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Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

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Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#1 by MarisaRose
» 10 Jun 2017, 14:46

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Unbalanced" by Courtney Shepard.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by MarisaRose
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Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard follows four orphans, Asha, Ivy, Mere and Avia, as they are united for the first time since their birth decades ago. The four women, though seemingly normal, are anything but. They each possess a unique power to harness one of the natural elements: fire, earth, water and air. Throughout time, there have been female quadruplets with the same powers who have been hunted by the mysterious ‘Order’ and sacrificed to ‘The Four.’ Unaware of their fate, the four women, with the help of four powerful male counterparts, will battle against the Order to save their lives and learn about their history.

The plot of Unbalanced is straightforward and fun to read. The narrative carries the reader along as the author introduces one sister and then another. If anything, there were times the book moved a little too fast. For example, it would have been enjoyable to read more about the sisters lives before finding one another. Similarly, the global settings they travel to, like Egypt, Japan, Italy and Switzerland, are only mentioned in passing and given little description. But overall, the author sufficiently moves the story along, adding in a few twists to keep the reader guessing about the motivations of certain characters.

The four women, Asha, Ivy, Mere and Avia, are all uniquely written and skillfully developed. As the story progresses, the author touches upon the lives of the four girls before they were united. Their stories are similar enough to develop a connection amongst them, yet different enough that one woman can easily be distinguished from the others. Their appearances, personalities and actions reflect four very different girls experiencing similar hardships. In addition, although the characters’ actions never seem unrealistic, the characters are each unpredictable at times, making the women memorable and exciting in their own way.

There is no doubt that there is a lot to like about this book; the characters are enjoyable and the story easily holds your attention. However, there isn’t a great deal of depth to the world the author has created. To be fair, this is the first book in the series and it is likely that plenty will be revealed in later installments. Nevertheless, the bad guys in this book are just bad; they are mysterious and evil, and not much is known about them. The romantic element is, at times, predictable. And the main characters’ outcomes are not always shocking.

Despite the relatively shallow plotting, this book is an entertaining, light read. The four sisters are unmistakable and intriguing, the plot is somewhat unique, and the pacing makes this book a true page turner. Though I am not dying with anticipation for the second novel, I will happily read it when it comes out. For its many positive attributes, Unbalanced earns 4 out of 4 stars; this book will surely appeal to fans of light fantasy novels with mild familial and romantic themes.

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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#2 by Amagine
» 11 Jun 2017, 05:20

The sisters seem like they are well thought out and created characters. It's tricky writing a book with multiple protagonists but it sounds like this author succeeds in making each sister a unique character. The plot sounds very interesting as well.

Great Review! 😸
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#3 by MarisaRose
» 11 Jun 2017, 05:25

Amagine wrote:The sisters seem like they are well thought out and created characters. It's tricky writing a book with multiple protagonists but it sounds like this author succeeds in making each sister a unique character. The plot sounds very interesting as well.

Great Review! 😸


Thank you! This book was definitely fun to read. The characters were all enjoyable :)
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#4 by kimmyschemy06
» 11 Jun 2017, 06:42

Sounds like one interesting book with delightful and intriguing characters. I love stories about natural elements and this seems like something I would particularly enjoy. Too bad, though, about the minimal 'depth' to the world the author created but since it is just the first book in the series, maybe we can hope for more. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Courtney Shepard on such high rating.
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#5 by MarisaRose
» 11 Jun 2017, 08:57

kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like one interesting book with delightful and intriguing characters. I love stories about natural elements and this seems like something I would particularly enjoy. Too bad, though, about the minimal 'depth' to the world the author created but since it is just the first book in the series, maybe we can hope for more. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Courtney Shepard on such high rating.


Thank you! I am definitely hopeful that the second book will go into more detail. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author! :)
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#6 by kandscreeley
» 11 Jun 2017, 13:17

I have to tag my book buddy @hsimone on this one. I started to review this one. I got halfway through and decided it wasn't for me. I just had no desire to continue. Since hsimone and I have similar book tastes, I have a feeling she would feel the same.
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#7 by hsimone
» 11 Jun 2017, 13:46

kandscreeley wrote:I have to tag my book buddy @hsimone on this one. I started to review this one. I got halfway through and decided it wasn't for me. I just had no desire to continue. Since hsimone and I have similar book tastes, I have a feeling she would feel the same.


Hey there book buddy! Thank you for the tag! I haven't actually read this book. However, since it seems to be predictable and there isn't a lot of depth, I'd say I would steer clear from this read. Especially, since it looks like you've had a tough time getting through it, and we do have similar tastes in books, I don't think I would enjoy this one.

Nonetheless, the review does seem honest, pointing out the flaws and its positives. Glad you were able to enjoy this one, MarisaRose! But, I think I'll steer clear. :tiphat:
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#8 by MarisaRose
» 12 Jun 2017, 13:29

@hsimone @kandscreeley thanks for commenting! I have to say, after reflecting more on this one, it almost felt like it would fit better in the YA genre if the characters were maybe a few years younger (they are in their mid-late twenties). That being said, I wouldn't recommend it for those looking for more in-depth writing/world building!
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#9 by kandscreeley
» 12 Jun 2017, 13:37

Yeah. I definitely wasn't sure about the romance classification, but I didn't finish the book either...
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#10 by MarisaRose
» 12 Jun 2017, 13:39

kandscreeley wrote:Yeah. I definitely wasn't sure about the romance classification, but I didn't finish the book either...


It should definitely be classified as either YA or simply fantasy. I'm surprised you didn't finish the book, mostly because it was an easy read. What did you strongly dislike about it that made you stop reading? (If you don't mind my asking.)
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#11 by hsimone
» 12 Jun 2017, 13:55

MarisaRose wrote:@hsimone @kandscreeley thanks for commenting! I have to say, after reflecting more on this one, it almost felt like it would fit better in the YA genre if the characters were maybe a few years younger (they are in their mid-late twenties). That being said, I wouldn't recommend it for those looking for more in-depth writing/world building!


No worries! The appropriate age group and characters' ages do play a lot in how much a book is enjoyable. But, like I said, I will pass on this one, but glad that you were able to enjoy it! :)
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#12 by kandscreeley
» 12 Jun 2017, 14:43

I didn't necessarily strongly dislike it. It was one of the those books that I didn't like and I didn't hate. I just didn't want to read any more. When there are so many other books out there that make you feel strongly one way or the other, why waste time on one that doesn't make you feel anything?
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#13 by MarisaRose
» 12 Jun 2017, 17:08

:oops:
kandscreeley wrote:I didn't necessarily strongly dislike it. It was one of the those books that I didn't like and I didn't hate. I just didn't want to read any more. When there are so many other books out there that make you feel strongly one way or the other, why waste time on one that doesn't make you feel anything?


Great point! Makes sense to me. Thanks for the input :)
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#14 by Mrsbellaz
» 12 Jun 2017, 22:40

Nice, honest review. The story sounds quite interesting. Does the story explain how they were separated and how they made it back together again? You have me curious about this book. I may just have to read it.
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Re: Official Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Post Number:#15 by MarisaRose
» 13 Jun 2017, 04:34

Mrsbellaz wrote:Nice, honest review. The story sounds quite interesting. Does the story explain how they were separated and how they made it back together again? You have me curious about this book. I may just have to read it.


Yes! The author does provide stories for both scenarios.
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