The Change (Unbounded #1) by Teyla Branton 4/5
Blurb: There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.
Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene. Worse, a new identification software could mean death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world.
As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her powerful attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.
The concept of immortals is not a new one in fiction, but Branton’s unique take on a old concept was refreshing and engaging. She realistically builds a world where a select few are Unbounded, which means that around the age of thirty they stop aging at the speed of average humans. They are not immortal in the literal ‘live forever’ sense, but age centuries slower, can survive otherwise life threatening injuries, regenerate, and can be killed in a certain manner.
Branton highlights the struggles of these Unbounded humans in regards to relationships with family who inevitably they will see grow old and die. Some Unbounded even embark on relationships with ordinary humans, have children, and have to live with the possibility that they will watch them die too, unless on the off chance, one of their children inherit the gene. Unbounded female’s bodies reject birth control, and those who have lived for years and have felt the hurt of loss, understandably take a committed view on sex.
Erin Radkey is in an horrific car crash, severely burnt, and on the brink of death. That is, until her fourth great grandmother and a team of Unbounded known as Renegades steal her from the hospital, heal her, and introduce her to an Unbounded war between the Renegades, Mortal ‘hunters’, and the Emporium. Erin has to deal with her new life, the possibility of never seeing the only family she has ever known again, and picking a side in the deadly war.
The characters are well rounded and developed with personal stories and backgrounds that the reader is shown in snippets. We get to know Erin and the changes she is experiencing, and her new romance, although it feels doomed from the start, is engaging and real.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the writer’s ability to build a believable world with realistic consequences. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars due to a fast paced plot twist in the mid section of the book that left my head spinning. I understand the motivation behind the twist (no spoilers), but it wasn’t drawn out enough for me to fully grasp the emotions, and the impact that should have been huge, felt a little disappointing. That being said, the fast moving story line is hypnotic and kept me turning the pages. I finished The Change in 3 days.
I would highly recommend this book, and I can’t wait to crack on with book two in the series.
The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.
All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman
K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.