Unbalanced

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This was a fast paced, fun read and it left me wanting more...soon. Four sisters, four good looking guys coming together to fight and survive = my kinda book.
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I received a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm still trying to sort out my feelings about this book. I feel like I went through everything on fast forward. There's so much that happened in so little time and I'm not sure whether I'm satisfied or left wanting. I'm hoping that this novel is part of a series because it seems to be set up that way. There are WAY too many loose ends with the story line and the partnering up of the characters for there not to be. 

In a nutshell, this novel is about maintaining a balance, and 4 men who have become gods because they continue to steal the power of 4 quadruplets who hold the power of the elements (earth, wind, fire, and water). Generation after generation the quadruplets are hunted down and killed by the Order, a secret society born and bred for this....until now. 
The sisters are being hunted again in modern times and it remains to be seen whether or not the brothers of the order will stand with them or against them.

If there's a 2nd book, I definitely need to read it now to make some sense of all of this.
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4.5 stars- This was fun, fast paced, and so entertaining. Sisters each with the power to make the world better but only if they are able to learn about their powers and stay safe. This was a paranormal book that I very much enjoyed reading. All the main characters in this book made it such a strong read. Thank you NetGalley.
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I think this title is a great addition to any library or young adult collection; its unique in its own way and fun to read. Despite having books written about people who control elements, I think this book stands out and offers a different take. The author put so much thought and detail into every chapter. My only critique is there are a few sections that feel a bit dull, but more so than not, this book is worth the time.
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Unbalanced is the story of 4 sisters who control the elements. Of course, this kind of power has its consequences. The story is engaging and lively. Each sister has her own personal traits. It's an interesting read with enough twists to keep you reading from beginning to end. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Prepare to be amazed. this book grips you from the first paragraph and holds you through the entire book. There is plenty of action and enough suspense to keep you turning the pages, I wish there was a few more in this most wonderous story. The characters are so well developed, the story line is magnificent. I loved every plot twist. In short an amazing read.
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This book was a little hard for me to get into. But once I did it ended too quickly.  There are eight main characters that each have a special ability. Two each of air, earth water & fire ( one of each gender).  This book started with the focus on fire.  The order will stop at nothing to destroy the 4 girls with the powers.
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I gave up on this Net Galley novel called "Unbalanced," because frankly, it was. On the face of it, the plot was actually appealing: it was about these four women who are evidently sisters who were separated at birth, but I don't know why. They each have one of the four elemental powers: air, earth, fire, and water. Not that any of those are actual elements, but I was willing to let that slide for a fun, or entertaining story, even though the names of these characters are a bit improbable if not laughable.

The blurb tells us that each generation brings out four sisters to fight against a fanatical, secret faith, but all this really tells me is that the sisters are useless in that they've obviously - and repeatedly - shown they're incapable of truly defeating this faith! The blurb says the sisters are born to fight this battle, but are unaware of what awaits them? Maybe that's why they fail? LOL! Or maybe the blurb-writer is just clueless. It's been said that when you do the same thing over and over with the same result you should try something else - or just check yourself into an institution. Evidently these girls are too dumb to own that.

The main character is fire, and her name is Asha. The earth character is named Ivy. The water one is named Mere. I forget the fourth. These are names from a parody, not a serious novel, but I was even willing to let that go for a good story. The problem is that Asha is initially portrayed as this fierce warrior woman, yet when she was captured by this guy who was originally sent to kill her, this supposedly tough young woman became immediate putty in his hands.

I started having serious problems with it at that point, but the next chapter introduced Ivy, who was kick-ass - in this case literally - but just as I was starting to like the novel again, back comes Asha, who despite her power being fire, leaves me cold, and she was even more putty-er in this chapter than the previous one. No. Just no. That was just less than 25% in, but I couldn't stand to read any more of this.

Asha hadn't been this guy's captive anywhere near long enough to be suffering Helsinki syndrome, nor had she been in his company long enough, and even had she been, she's supposed to be this bad-ass girl, yet the story began reading like a cheap BDSM "romance." I could not both keep reading this and keep my stomach contents. I chose my stomach.

I am so, so tired of YA female authors who have quite obviously never heard of the #MeToo movement, creating these supposedly strong female characters and then turning them into wilting violets and objects of gratification at the first whiff of testosterone. I cannot support a novel with this dedicated level of disrespect for women. It's unacceptable and honestly? The author needs to get a clue - and a more original title.
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Since the Middle Ages, every generation has produced four-unique sisters, holding power over the four-elements of life. Hunted, every generation has lost their lives to the fanatical, secret sect called 'The Order'. As the fire-wielding sister, Asha, is betrayed by the one she slowly learns to love, the sisters must join forces to change their fate. 

Unbalanced, is a fast-paced paranormal romance that will leave you teetering on the edge, as the story continues to warps, and twist before your eyes. Fundamentally, the novel is about good versus evil, but it is essentially so much more - peppered with emotions, danger, and something that is inherently 'human-nature', the author has created and developed wonderful worlds, and characters which build throughout, with not a single aspect being used as a throwaway plot-device. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. For more, visit https://ljkastermanslibrary.wordpress.com/
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You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com 

Actual rating of 3.5

There is always four. One for each element of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Each time the sisters are born, they are tracked and killed. Sometimes as babies, sometimes older. Unbalanced tells the story of the four sisters as they are today, women in their late 20s, scattered across the globe completely unaware of each other. That is, until suddenly they are being attacked out of the blue, their handlers, or carers, if you prefer, are murdered and the girls are left to fend for themselves and battle through the day that they knew was coming. The order is hunting them and will stop at nothing to get what they want, death. Can the sisters survive this time with the help of some friends? Or will they be doomed to be put to death once more before their time is truly up?

Unbalanced is a strong start to what promises to be a riveting Paranormal Romance series. It opens into full on action, dumping the reader into the middle of Asha, the primary sister who we follow, about to go into an enemy site in the jungle and destroy everything. We quickly learn that Asha is incredibly powerful, and doesn't trust anyone. She was a likeable enough character, but I had some issues with her which I'll discuss later. So as for pacing and action, there is no shortage, which I thought was fantastic. 

We eventually meet each of the sisters in turn while they're going about their day to day lives. As this book is written in third person POV it doesn't get too confusing. Though I did notice that there was a couple of instances where I wasn't sure where the characters were, or in fact, who was there or speaking. I feel like another round of editing or beta reading may have helped here. It only happened a couple of times but it made the story feel a bit stilted at these points. 

The characters were likeable enough, and I loved that the sisters each had their own distinct personalities which seemed to match which element was theirs to control. Asha is the fire element, so her character being incredibly firey, angry and prone to flying off the handle into a totally massive rage that was not appropriate, fit her pretty well. It was some of these things that irked me a bit with her though. I understand she doesn't trust easily, and I also understand why as we are given backstory on her. What annoyed me was that when Clay comes into the picture, she didn't want to trust him, but she couldn't help but trust him, but she shouldn't trust him, but she does and she doesn't know why she is trusting him, but then something happens and she doesn't trust him, but her attraction to him is insane so she HAS TO TRUST HIM, BUT THEN SHE DOESN'T TRUST HIM....and so on and so forth. Like, pick one. If you don't trust him, cool, but give him a chance to prove that you can, don't just from one to the other constantly as it can become a bit annoying, to me anyway. The insta-love between her and Clay was a little bit off-putting, but the author did explain why Clay had these feelings, which I felt helped a lot. We could understand why he was suddenly madly in love with her even though he'd never met her before. 

I thought the addition of the brothers was clever, and the way they tie into the story as well as the magic was written fantastically. I love that they all had a purpose, they weren't just there to be arm candy and love interests for the sisters, though I couldn't help but feel that that was the real intention with their creation, a little bit anyway. The author did tie them in really well and as I said, gave them more purpose than just being the love interest. 

The way the Order was written was great, they really felt like an unstoppable, fallible foe that one would not want coming after them. I'm intrigued about the four, as well as the intricacies of their existence. I've no doubt that we'll be finding more out about them as the series progresses. 

The sex scene was one of the scenes where at times, I had no idea what the characters were actually doing. There was some descriptions used to illustrate their emotions and such, and I found myself becoming lost in the words with no clue as to what was actually going through their minds or what they were feeling. I also found it a bit on the nose considering Asha's issues with trust. I feel like it could have been saved and meant more in a later book in the series. 

The story itself was interesting and fast paced. This was a quick read. I think the series has the potential to turn into something amazing, and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest. I want to know where the story goes from here.
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Mark Schultz rated it it was amazing
What a fun book to read! I am so glad I did not miss this book, the fantasy and paranormal underpinnings lend depth, which is not often encountered in a modern action tale.
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I am very disappointed in this book. It had a promising synopsis, but it was forced into one novel instead of four books (each one focused on a sister). The way it ended left it open for more books, but why? The first one was so insanely butchered! It starts off really well done and I was very impressed. It seems to be an Asha centric novel, but the author then decided that she needed to show all 4 sisters and make sure all of them had even page time. This was a huge mistake. It completely devolved from there, trying to cram 4 stories into one novel. I was the one left Unbalanced! 

The completely out of place sex scene 2/3s of the way through made absolutely no sense and was poorly written. 

I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was provided a copy of Unbalanced by NetGalley for review purposes.

Unbalanced dumped the reader straight into the heat of action from the very beginning as we watch Asha single-handedly storm an alleged rebel fortress in the jungles of South America. Unbalanced is primarily told from Asha’s POV. With a glimpse into the catalyst that brought her to South America, the story truly begins at her guerrilla encampment and Clay’s entry. The story quickly picks up as the other characters were introduced and danger mounts for Asha and her siblings. The amount of detail included in the fight scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. I wasn’t particularly fond of Asha. I felt like her emotional immaturity kept her stuck around 16 and as a result, I wasn’t able to connect with her character. Asha’s tendency to be quick to anger and overreact to information could be considered a trait related to her element (fire) and is a great opportunity for Shepard to incorporate character growth as the series progresses. For now, I found these habit to be frustrating.

Shepard did a lovely job introducing us to Avia, Clay, and Mere but the other brothers and Ivy felt overlooked. I hope this is rectified as the series continues because I would love to see the other differences in the siblings and how they complement each other.

The romance between Asha and Clay was rushed, at least on her end. There was a moment when she was angry about betrayal and loving him that forced me to stop and say “Since when? You’ve known him two days and haven’t said much beyond a gut reaction to trust him.”

The last quarter of the book had me on pins of needles and the ending was written to set up the next book in the series nicely. I am left with so many questions unanswered and need the next book sooner rather than later. An excellent debut novel!
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Teeny spoiler alert

I voluntarily read a copy of this book provided by NetGalley for review purposes.

Four sisters, holding immense power over the elements chased through time by four monsters in the guise of men and the religious zealots they have created. Can they survive this time? Can anything change their fates of horrid, vile deaths at the hands of their villains? Since I don't believe in spoilers, I'm not telling! So there!

But the beginning of the novel with a deeply disturbing re-enactment of the Burning times that flips to the new life of Asha in 2004 as she acts as a super-spy-guerilla before she goes rogue – that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.

Nor did the introduction of the other sisters, the silly, the serious and the mild mannered.

Okay, one spoiler. There are four hunks, who are part of the religious organizations are after them as well, the drag them back. But as always in urban fantasy novels, things never go quite the way the villains want.

The writing is spectacular, tense and descriptive. The plot is tight, every plot hole is filled almost instantly, including how villains could exist in the Burning Times and in the 2000's. The female characters are well-crafted, each has her own strength, ranging from the good humor of an Australian surfer to a cold, near Swiss sociopath flutist. The best of the sister's character is Asha, the guilt she carries, her tactical mind, all off it.

Scenery around the world, and the girls do go everywhere you can think of from the Vatican to the South American jungle is gorgeously and authentically created. I could feel both the sweat of the jungle and the chill of the snow.

I really hope that this becomes a series and soon!

More than Book Nerd Approved – this book is Book Nerd Applauded

5 elements out of 5

https://www.amazon.com/Unbalanced-Courtney-Shepard-ebook/dp/B00Y6A2RVU/
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