Unchosen by Katharyn Blair – REVIEW
For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.
The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.
The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.
Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.
When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.
The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.
But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.
Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper360.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“The world is different now. And looking in the wrong eyes is a death sentence.”
Unchosen was a book I knew very little about when I picked it up and it was also my first book from the author so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of writing style. I’m so pleased that I completely fell in love with the story and can’t wait to read the author’s previous book. Unchosen is a post-apocalyptic YA thriller that combines feminism, pirates, zombies, curses, and romance.
“You will not choose my end, for this heart is mine.”
After the Crimson curse sweeps across the world, a virus-like illness spreads upon eye contact and leaves its victims as mindless cannibals with heightened senses. There are rumours of a Chosen One able to end the curse and this is where the Holloway sisters come in. Harlow is the brave and capable elder sister and commander of a group of Raiders. Vanessa is a gymnast and the little sister who’s also thought to be the Chosen One. And then there’s Charlotte, the middle sister who’s defined by her sisters, in love with her sister’s boyfriend, and treated as weak.
“We loved her ‘womanly rage’ until it was too messy. Until it became real to us.”
I ended up adoring Charlotte and her many insecurities and anxieties. When you have siblings, there are always times when one of them overshadows the others but Charlotte experiences this every day. One day Charlotte offers herself as the Chosen One instead of exposing her little sister and is captured by traffickers. This is where Charlotte’s journey begins and initiates her development into an independent and formidable woman.
“This is a glass moment hovering above a marble floor, and we’re gripping it with everything we have. But sooner or later, we both know it is going to shatter.”
After falling in with a crew of rogues fighting for a better world, Charlotte finds herself amongst friends and equals for the first time. The swoon-worthy captain Seth is beautifully written and I loved his slow-burn romance with Charlotte. I also really appreciated the fierce Rielle and Lucia and would love to read a whole book about their adventures.
The engaging plot had me gripped from the first page and I ended up reading this in one sitting as I didn’t want to put it down. I loved how the author explored different types of strength and the idea that the most powerful kind isn’t always physical. Additionally, the ending encapsulated such an important feminist message and one I hope every reader will listen to. Unchosen is a gripping feminist post-apocalyptic thriller with pirates, curses and romance and is a 2021 must-read.