4 out of 4 stars
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The Unborn: Among the Outliers by Tayma Tameem is the second book in a series that continues in a world unlike what we are accustomed to. In this world, the effects of global warming are fully on display, and as a consequence of this global warming, there is a shortage of water. This is how Forge Corporation has placed itself as the leaders and controllers of the world in this story. We follow the story from where the first book ended, revolving around the chaos that ensued in Forge Corporation's compound 17. General Lloyd, in his lust for power, has forcefully taken over compound 17 and has executed some of the directors. Meanwhile, our main characters, Director Jake, his wife, Summer, and his son, Jake Junior, have to take their chances outside the compound, in the desert, and among the outliers (different clans of people that have lived in the desert for years).
Firstly, if you haven't read the first book in this thrilling series, I would advise that you do so before you pick up this one to get a full grasp of the story, even though the author tries as much as possible to explain things through the dialogue and flashbacks.
The story is told in the third-person perspective, just like in the previous book, and is mostly driven by the well-developed characters that we have already grown to love. We also see some major character growth from Junior, as he graduates from the boy who had a comfortable life under his parents' guidance to a man and a leader who had to fight for his life and consider other people every day in the desert. Following his growth was my favorite part of the story.
Tayma Tameem also does well to present an objective view of each character in the story, presenting their good and bad sides while they fight to achieve their goals, mostly revolving around seizing power for themselves. This even creates more uncertainties, and it is worth noting that no character seems unexpendable. This was quite a suspenseful, fast-paced read. Right from the beginning chapters, Tayma Tameem wastes no time in introducing heart-stopping situations and action scenes that will keep you anxious about your favorite characters' lives. One example was seeing Jake grow jealous of his son's growth and leadership qualities while he felt that his crew would betray him in the desert. There were times I wondered if Jake would act on his feelings and choose a thirst for power over his son in that circumstance.
The story also raises some thought-provoking questions about capital punishment. At what point does an offender deserve capital punishment? Is it even something to consider from a moral standpoint? It might seem like an easy question to answer until you understand what those offenders did.
The Unborn: Among the Outliers is an exceptionally well-edited book. I did not encounter any errors while reading. I also cannot think of anything that I dislike about the book and cannot wait for the next book in the series. Therefore, I rate the book four out of four stars. Readers that enjoy fantasy and sci-fi novels will have fun with The Unborn: Among the Outliers. There's no profanity included, so the novel is suitable for a younger audience as well.
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