For my next review I responded to a request from author Cheryl S. Mackey regarding her novel The Unknown Sun. I was taken by the back cover description immediately, and hoped that the story would reach the expectations I had for it based on that description.
The Unknown Sun follows Moria, a young high school student with a streak of luck that defies nature. Having survived two accidents that took the lives of everyone, she is left a mere shell of her former self. Amid all the whispers and snide comments Moria has learned to cope by keeping herself distant and avoiding any possibility of a meaningful relationship, on any level.
Moria's attempt at solitude, however, is quickly shattered by the revelation that her classmates already know her reputation and past. One boy, in particular, greets her with hostility and a vicious encounter that removes all doubt that her new school is filled with the same hurtful classmates.
After arriving home Moria is forced into a struggle with an overwhelming opponent whom she has no hope of overcoming. Only when her cries for help are answered by two winged warriors that fend off the green eyed boy, while transporting Moria to their world for protection in the process.
Once she meets their father, and the link between those that dwell in the land of the Unknown Sun and the human race is revealed, she begins a journey with the two winged warriors; a journey to save the world, as well as learn who she really is.
Its apparent early on that Mackey is a gifted writer. The Unknown Sun is a solidly written, well conceived story that isn't like anything I've read before. The world Mackey was able to create is nothing short of beautiful and the ever thickening plot keeps you turning the page, wanting and expecting more. The story almost became hard to review by the end for a few reasons:
What I liked:
- As I said above, Mackey's writing itself is wonderful. Her word choice and metaphors transform a good story into a great read.
- The world of the Unknown Sun is one that feels both new, and is described in a wonderful way that transports you there right along with Moria.
Overall I'm going to give The Unknown Sun a 7/10 based on:
10/10 for readability - I cannot say enough just how perfect Mackey's writing is. Each word and phrase is put on paper with a purpose and creates a flow that is pure pleasure to read. Just based on her expert skill I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
5/10 for story - Though the story is one I haven't seen before, it felt a little rushed. You're moved from one scene to another at a pace that keeps you turning pages, but just a little to fast. A second point in the story is the romance that develops between Moria and one of the other main characters. It seems to stem from this character saving her, but it feels less authentic than most romances. Though there is a strong connection between the two for reasons more than just physical attraction, it became a bit of a series of forced awkward moments, at least in the beginning.
7/10 for characters - The characters in the world of the Unknown Sun are incredibly diverse. In the first two chapters you meet a wide variety of very real feeling characters that have their own personalities. The feeling and emotion that emanates from them is very strong. Many of their interactions do feel a bit rushed and some of them suffer from not getting a real chance to know them.
X-Factor - The real x-factor for this story is Mackey's master level writing. There is a poetic nature to her writing that is almost to emotional for the story.
A big thank you to author Cheryl S. Mackey for reaching out to me about reading and reviewing The Unknown Sun. The story is a new and original fantasy that is wonderfully written and presented. I highly recommend picking this up for any fantasy fan.
Click here to go to the Amazon site and pick up a copy of The Unknown Sun.