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The Unseen

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Cassidy is a young tattoo artist living in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. She’s always suffered terrible nightmares, and sometimes the hideous creatures seem to follow her out of her dreams and into her waking life, though she’s the only one who can see them. Drugs and alcohol can blot them out, but never entirely chase them away.

When a demonic cult begins to take control of the people in her life, including her younger brother, Cassidy discovers that the unseen world of monsters is very real. She can no longer avoid it. To protect those she loves, she must accept her own hidden supernatural talents and face the forces of evil before the sinister cult achieves its twisted goals and casts the world into darkness.

322 pages, Paperback

First published October 19, 2013

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About the author

J.L. Bryan

50 books1,004 followers
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife and son. He is the author of the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper books and some other assorted novels like Inferno Park, The Unseen, Jenny Pox, and basically a lot of supernatural stories, some of it dark, some of it very dark, some of it less dark than that.

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5 stars
77 (39%)
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62 (32%)
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42 (21%)
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9 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Rhiannon Frater.
Author 65 books1,629 followers
April 8, 2014
JL Bryan is one of my favorite authors. I loved his Jenny Pox series and adored his Fairy books. I'm a HUGE fan.

So it hurts just a little to give this three stars. I did like the book and encourage you to read it if you love horror. But I didn't love it.

What I Liked

The premise is awesome. It's chilling. It's scary. I loved how it felt like a horror film out of the 70's. It had an awesome gritty feel.

The characters weren't necessarily "good" even when they were on the side of "good." I rather like flawed characters who evolve over the course of a book. Cassidy is one of those characters. I can't say I liked her much at the beginning, but by the end I was firmly on her side.

I loved the lore. The twist on religion was really well done and very scary. I could definitely see the appeal of the cult. The even BIGGER twist on Cassidy's heritage was really awesome and yet horrific.

I enjoyed the interaction between Cassidy and her bestie. I also liked what felt like the realistic dynamic of a fractured home when Cassidy spends time with her mother and brother.

The world building was amazing. I felt like I was really visiting parts of Atlanta. It was very well done.

Also, Cassidy's tattoo work was AWESOME!

What I Didn't Like

Honestly, the first chapter was incredibly difficult to get through. I picked up and put down my reader so many times. I exited out of the ebook to double-check that JL had really written the book. I even messaged friends who had read the book to inquire if it got better. The first chapter didn't have the zing and excitement of JL's writing except for one little spot. The descriptions were oddly stilted, the conversation felt really off and I had difficulty discerning the characters apart. It had none of JL's usual flair at all. But I forced myself through the first chapter and the book finally got traction in the second and built from there. I have to be honest, if this wasn't his book I would have stopped reading.

The character of Ibris was really cool when we first meet him and I loved his banter with Cassidy, but he never felt like the same character again. I was kinda bummed by this.

What I'm Conflicted About

The ending.

Though a lot of it was pretty epic and exciting, it also felt incredibly rushed. It moved so fast and furious I never really experienced any of the emotions I should have felt during the showdown: fear, excitement, disgust, worry... The deaths of some of the baddies just happened so fast there was no real satisfaction to them getting what they had coming. Though I really liked one aspect of the ending the book then ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

It appears JL will continue writing in this world. I hope so. There is so much potential in this story idea it's exciting to think of where it might go.

I DO recommend you read this book. I LIKED it. I just didn't LOVE it.
Profile Image for Kelly.
5,000 reviews171 followers
October 27, 2013
J.L. Bryan gives us another dark story about a girl with abilities that could land her in a heap of trouble. For all the problems these abilities bring into her life, if Cassidy doesn't bother to learn how to wield them, she'll probably just end up dead. Or possessed. Or a drunk, drugged out tattooist without a lot of prospects. So, there's that.

Frankly, there's an awesomely high creep factor in this book. Unseen critters that feed on everyone around her. Demons who have a PLAN for getting a toehold into the world. Monsters and mean girls and orgies of demonic proportions. *slow thumbs up*

Cassidy drowns her abilities in alcohol and drugs. I'd give her my stern frowny face for that but considering all the things she isn't told about what she can do and where she came from, I kinda understand why she indulges in those vices. Once the secrets start spilling and the truth comes out, Cassidy takes a stand.

A fast, dark read with plenty of nightmarish imagery and a sexy time or three slipped in. For the record, I like the scary and the scary-sexy times and the roommate with her two boyfriends, so this book worked for me. *really slow thumbs up with a finger guns thrown in there*

-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
Profile Image for Jen.
105 reviews5 followers
January 18, 2015
Original joint review posted at Book Soulmates

4 stars

Isalys: I never know where to begin when it comes to reviewing JL’s books but I can say that he does it again! Is it any wonder I call him the Master of Mindfuckery?! LOL. I’ve read his other work, but this one had a darkness that was completely new and perfect for Halloween.

Jen: Unlike you, this was my first foray into the mind of JL. I was both terrified and intrigued at the same time. I knew from the first paragraph that shit was going to go down. And down it went. Who were some of your favorite and least favorite characters?

Isalys: Well, off the bat I knew that Reese was going to be a problem! And then that thing happens and I was like, “oh hell nah, JL is not going to hold back!” lol

Jen: Gee what could possibly have tipped you off about Reese? Lol! I really liked Cassidy. Poor girl had all kinds of things thrown at her (literally and figuratively) and I think she handled it as well as she could. I really liked her friend Barb. She was funny and had Cassidy's back no matter what. Someone I did not like, other than Reese, was that jerk Peyton.

Isalys: Peyton was a total douchecanoe! I expected him to be just a typical guy but there were several scenes where I really wanted to backhand him! Barb on the other hand was amazing! She was so loyal to Cassidy and I loved that about her. Truth be told, I loved Cassidy but was concerned about her substance abuse. Then again, can you really blame her considering all the shiz she was seeing? And her family! Her poor mom! I wanted to hug her. She’d been through so much. Whoda thunk that she had so much baggage - er, history! I wished she had been more upfront with Cassidy when she was younger but I guess she figured ignorance was bliss - and safety! What are your thoughts on her brother?

Jen: I felt for her Mom, too. Imagine having to keep all those secrets only to realize it may have hurt more than helped. I'm just glad she fessed up when she did. Oh Kieran. What can I say other than I may have wanted to junk punch him once or twice but I think he was perfectly portrayed as a typical teenager. Which would explain the junk punching. Teenage angst aside, I think the kid has a good heart and would do just about anything for his sister. On a side note, what did you think about Ibis?

Isalys: Yeah! Keiran was kind of a pain in the ass, although he wasn’t really a bad kid. I can see how he felt like he needed to find acceptance. I think he eventually learned that his sister loved him more than he realized. Being a big sister myself, I don’t think little brothers always understand that - lol. Dude, IBIS!! I am speechless, lol.

Jen: I don't want to give too much away but I really like what JL did with his character. I kinda like guessing games. What did you think about the setting for the story?

Isalys: Omg, that curve ball with him toward the end….HOLY SHIT! I was not expecting that. I really thought he was something else. I liked how that became an opportunity for Cassidy to learn to trust her instincts. In that one scene, I was both shocked and impressed by what happened with both Ibis and Cassidy. It was pretty smooth of JL to be able to pack shock-factor and character growth into one scene.

The setting...hmm, well I learned that if a “church” is in a rundown neighborhood, next to a whorehouse, don’t trust it! It’s okay to just go with your gut on that one, ya know - lol

Jen: Lol! Excellent call my friend. Creepy Youth Outreach Center and Church aside, I liked the world building. I felt like I was walking or bar hopping the streets of Atlanta. I like when an author can do that. It adds an extra layer to the reading experience.

Isalys: Definitely! I loved seeing Atlanta through his eyes. Especially since it’s where he’s based, I trust it to look exactly as he wrote it. I love it when authors base their settings on the cities they live in. Makes it so much more real. Make sense?

Jen: Absolutely! Ahh! There's so much I want to yap about but, I friggin' can't. This is definitely the kind of journey you have to witness unfold for yourself. A rollercoaster isn't as fun when you know what's coming, right? It's the same with this story.

Isalys: What did you think of the plot? JL is great at coming up with unique plots and this one was all kinds of cray-cray. The demons gave me the heebie-jeebies!

Jen: Heebie Jeebies would be an understatement. I really enjoyed the plot. I like how the story was paced and how things unfolded the way they did. I enjoyed the 'holy crap' and 'wtf' moments and the way they lead to the big reveal.

Isalys: Yes, it was fast-paced in the sense that it was action packed but not so much that events didn’t make sense. There was a sense of urgency that was necessary because of Cassidy’s predicament. And I LOVE how JL gives his heroines so much backbone. I live for those “who’s the bitch now?!” moments, in the big reveal to which you referred! WHEN you read Jenny Pox, you’ll really be able to appreciate that quality to his writing.

Jen: *hangs head in shame* I know! I hear it's a really good read. I'll have to add it to the never ending TBR list. *sigh* So is it safe to say we're giving The Unseen the Book Soulmates stamp of approval?

Isalys: Always! Especially to those who love dark, edgy, fast-paced, action-packed, sit-on-the edge-of-your-seat-while-you-bite-your-nails-off kind of books ;)
Profile Image for Paranormal Books R Us.
461 reviews32 followers
December 12, 2018
The Unseen Review

This story was a different but interesting.
It was a little slow in the beginning and it crammed a whole lot in towards up the end. But I liked the authors twist on the monsters and religion and I enjoyed some of the characters. I just would have liked more info on the supernatural side of things but hopefully that will be covered in the next book. Overall though I think it was worth the read.
Profile Image for Tonya OK.
405 reviews1 follower
July 15, 2021
A delightfully creepy and disturbing horror story, which deserves at least 4 starts, but really only happens in the second half of the book. The first half is essentially repetitive scenes of the main character “hallucinating” and taking copious amounts of drugs. I almost gave up, but glad to have persevered.
Profile Image for Karel .
201 reviews2 followers
May 3, 2019
A Surprising Difference From The Ellie Jordan Series

While I was intrigued by the story, I didn't enjoy some of the gratuitous language and definitely did not enjoy the graphic sexual parts at the end. I personally do not recommend this book.
Profile Image for Jan.
172 reviews
March 23, 2020
Another page turning book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I hope that the author will continue to draw the reader into the story with the next book that is due out shortly. Keep writing to take our minds away from the disasters taking place in the real world at present.
Profile Image for Heather.
327 reviews34 followers
November 18, 2013
It's no secret that JL Bryan is one of my short list of insta-read authors. It could be a grocery list at this point and I'll take a stab at it, knowing that I'm in for one hell of a heart-pounding and spooky ride down the aisles with demons, witches, evil fairies, kick ass time travelers, or other supernatural beasties on my heals. And The Unseen kicks his previous horror novels up a serious notch, featuring a world full of invisible creepy crawlies that feed on your energy while a Satanic cult awaits the arrival of their Messiah.

Cassidy has her first brush with the paranormal as a teenager when she and her girlfriends play with a Ouija board during a slumber party. Unfortunately for beautiful bad-girl Reese, a demon tries to take over her body while Cassidy and her two best-friends from different worlds--party girl Barb and smart, reserved Tamila--look on helplessly. When the Reese/demon makes threats towards Cassidy and tries to harm her, they go on the defensive and find a way to stop the possession by burning the Ouija board, but not before Reese loses an eye and is battered. Life is obviously never the same for the four girls again, and only Barb and Cassidy remain friends, partying their way through high school into adulthood.

But Cassidy has a reason to live her life in a near constant state of inebriation from alcohol and drugs. Ever since that fateful night in high school, Cassidy has seen awful transparent bugs and creatures that feed on people without anyone else noticing. Only the oblivion of substance abuse can make their images go away. Creative Cassidy has found work as a tattoo artist and shares a house with bartender Barb and several other colorful roommates, including a girl with two consenting live in boyfriends. Cassidy works at the tattoo shop and hangs out with her boyfriend Peyton, who's a trust fund baby who's an aspiring DJ who doesn't exactly make the healthiest life choices either.

And it's those crappy life choices like driving under the influence that cause Peyton to wreck his car, sending both him and Cassidy to the hospital. It's here where the story really picks up when Cassidy finds that she must move back home with her mother and brother Kiernan while she recuperates from a broken leg with only a few physical therapy appointments, and Peyton moves to a rehabilitation facility where he meets Reese, who's now part of a Cult that is searching for the new Messiah. Will confirmed atheist Peyton be drawn into this sinister world, and could Kiernan be the one they're looking for? Either way, Cassidy is certainly concerned when Reese shows up in town after she's been gone since high school...

Cassidy is a survivor and a fighter, and her relationship with her best-friend Barb is really great. They've stuck together through a lot, and Barb has done a lot to try and make their lives better. The housemates add a nice bit of comedic relief, which is in the flavor of JL Bryan's usual off-beat and sarcastic humor.

I give The Unseen a five out of five. JL Bryan has really upped the creepy and dark material in this book, and I really enjoyed reading about the dangerous dealings of a Satanic Cult in Georgia. Since the author lives in this part of the United States, the writing really brings this area to life, and I really felt like I could imagine all of the areas that were described in the book, even though I've only been to Alpharetta in my travels. What really stands out in this book are the graphic, gritty, and nasty creatures that inhabit the invisible world, and coupled with the evil humans and dastardly deeds, The Unseen is a deliciously dark and dangerous look at the problems that can plague you by ignoring things. The book is tidied up nicely in the end, but I definitely want to read more of Cassidy's story.

(Also on Bewitched Bookworms Bewitched Bookworms)
Profile Image for Shanon .
102 reviews20 followers
December 3, 2013
The Unseen is an utterly titillating story that is impossible to forget. J.L. Bryan continues to impress me with his ability to completely shock and alarm me! This is a book that should definitely be read by those who like to experience the darkest elements of the supernatural.

JL has produced a plot enriched with the creepiest, freakiest, and most appalling entities you will ever come across: Demons. I'll admit that something about demons really scares the pants off of me, but they aren't the only things in this book to be weary of. There's also Ouija boards, astral projection, possession, cults, and terrifying transparent energy-devouring creatures that will make your skin crawl. I must say, I really quite enjoyed the graphic imagery used to describe the heinous demons and odd creatures featured throughout this novel--even if I did have a rather disturbing dream involving one of the huge spider monstrosities that feeds on the living. Well done, JL! These creatures jumped off the pages of the book and burrowed into my subconscious! I'm impressed, and also a little freaked out! Yeesh..

The heroine of this book is a young woman named Cassidy, and what I really appreciate about her is that she's not your typical do-gooder protagonist. This chick has serious issues. She had a very traumatizing experience as a teen and she is the only one who can see into the Unseen world. She self-medicates in order to shield herself from being able to see the variety of transparent creatures that feed off the living. A frightening series of events finally forces Cassidy to snap out of her reverie and face what is going on around her, because her life and the lives of her friends and family are in jeopardy.

There are a lot of interesting facts to learn in this novel that are very pertinent to the story, and I just kept on being amazed by all of them. I sincerely applaud JL for his originality and the unique layers that are peeled back with each passing chapter to reveal this intricate story . One of my favorite parts of the book was learning the truth about Cassidy's heritage and everything she's capable of--I truly didn't see any of that coming!

Like I said before, this entire book is filled with ongoing creepiness, which mostly involves demons. Be prepared to be thoroughly disgusted and mortified, because JL paints these demons in an even more perverse light than I could have ever imagined. There's one scene in particular that disturbed me and caused me to actually cringe, yet it somehow also made me simultaneously--and somewhat shamefully--intrigued...Overall I loved every minute of this book, especially the explosive ending. The main message of this review is this: Go read this book, and prepare to be mystified!

*Special thanks to J.L. Bryan for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

My reviews can also be found at: www.escapingwithfiction.com
Profile Image for Lauren.
378 reviews183 followers
November 10, 2013
I have realized that J.L. Bryan has become one of my never fail authors. I have never been disappointed reading his books, and every time I finish one I cannot wait for his next! When he sent me a copy of The Unseen I was over the moon, I had just added it to Goodreads a few days before and I was excited to read it during Halloween!

Well… I attempted to read it before Halloween. I started The Unseen and immediately got terrified within the first chapter, and put it down. I admit, I am a chicken and the whole Ouija board event scared the life out of me! After a few days, I decided to put my big girl pants on and buckled down… and I could not stop reading!

The first chapter of the book takes place when Cassidy is still in high school. Her and few friends decide to have a bit of “fun” and craft a Ouija board but it goes terribly wrong and one of the girls, Reese, becomes possessed by a demon. The story then continues several years later when Cassidy is a young adult, working as a tattoo artist leading a wild and reckless life. Ever since Cassidy had the otherworldly encounter she sees parasites and monsters in her day-to-day world, so she numbs this by doing drugs and drinking heavily.

I really enjoyed the main character, Cassidy. I liked her personality and I was immediately drawn to her. I also really loved her best friend, Barb. Barb had a wild personality and was a bit off the beaten path and I really liked that about her. As a matter of fact, Cassidy’s entire crowd was a bit off the beaten path and her roommates were all exceptionally unique, not normal characters you read about, which was quite refreshing. I did not like Reese at all. As soon as she came back in the picture, I knew something was up and was immediately on guard with her and I absolutely detested Cassidy’s boyfriend. Detested.

The entire story and world was so different and unique to anything I have ever read. Religious cults are something that I am so interested in any way and to read about demons masking themselves as a religious cult was quite intriguing. The “world” that Cassidy lived in, that was actually the same as everyone else’s, was so different and creepy that I could not stop reading. Oh, and don’t forget a bit of Irish folklore thrown in… fantastic!

The story was incredibly hard to put down once I started reading. There is a bit of graphic content however so just a heads up if that’s not your thing. All in all this was another phenomenal story by J.L. Bryan and once again I’m left wanting for the next book!

If you like paranormal/supernatural, occult and want something different I would definitely recommend The Unseen!
Profile Image for Aeicha .
832 reviews101 followers
October 31, 2013
J.L. Bryan does creepy and dark well…really well! The Unseen is a creeptastically dark, gritty read full of the macabre and the unexpected. The Unseen’s heroine, Cassidy, is a young tattoo artist, drug enthusiast, and, as she discovers, surrounded by the supernatural. Cassidy finds herself and her loved ones caught up in the deadly doings of a demonic cult and its dangerous disciples. Cassidy must learn to trust and tap into her own supernatural powers to save the people she loves.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, J.L. Bryan is an enthralling and talented storyteller, and in The Unseen he weaves a scary awesome story! At times it seems like everything supernatural has been done, but Bryan has infused his world of demons, angels, and paranormal elements with invigorating originality and thrilling twists. As usual, Bryan’s world-building skills are excellent and he creates an atmosphere that is alluring, addicting, and creepy in the best way possible. The unseen world Cassidy finds herself unwillingly immersed in is full of both the familiar (demonic possession, astral projection, witches) and the sometimes startlingly and imaginatively new (spirit sucking hellbugs, tattoos that come to life). I love how smartly crafted the history and layers of this demonic and supernatural world is; this is a richly developed and complex world that feels very real.

The Unseen starts off a bit slow, with some superfluous character description, but quickly finds its flow, and once the action and real story-building begin, they don’t slow down for a second! Another thing I’ve come to expect from J.L. Bryan is relatable and well-developed characters, and he didn’t disappoint in The Unseen. I love how un-heroine like Cassidy is! She’s incredibly flawed- she drinks too much, does too many drugs, and can be quite selfish and thoughtless- and is perfectly content with ignoring the supernatural world around her and her place in…but this is what makes her feel so real and relatable. I like her rough, jagged edges and how she’s an unconventional heroine. There’s an eclectic cast of supporting characters, all of whom are well-developed, but I think my favorite is Ibis. Sweet, funny, dorkily charming Ibis *swoon*. And Bryan really brings the awesomeness with his nasty, nefarious demonic characters, which made me delightfully shiver!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The Unseen, with its originality, great characters, and captivatingly creepy, dark atmosphere, is the perfect Halloween read and it thoroughly entertained me!
Profile Image for Lori.
Author 2 books58 followers
March 16, 2014
PJV Quickie: The Unseen is a quick, gritty, and terrifying novel. It's got a lot of dark parts of it. The writing is classic J.L. Bryan, gripping, scary, with a dark humor laced throughout.

The book starts with a teenage Cassidy and her friends having a little get together. Cassidy makes a Quija board for the girls to play on. Only it's not really a game. Something comes out of the board, and possesses Reese, one Cassidy's friends. From that night on, Cassidy spends her time trying to hide the things that she sees. Little worms that are unseen to everyone else. They seem to feed on everyone. Only there comes a time when Cassidy can no longer take enough drugs, or drink enough alcohol to not see them. Not only that but hiding them puts her younger brother and friends at risk.

If your a fan of J.L. Bryan's past work then you know that he can write a great book. The Unseen is no exception. The beginning took me a while to get into but once the story, characters and world are established I was in the gripes of it. I didn't even realize how invested I was in the book until I would put it down to do something else. Soon enough I found myself jonesing for another page, chapter, to finish it.

The Unseen isn't particularly gory, or even full of seat jumping scares. It's a subtle creep-fest. If you're prone to nightmares I do not suggest you read this book before bed. Everything seems to be going fine with your day while your reading this book until the lights are out and your closet door is open. I'm a believer in things unseen, so when you read something as realistic as this book, it tends to get to even the most hardcore horror fan. (Not much actually scares me. This book did.)

J.L. is a fantastic writer who has the ability to write the unbelievable and sell it to a reader. Not only that, but you can tell he knows what he is talking about. I've never been to Atlanta, but I could very clearly picture the neighborhoods, and the places Cassidy goes in this book. There is a religious theme to this book, no it's not a book that is about religion, and Cassidy isn't really into it. But there is a cult like alternative religion featured in it. One of my areas of study in college was alternative religions, and J.L. nailed this fictional one. I can picture it being a real religious movement very easily.

Overall, The Unseen is a great read. I highly recommend this book to horror fans, Urban Fantasy fans, and people who love creepy things.
232 reviews8 followers
November 18, 2013
I love reading J.L. Bryan’s work. I am always amazed at the different worlds he is able to create in his novels and The Unseen is no exception. I will say that The Unseen runs darker than his other novels that I’ve read, but it still drew me in from beginning to end.
The main character, Cassidy, is on big hot mess. She has the ability to see creatures that aren’t there, but she doesn’t realize that they are real. She ‘copes’ with her ‘hallucinations’ by getting as high and drunk as she can, all day, every day. In her defense I think she has a wicked sense of humor and Bryan does an awesome job at having her grow into a kick ass heroine. As I mentioned above this novel is on the darker side. He also does a great job with the supporting and side characters as well. For instance, I actually felt bad when one of the ‘extras’ died. (Nope not saying who, don’t want to spoil anything) But seriously she was funny and I had gotten to where I was looking forward to seeing what she would say next.
I love the detail Bryan puts into his work. Not only does he bring his characters to life, but he makes the world they inhabit feel real enough to walk into. The unseen creatures that Cassidy sees feeding on the people around her make my skin crawl. I can just see them in all their creepy crawly glory. Another great example of his descriptive prowess is when Cassidy is going through physical therapy from her accident. He just describes the pain and her reactions perfectly.
As for the overall story itself, as I said above it pulled me in from beginning to end, but it is dark. There is violence, gore and some very twisted sex. If you are a fan of his other series’ I think you will definitely like this one too. The ending does have some loose ends, but they are written as the perfect jumping off point for the next novel. No overly steep cliff hanger or anything.

I would definitely recommend this one to anyone over 18. It’s good, but it is for mature audiences only people! I’m saying this because the holidays are a comin’ and J.L. Bryan is an awesome writer and his books would make awesome prezzies. So if you know someone that likes fantasy/horror that is over 18 I would recommend this one as a great gift. However if you are shopping for a younger teen, I would recommend going with his Songs of Magic series instead.
Profile Image for Shirley .
1,912 reviews56 followers
November 8, 2013
I received The Unseen in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Somewhere between a 4 1/2 and a 5...

Let me just say that I have never picked up a J.L Bryan book that I didn’t like. He’s made me laugh out loud with his whimsical and light Songs of Magic series. His Paranormals series was intense, heartbreaking and brought with it a powerful message. Then there was Nomad that took readers on a scary and intense trip through time. I thought J.L. Bryan had pulled out all the stops with his previous books. I thought I knew what I was in for when I picked up The Unseen. Not. Even. Close.

Okay, I have to be honest here. When I first started reading The Unseen I really wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I expected the horror… that is the genre after all. I didn’t expect the author to hold back in the details. Whether beautiful or violent, being hesitant or ‘careful’ just isn’t this author’s style. What held me back were the characters. I just couldn’t connect with them. Then, as the layers of the story were revealed, some mysteries were solved and secrets were exposed I understood. My whole feeling about Cassidy and her family and friends changed. Once I reached that point there was no turning back. I couldn’t put The Unseen down and before I knew it, the story was over. Wow!

This is not a book for the faint of heart. Like I said, J.L. Bryan is not known for holding back and he definitely pulled out his entire arsenal in The Unseen. It was intense, scary, violent and graphic. It also had very layered, smart, witty and interesting characters that were reckless but loyal, crazy but brave and more than enough bad guys to keep things interesting. It was definitely a wild ride, but I didn’t want it to end. As a matter of fact, my first response when I was finished was ‘it can’t be over!’ It didn’t end in a cliff hanger, things were wrapped up well, but I could tell that Cassidy’s story wasn’t quite finished. I don’t think it will be any time soon, but hopefully this is one character that J.L. Bryan will be bringing back. I want to know that they’re OK. I want to know what happens next. I want more! Thankfully J.L. Bryan agrees, so stay tuned. ;)
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,252 reviews187 followers
November 4, 2013
I am a big fan on J.L. Bryan's books, and while I have a few waiting to be read on my kindle I have really enjoyed what I have read so far. When I received an email asking if I would like a review copy of The Unseen it was an easy answer, and a few weeks later I found myself in the possession of a copy of The Unseen.
Cassidy is the protagonist of The Unseen, when she was younger herself and a few friends had a disastrous event with ouja board, which resulted in the break up of this little group, and some of them turning to religion to find an answer to what transpired.
In the present, Cassidy is only friends with Barb. Cassidy tattoos as profession and spends rest of her time high or drunk to keep nightmares to a minimum and away from her real life. Cassidy sees transparent creepy creatures in her dreams and also when she isn't drunk or high....and some of them sound pretty gruesome, like a millipede one which definitely gave me goosebumps.

While The Unseen has Cassidy as the protagonist, we also get to hear Peyton, Cassidy's boyfriend, and Kieran, Cassidy's brother, voices and see what is happening from their perspective and while you think Cassidy has a pretty freaky life, once things start to get serious I think Peyton beats it with what happens to him.

The Unseen is different from the previous books I have read by J.L Bryan but I enjoyed the change in genre. I went into The Unseen knowing it was going to be different, I just didn't realise how different it would be, and I mean that in a great way. The Unseen isn't exactly a quick read but not once did I get bored or distracted, it has a mix of magic, demons and so much more, and it all blends together to make a truly gripping read. The Unseen keeps you guessing over what will happen next, with twists and turns and a lot of unexpected events. After finishing The Unseen it reminds me once again I really need to finish my other books on my kindle by J.L. Bryan.
Profile Image for Holly Smith (Geek Glitter).
42 reviews4 followers
January 10, 2014
This post is about The Unseen by J.L. Bryan and how wonderfully awesome it is! I have adored every one of Jeff's books that I have read so far & The Unseen is no different. He takes it back to the creepiness of his Jenny Pox series. The Unseen is a crazy mixture of good vs evil. Demons vs well, normal people. Throw in a few witches & you've got a great story!

The Unseen centers around Cassidy. After an incident in high school, she has been able to see all of the unseen things in the world. Monsters & demons that are invisible to the average person. Thinking she's just going crazy, Cassidy starts using drugs & alcohol heavily. When she's high or drunk, she doesn't see the monsters. But, of course, it isn't long before she has to face her fears & stop the demons once & for all.

The Unseen is a very dark story. There isn't many warm, fuzzy moments. I, personally, love that. Cassidy has to learn to trust herself & others in order to face her fears. Her best friend, Brenda, has stuck by her side since the incident in high school. Sometimes a good friendship beats romance any day. I love how they stick together no matter what. Brenda dabbles in the witchcraft scene, so she always believes the crazy things that Cassidy tells her. Through out this book, you will see relationships begin & end but Cassidy & Brenda always remain the same.

This story isn't for the faint of heart. It gets real disturbing at parts. It has some pretty heavy drug & alcohol use in several different scenes. It also has some strong language. There is even a demon orgy that happens. My mind will never be the same. Jeff puts a really twisted spin on satanic worship. It's interesting & terrifying at the same time. But I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone under the age of 18.

If you don't mind blood, guts & demons getting it on, then you will love The Unseen. Your imagination will go places you didn't think it could. The Unseen is simply fascinating. I suggest you get to reading it, now!
Profile Image for Jackie's Bookbytes.
567 reviews48 followers
November 2, 2013
This book starts off when Cassidy was young and in school. Living in an apartment with her little brother and her mother. One night she had a party with some of her girlfriends , Barb, Tamila, and Reese and began playing with a Ouija board that the girls made themselves. But they never expected they'd conjure up a real demon, Nibhaz, with a message: that Cassidy die. When things go wrong, Reese gets seriously hurt and loses an eye and is left with 3rd degree burns.

If I wasn't familiar with J.L Bryan I probably would've stopped reading. It sounded more like a YA novel and I wasn't in the mood. Neither am I into heavy cursing and swearing. However the worst was coming from a demon so I guess it's to be expected...

Cassidy breaks up with [insert her boyfriends name here] because she feels betrayed and worried he was screwing Reese because in a vision she saw Reese in his kitchen with nothing but her panties on. Reese reappears after she had become a disciple in that crazy religious secret cult that nobody seems to know anything about. Only that the fliers said  ARE YOU THE MESSIAH? course Cassidy wouldn't believe any of it cause she's atheist but she shouldn't have ignored it either. Instead she lived her life getting high on drugs and drinking every night to mask the creatures she constantly sees around her.

We learn too much about her background a little too late in the book imo and for that I felt Cassidy's mother to be a bit neglecful as much as neglected when she reluctantly spills the beans of who she really was.. Cassidy probably would've never found out the truth if it wasn't for some African man /sorcerer.

You'll have to excuse me for not being good at remembering names. I'm like that in reality but I hope you'll know who I mean when I say the african sorcerer cause he's an important character in the book. :p Aside from my failings I'd recommend it to a YA audience.

Profile Image for Katie.
55 reviews4 followers
February 23, 2014
The Unseen is a Super scary thriller that convinced me to NEVER make my own Ouija Board !

What a great read! I haven't read anything in the horror genre well, since.. goosebumps, and lets be honest, that was a LONG time ago! I usually just read in bed, in hind sight, this was probably the wrong time to start reading this book. In the first chapter, a small group of girls decide to make a home made ouija board, and oh-snap, it worked... way to well. One girl gets possessed by a demon and went crazy. She tried to kill the others until one girl burned and destroyed the oiji board. Did I mention this happens in the FIRST CHAPTER!

The Unseen starts strong and kept my interest the whole way through. It was a great read that I could not put down! I don't want to spoil the book for you, but if any of the following words or phrases spikes your interest, The Unseen is for you:

Satanic Cults, ancient witch bloodlines, Tattoos that come to life, Bugs that only some can see, Astral Projecting, Demon possessions, impending doom for human kind.... AND MUCH MORE!

Plot : Its not just scary to be scary. The Unseen is an amazing thriller with a great plot and purpose! The story unfolds and comes together wonderfully!
Characters: great! Our main character Cassie is a tattoo artist, very flawed and realistic. Loved what each character contributed to the story.
Cover: two thumbs way way up! Love it!
You might like: movies about demonic possessions, witches .. or cults! I love cult stuff like the TV shows : The Following & Cult
Rating: 5 Stars !

Check out more of my reviews at Inkk Reviews ~Katie
Profile Image for Kristina.
890 reviews19 followers
December 7, 2013
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

J.L. Bryan has done it again with his fantastic, out of the box stories, and this time, he brought the creepy! I read it a few days before Halloween and I was completely freaked out. It’s definitely one of those stories that you have to read with the lights on. With a genre that has been done over and over again, Bryan has been able to weave different supernatural creates together including demons and angels and turn it in a believable story.

The story begins with Cassidy and her friends at a sleepover. They decide to play with the ouja board to see if they can contact any ghosts. Let’s face it, we've all been there, and we never expect anything to happen. But this time, something does happen, and it screws the girls up for a very long time. Now a few years later, Cassidy is a tattoo artist and drug user. She uses drugs to stop the nightmares where she is plagued with seeing the most gruesome and creepy creatures.

I really liked Cassidy as a heroine. She definitely has to deal with out a lot, and doesn’t deal with her issues in the most appropriate ways, but she cares about her loved ones and will do anything to make sure nothing bad happens to them. I’m a sucker for a kick ass female character. The supporting characters were written nicely and brought a lot to the story. All in all it was a nice rounded group of people.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Unseen and would definitely recommend it. As always, I can’t wait to read what Bryan comes up with next!
Profile Image for Danny.
6 reviews6 followers
November 21, 2013
3.5 Really liked it starting off, but towards the end it felt a bit rushed
Profile Image for Ozsaur.
793 reviews
September 22, 2015
I'm kind of ambivalent about this one. I generally like J.L. Bryan's books, especially his Ghost Trapper series, but... this one wasn't quite a hit for me. It's not bad, the world building and ideas behind the main story are very imaginative, and kept me interested.

Unfortunately, the whole storyline meandered. The opening chapter and the ending went by fast, and was very satisfying, but the middle just dragged. I think the multiple POVs didn't do this story any favors.

And Cassidy refusing to face her problems, her immaturity, and her dangerous willful ignorance got to be very annoying. She wasn't a total wash as a main character, but I can't say that I like her much.

Still, there was enough other stuff going on that I made it to the good part at the end. Hopefully, if I get around to it, the next book will be better.
61 reviews
May 16, 2016
Brilliant like all his over books I've read!

Wow where do I start with this one?..

it sucked me right into the story and made me feel all the emotions and feelings the characters portrayed, just like all the other books I've read by this author. But each book is unique and exciting and not in the slightest bit repetitive.
This story is fantastic and I can't wait to read the next book when it comes out about Cassidy and co.

I'm really starting to think perhaps this author is a bit magic himself to write the amazing things he does! I would love to have even a tiny bit of his imagination and writing skill.
Well done Mr bryan!
As always i can't recommend this book highly enough!
Profile Image for Michele.
593 reviews2 followers
October 19, 2016

Mildly engaging book about a young woman plagued by visions from hell ever since a botched ouija board session goes very wrong. That night ended in a broken friendship, a maiming and too many nightmares to count.

How does Cassidy deal with constant visions of hellish parasites feeding on human weakness? She takes a lot of drugs. This works marginally well until she is sidelined by a broken leg and must finally deal with her issues. Perhaps in the process, she can learn to deal with those pesky visions, find life purpose and reconnect with her estranged family.

Cassidy is so aimless that it's sometimes difficult to care as she drowns her sorrows in a pharmaceutical cocktail chapter after chapter. Her passiveness made it challenging to like her, but it all works out in the end.
Profile Image for Swaypippin.
29 reviews1 follower
April 17, 2016
Another great one

Another wonderful example of why I love to read Mr. Bryan's work. Loved this book from beginning to end. Though the ending didn't go as I had wished. Still, wonderful book. I do hope he plans to
Continue the series. This one was written two years ago and there was talk of another in the same year but one hasn't been released. Maybe we will see one... I hated Peyton so good riddance to him. But I do like Cassidy. She's a pretty cool chick. I don't really like the stylus use he seems to use in a lot of his books but I can understand where it comes in for these girls (Cassidy and Jenny.)
246 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2015
Loved this book

I have read all of the ghost trapper series and liked them. This is different but just as good if not better. I liked that characters and their interactions with each other and the problems. It's good all the way through and leads to the ending that is action packed. Mr. Bryan says he is thinking about a second book and I am hoping he is going to follow through.
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