“Unleashed” is the sequel to “Uninvited” by Sophie Jordan about a time in the not-too-distant future when people with a tendency towards violence will have been identified by a certain gene (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome or HTS), branded and forced into camps. In the first book, “Uninvited,” Davy, an aspiring classical musician, is identified, segregated from the “normal” high school kids, and then sent to a camp where those with the “kill” gene will be trained.
Davy and a small group escape. “Unleashed” begins with the group ready to cross the border into Mexico where they believe life will be better. They will be able to live freely. That’s the plan.
When they are spotted trying to cross the river, Davy’s three friends make it across and into Mexico, but she does not. After being shot and washing ashore, Davy is rescued by Caden, who is part of a resistance group fighting the government’s incarceration and treatment of those with HTS. When Caden brings Davy to their headquarters, others are angry and suspicious of her. Many of the girls there want Caden for themselves, and when he immediately seems attached to Davy, there’s trouble.
Jordan made much of the romance between Davy and Sean in the first book. In that book, (spoiler alert) Davy had been forced to kill someone, or Sean would have been killed. She remains traumatized by that and in the beginning of “Unleashed” finds it difficult to return to their previous loving relationship.
It still seems strange that Davy is so quickly ready to begin a romance with Caden. While there is a lot of back and forth — she doesn’t want to stay with the resistors, she wants to meet her friends in Mexico — she is attracted to Caden. And while the set-up seems like it will lead to the resistors taking on the US government, the ending is much less exciting and much more realistic.
“Unleashed” is a good book. Readers are finding it difficult to believe in the new romantic interest and the fact that the whole book is basically just a romance. Most of the HTS part of the story is on the back burner and secondary to Davy’s relationship with Caden. And while sometimes books have endings that are ridiculously impractical and unbelievable, this one ends with a quiet closure, all knots tied and ribbons curled. But no explosions, no surprises, no action.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by HarperTeen for review purposes.
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