Author: Elizabeth Norris (author website)
Release Date: June 7th 2012 by HarperCollins Australia
Age Group: Young Adult
If the words ‘Science Fiction’ make you want to run for the hills, it’s time to reconsider*. Unravelling is certainly sci-fi, but it’s not what you’re expecting: this is no lycra-covered space opera, but thrilling mystery, heart-stopping action and a heroine with enough snark and savvy to give Veronica Mars a run for her money. If you’re running anywhere, let it be to the bookstore. You need this book.
STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD...
Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.
Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life...
Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.
That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process...
The Story:With a largely absent—but painfully wonderful—FBI agent father, a bipolar mother, and a kid brother who doesn’t get fed if his sister’s not around, Janelle Tenner’s had to grow up fast. Too bad no amount of ‘grown up’ helps when you find yourself dead by the side of the road, hit by a speeding truck. But when Janelle wakes up, she’s sure of two things: that she absolutely, positively was dead, and that Ben Michaels—the stoner bad-boy she’s known most her life, but never even spoken to—brought her back.
Janelle’s not-quite-death raises a series of impossible questions that cannot go unanswered, the least of which being that the driver who killed her doesn’t exist. So who is Ben Michaels? Who killed her? And how is all this tied up in her father’s FBI investigation—one involving the appearance of horrifically burned, melting bodies, and a countdown that will stop in twenty five days? But the most important questions is: a countdown to what?
The 101:Janelle’s slightly more than ‘near’-death experience changes everything for her: Given a second chance at life, she refuses to waste it, and it renders Janelle a very interesting character indeed. Faced with the crushing, the impossible and the heartbreaking , she approaches everything as an opportunity. Janelle’s smart, tenacious, sarcastic and badass, but most of all, she is completely irrepressible, and it makes for a truly fantastic heroine.
From her loyal, hilarious best friend, Alex, to her geeky, sci-fi obsessed dad and his FBI super-hero sidekick, Struz, its rich cast of characters are one of Unravelling’s highlights, and also allow for a very unique story to be told. One girl saving the world would seem inconceivable, if it were not for the people Janelle's surrounded with. How many seventeen year olds do you know with access to top secret FBI case files, guns, and crime scenes? Unravelling’s tightly plotted, impossible mysteries and edge-of-your-seat action are tense and breathtaking, rich with both thrilling and heartbreaking outcomes.
And then there’s the romance. The chemistry Janelle shares with Ben Michaels, the boy who may just have brought her back from the dead, is electric. From glancing touches to deep, bone-melting kisses, the heat is undeniable. But, as you might expect from a boy with the powers of resurrection, this is not smooth sailing, and Ben may be the key to unlocking some alarming secrets—and saving the world. There is little more that can be said without betraying some extraordinary mysteries, but Ben and his friends, Janelle’s accident, the FBI, the gruesomely deformed bodies inexplicably appearing across the city, and the countdown that numbers Unravelling’s chapters are all inextricably linked, drawn together in a twisted, precarious danse macabre.
The Verdict:Slick, sexy, and action-packed, Unravelling is the literary lovechild of a Fringe and Veronica Mars pairing. Its unstoppable smart-mouthed heroine is the perfect match to end-of-the-world high-stakes, and its extraordinary sci-fi-leaning mysteries make for an electrifying debut. There’s only one problem with Unravelling, and that’s the twelve month wait for the sequel.
* No, seriously: IT’S TIME TO RE-CONSIDER. You’re talking to a card-carrying Browncoat, Whovian, wannabee Jedi-Knight who went to Star Trek conventions as a kid. Watch yo’ self.
Books in This Series:
- Unravelling (2012)
- Unbreakable (2013)