[Book Review] World-ending conspiracies and much romantic subplotting

Unhidden (The Gatekeeper #1) by Dina Given



Here’s the premise. You’re Emma Hayes, mercenary, ex-soldier, ex-foster kid, loner who lost her family – and memory – in a car crash ten years ago. You’ve made something of yourself, served in the army, built your own business, and life’s pretty good.

And then you learn that everything you thought was a lie. You’re not Emma. You’re probably not even human.

Amnesia? Check. Quippy banter in the face of death? Check. Government conspiracies? Uh-huh. Evil Supernatural Baddies? Yup. Handsome blokes with mysterious agendas? Check.

Oh and there’s love-interest potential galore. There’s the handsome but completely insane mage, a smooth-talking shapeshifter, an ambivalent rescuer, a trained sniper, creepy industrialist billionaire, and more. Emma is surrounded by hot guys vying for her attention (to save the world, to destroy it, because true love, take your pick). Depending on how much that’s your cup of tea, mileage will vary. But the romantic scenes that do happen in the book are quite sweet.

The cast of characters is big and varied and the action runs the gamut from Mexican jungle raids to high speed car chases across the Brooklyn Bridge.

This book is a lot. It’s a hot mess but also kept me reading. By far the shakiest part is Emma herself, a weathervane of character consistency. She goes from sparing nary a thought for her possibly dead comrades in one scene to falling apart at the thought of losing them in another. From intense relationship-phobia to full on love-connection, no turmoil. From –

Well, you get the point. Not a big deal if you can roll with it, but beyond “tough,” not sure what I can say for sure if asked who Emma really is. Then again, by the end of the book, Emma probably feels the same.

This first book in the series ends with a promise of more – more adventure, more high drama, more crazy twists, more tragedy, more worlds, and more battles. And, of course, more relationship drama.

The verdict:

(The read was fun, but I’m not convinced I’d pick up the sequel…)

Book provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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