Jen A.'s Reviews > Unnatural Issue

Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey
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's review
Jun 20, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read from June 19 to 20, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan, and I while I love her Valdemar series I have to say that I really like her Elemental Masters series as well. Unnatural Issue was a promising concept -- an Earth Master (magician/mage) loses his wife to childbirth and is so overcome with grief that he refuses to acknowledge his daughter, who survived birth, and sequesters himself off into his rooms in his manor. 20 or so years later, he discovers some books on necromancy in his library and becomes convinced that he can bring his dead wife back to life -- in the body of his daughter.

Promising, right?! However, Lackey could've used an extra 200 or so pages to this book -- it's almost like she bit off more of a story than she had room to tell, because there's another part to this tale that has to do with a German war coming to France/England.

Unnatural Issue starts off with an Earth mage talking about how desperate he was to get out of London because he was so removed from "healthy" magic/Earth... but later in the book, when Suzanne (the daughter) ends up in London (and on the forefront of a war in France) she doesn't really get into the discomfort (magically), just the horrific nature of war. I felt like that was a bit of an oversight, or a lack of consistency that should have been a major element to this character.

Also, there's talk of how awesome Suzanne's powers must be, if Robin Goodfellow (the Great Puck, himself) took an interest in training her... but the "big conflict" at the end of the book -- killing her necromancer father -- isn't exactly taken by Lackey as an opportunity to showcase Suzanne's powers and/or ability; she shows cunning and smarts, and bravery, but not necessarily magic. It makes me wonder if Lackey is "saving" Suzanne for a future Elemental Masters book.

So, to summarize, a good story with interesting characters (in a country/time that poses its own drama) that doesn't quite live up to its promise... but perhaps gives us an engaging and strong female character to follow in future installments.
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06/19/2011 page 70
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Arati loved your review, totally agree

message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen A. Thanks, Arati! I appreciate the feedback. :)

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