unlock the secrets that are being kept in this outwardly quaint and friendly town?
Unwept is the first book in The Nightbirds trilogy by authors Tracy and Laura Hickman The story unfolds mainly from Ellis’ POV and her quest to regain her memories feels authentic and urgent. I enjoyed Ellis as the main character and was immediately ensnared in the mystery of her past and ultimately the town itself. I devoured each page, eager to unveil the multitude of secrets and discover the truth. I enjoyed the strange otherworldly events that were hinted at and all the questions that kept cropping up. I will confess to two minor peeves. The first is having an idea of how a plot will resolve too early into the story. I guessed a number of things correctly, and although it didn’t detract from the overall story, it was slightly disappointing nonetheless. Also, at times, I found the inhabitants’ reluctance to divulge information maddening and wanted to shout “Tell her already “numerous times. There were some great inner dialogs at the very end that had me cheering and left me very excited to read the trilogy’s next installment. Unwept gave me thrills, chills, and also moments of melancholy. I would recommend it for anyone that likes paranormal mysteries with elements of horror.