Friday, 21 June 2013

Review: Unknown (The Elements #1) by Melissa Pearl

Unknown (The Elements Trilogy, #1)Unknown

Author: Melissa Pearl
Series: Elements trilogy
Publisher: Self
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Unknown by Melissa Pearl is the first book in the Elements trilogy and was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

The story follows sixteen year-old Princess Kyla of Taramon, a character who isn't so keen on following the rules when it comes to her privileged role so is quite the stubborn heroine which I quite liked. She is snarky, strong-minded and kick-butt but she is also fiercely loyal.

When a sign is received hinting of a forbidden prophecy which has shown the possibility of breaking Ashan, the dark rulers reign, two seekers are chosen - Kyla and her former best friend Jethro to embark on a dangerous mission to save the world from looming darkness so they seek to find the missing elements.

Jethro has been in love with Kyla unbeknownst to her for a very long time but she is betrothed to his cousin Athra so he has distanced himself away from her, he was a bit of an ass to her initially but I came to enjoy their interactions, the bond they shared and the small hints that his feelings could possibly be reciprocated, I liked them as a couple but their situation isn’t going to be an easy one.

Each of the characters are developed well, they don’t come across as teenagers which I quite liked and the secondary cast all played a pivotal part in the overall story. I especially liked Adamar and Mya; who were definitely a surprise and both with great knowledge and I respected Queen Elaina's decisions to protect her only daughter, her reactions were believable. of course, we also get the villains who were written extremely well.

Fantasy isn't a genre I read often but I absolutely adored the magic, mystical creatures and secrets within Unknown and with the sweet, budding romance that left me swooning thrown in leaving me wanting more, I was definitely engrossed in Melissa Pearls storytelling.

I enjoyed the world-building and captivating plot from the onset, I was fascinated by the prophecy, differing lands and the reasoning behind why a treaty was required although I’m looking forward to finding out more in the next installment; I was eager to see the outcome of Kyla and Jethro quest and the dangerous trip they had to undertake to find the elements and was surprised by the twist of what they were; it was a page turner that is beautifully written with a vividly detailed setting.

Unknown is very different from Melissa Pearl’s contemporary YA novel, Betwixt; her writing has developed vastly and it shows her ability to write a variety of genres with ease.

My only small gripe was in the initial stages of Unknown, the pacing for me was slow so it took me a little while to get into but once it took off it was one big thrill ride and I was completely absorbed; also it ended quite abruptly so I am definitely keen to read the next book which has a July release date.

Overall, I loved the fantasy world that Melissa Pearl has created with Unknown. It is a book filled with magic, mayhem, action and romance; I can’t wait to get hold of the next book in the series, Unseen.

Melissa Pearl - Author - Auckland, New ZealandAbout the author: Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November, 2011. Since then she has produced three more books with her fifth novel, Betwixt, due out in November 2012.

"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."


  1. Thanks for such a fantastic review :)
    Can't wait to share Book 2 with you as well.

    1. Thank-you Melissa! I can't wait to read the sequel x

  2. I have never heard of this book or this author before, but I love the premise. Fantasy is a genre that I adore and it's fully of possibilities!
    The characters all sound great and I'm happy to hear about the strong world building. That is possibly the most important aspect of a good fantasy.
    Lovely review, Sharon!

    1. Thanks Nick! I really enjoyed this one, everything was done well.

  3. It sounds a little bit on the high fantasy side, which is always tricky for me - I'm glad you liked it. Prophecies, villains and thrills all sound great to me too. :) Terrific review, sweetie!

    1. Thanks Barbara! It was a lot of fun with everything fitting nicely together.

  4. I don't read all that many fantasy books, either, but do I enjoy a well written fantasy every now and then, especially if there's magic and well developed worlds :) Like Born Wicked! :)
    This book sounds pretty good, too, especially the complicated love situation between the characters! Thanks for a great review, sweets! Love visiting here and discovering new books!

    Evie @Bookish

    1. Thanks Evie <3

      I still need to read Born Wicked! I've seen so much praise for it.

      I am eager to see how the romance plays out with the MC already being arranged to marry someone else, it's an interesting predicament ;)

  5. This sounds interesting ans like you straight up fantasy isn't a genre I regularly read, but I am intrigued and am glad you enjoyed it! Wonderful review Sharon!

    1. Thanks Kimba! I tend to avoid fantasy but I found myself really enjoying this one.


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