For What It's Worth

Friday, July 22, 2011

ARC Review: The Unforgiven by Joy Nash

The UnforgivenSeven thousand years ago, angels descended from heaven to guide a fledgling human race. Known as the Watchers, they were forbidden to partake in carnal pleasures. But they could not resist the temptation, and as a result their descendants have been cursed—unnatural magical beings that belong neither to heaven nor fully to earth.
Cade was ordered to claim her for his clan. She was becoming one of them— a Watcher, so to reach her full power—and she didn't even realize it. Yet the moment he saw her, he knew he could never share her. No matter what demons lurk in her past, no matter how much she tries to deny her body's burning need for his, he will claim her for himself. And together they will face the battle that is brewing...

I'm still looking for that perfect Angel story. Unfortunately, The Unforgiven, although steeped in angel mythology wasn't quite what I was looking for.

There is a coming war between the Nephilum clans (the cursed offspring of forbidden Angel/human matings) also known as The Watchers. Each Watcher holds a magical gift and obviously the clan with the stronger collective magic is at an advantage.

Cade is part of the Clan Azazel. It is learned that there is woman, Maddie, who is a dormant Watcher ready to go through her transition. As a human she is unaware of the existence of demons & angels but feels a pull to an archeological site in Israel. Maddie is no ordinary Watcher however, she is also a descendant from the rival clan Samyaza. To master her powers and bring her into the Clan Azael would be a turning point in the clans battle for dominance.

Cade is sent by his clan leader Artur to "anchor" Maddie through her transition. It is very similar to J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series when the males go through their transition or the females through their needings. Basically there will be hot sex that our hero *must* provide. The downside of this process, for Maddie anyway, is that Cade will absorb all her memories and those of her ancestors as well as her powers and enslave her both physically and mentally to him for life. She will be powerless to resist him.

Cade has bad memories from his own transition in which he was found and anchored by Cybele, former bond mate of Artur. Cade is on love with Cybele but she has never returned his affections since the transition because of her love for Artur….who is still mad at both of them. This is where I was kind of turned off. Cade pines for Cybele, Artur is cruel to Cybele, Cybele pines for Artur. I actually wanted Cade and Cybele to get together which is not the couple I was supposed to be rooting for.

I pretty much new were everything was headed. I new the sex was going to be so awesome that Cade would feel guilty about enslaving Maddie. He is a pretty great hero but I feel like I've read this all before. And I'm not sure I bought into Maddie and Cade's love. I get the bond, I get how they would cling to each other but love? Nah. I don't think he would have given her a second glance in another situation. Maddie seemed more shocked that a hunky stud could want a plain Jane like herself more her than any thing else. I can't say I disagree. They also seemed to have the longest transition sex evah. They had whole conversations and flashbacks while in the throws of passion. It was steamy but kind of weird.

There is quite a bit of world building pertaining to the Clan wars and the larger Angel/Nephilum conflict which was fairly interesting but we bounced around to various POV's too much so that we could be introduced to other characters. I'm assuming this was to set up future books in the series. It felt like a lot of detail to invest in the background to then have it just be the typical meet my mate/bond story.

Despite the overall predictability of the plot regarding Cade and Maddie there were a few twists and turns with Maddie coming into her powers that were unique. The transition doesn't go exactly as planned because Cade gives into his love for Maddie rather than doing what's right for his clan. Maddie takes advantage of that one mistake and all hell breaks lose. It was nice to see the heroine go a little crazy for once with the hero having to reel her back in rather than the other way around.

I also have to mention Maddie's past memories of her ancestor Lilith and her father Azazel. Squick times 1000. Yeah - I don't want to read about consensual incest. It is very important to the story but….

The Unforgiven didn't quite work for me but fans of Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld or Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed's series might want to check it out. This book is very similar but with a new twist on angel mythology.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4

Source: e-ARC thanks to Netgalley
Buy the book! The Unforgiven
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Release date: August 6, 2011

Find Joy Nash:


  1. Sorry to hear that this angel mythology didn't work for you. Best angel to date for me is Unearthly --Reading Mesphisto Covenant and will let you know .

  2. @Julie - Still have to get to Unearthly. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for but I guess I'll know it when I read

  3. @karen

    I am also picky about my angel books too.

  4. Hahahahahaha.
    Does just laughing in your comments count as spam?

  5. @Tiger - shoo Tiger....shoo

  6. It was steamy but kind of weird.

    Best. Line. Ever.

    I'm still giggling at it. *Sigh* I'm such a boy sometimes, I think.

    I've decided I won't like Angel books so I don't even give them the time of day. The whole concept of them confuses me. Admittedly, the mythology sounds interesting, just not the book itself.

  7. Karen!

    What is it about Angel stories that always manage fall flat? I haven't found one I like either, though I've heard really good things about Unearthly.

    So, you like it when the heroine goes nuts, eh?!


  8. So interesting what you & Missie said about Angel stories falling flat. I looove Angel mythology, yet...I've never read an angel book. I don't know why...I guess it's because of reviews like this and the descriptions of all Angel books I've perused. I will make a note of Unearthly. On the flip side, have you ever seen the movie The Prophecy? That was an Angel movie I really liked.

  9. I think a good angel story is hard to tell and they are difficult for me to read. Thank you for sharing today.

  10. I'm with Julie on Unearthly ... it's really NICE, hehe ... and you'd totally heart one of the love interests - he's such a sweetie!! :)

  11. Quite a few votes for Uneathly but then Bella scares me with this little comment "ONE of the love interests" *hides under bed trying to stay away from book* LOL

    @Midnyte Reader - I'll have to check out that movie.

    @Missie - I'm sick of the guy always being the dark one to be rescued by the heroine - it was a nice twist.