Review of Unlit by Keri Arthur

Title:  Unlit (Kingdoms of Earth and Air #1)

Author:  Keri Arthur

Reviewer: Shelley Russell Nolan

Synopsis: Winterborne has long been a city divided between those who have magic, and those who do not. Between those who are free, and those who are not… 

Though classified as having no magic, Neve March can hear the whispers of the wind and sometimes even control her. But it’s a secret she must hold close if she wishes to continue as Nightwatch—the soldiers who guard Winterborne against those who roam the wastelands and feast on human flesh. 

When Neve is sent to investigate a faint SOS signal, she not only unearths a woman close to death, but a plot involving an ancient enemy long thought dead. 

In an effort to expose those behind the plot, Neve goes undercover amongst Winterborne’s elite—a dangerous step that could expose her secret and rip away all that she holds dear. 

The trail of treachery leads her from Winterborne’s golden halls to the heart of the enemy’s hive, and it will shake her belief of not only who she is, but what she is. 

Review: Wow! This story was a thrill ride from the first page to the last. A post-apocalyptic/science fiction/fantasy story that features a strong heroine who is one of the Nightwatch, a soldier dedicated to the protection of Winterbourne. But Neve March is no ordinary soldier. Despite being classified as Unlit when she was born, and looked down on for the stains on her skin that mark her mixed heritage, she can hear the wind, a fact that could lose her what little freedom she has. Keeping her ability a secret becomes even more imperative when she is thrust into the world of the Upper Reaches to help find the traitors plotting the downfall of Winterborne. What she finds is a conspiracy so terrifying it could signal the end for everything Neve cares about.

From the moment she discovers an unconscious woman in the wasteland outside Winterborne, Neve is pulled into the action. But she is more than up to the task and soon discovers she is uniquely qualified to battle the coming storm through a set of circumstances she could never have seen coming. Set in a vividly imagined world that springs to life from the pages, becoming almost a character in its own right, Unlit is filled with action, intrigue and a smattering of romance. There are twists and turns in every chapter, and I was left gasping as I followed Neve into battle as she fought with ferocious creatures against seemingly impossible odds. I agonised with her over the hard choices she had to make and cheered her on when it seemed all was lost.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that it ended before I was ready to let Neve and her world go, as the next book in the Kingdoms of Earth and Air series has a different setting and main character. I would have loved to know more about what happens next for Neve even though Unlit came with a satisfactory ending. That said, I will definitely be reading the next book, Cursed, as I am sure it will also leave me gasping for breath and wanting more.

Rating: Five Stars

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