Flames and blood – the story of Eleanor's existence.
How can she recover? How can she go on? How can she stay away?
Eleanor survives, it what she does. But at what cost? She learns her past and sees the terrible and tragic history of her kind, the wreckage of fear and necessity spread across generations of innocent lives. It is enough to show her she is toxic, a cause of pain and destruction. For everyone’s own good, she will disappear forever.
But first, one last visit to Jamesford.
The sleepy Wyoming town mourns their lost child. The unremarkable girl who in life wanted only to be ignored is a celebrity in death, a tourist attraction, a legend. A mystery.
But not everyone thinks she’s dead. While some wait in hope for her return, others wait in ambush.
Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, best-selling author of books and stories. A Utah Writer of the Year. Trained in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket multi-genre fiction, symbolized by his love of tie-dye and good words. “I write what I like to read,” he says. “This guarantees me at least one fan.”
Johnny is best known (so far) for his award winning, nationally acclaimed, best-selling young adult novel, ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN. It is a great book and if you haven’t read it, you need to. Johnny’s debut novel, the adult occult thriller, BEATRYSEL along with its companion story DR. STUART’S HEART explores the darker sides of love and Magick.
CELESTE, THE UNSEEN BOOK 2, continues Eleanor’s story as she tries to maintain a life in Jamesford, while distant events and local suspicion conspire to threaten everything. DAVID, THE UNSEEN BOOK 3, sees the powerful transformative conclusion of this awarding series as Eleanor learns her past and builds her future.
Johnny’s entry into mystery with THE BRAND DEMAND won a Silver Quill Award from the League of Utah Writers in the best novel category, while, his genre-bending comedy noire, THE FINGER TRAP, introduces Tony Flaner, a flawed slacker every-man detective who can’t throw a punch but can slay a room with sarcasm.
Johnny's short stories appear in a number of anthologies including the Dark Fiction LITTLE VISIBLE DELIGHT (The Point), Utah Horror, OLD SCRATCH AND OWL HOOTS (Keep Sweet), IT CAME FROM THE GREAT SALT LAKE (May 15th), Utah Fantasy, SECRETS & DOORS (A Thousand Secret Doors), HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (The Lost Curse of the Witch's Nest) and the limited edition commemorate Salt Lake Comic Con anthology HEROIC: TALES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY (The Grape Whisperer).
Johnny lectures and teaches about writing and life whenever anyone will listen. He edits professionally for Omnium Gatherum, a dark fiction press. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, sons and a cat.
Do you know why I love Johnny Worthen’s books? It’s because they pull you right into the story and then they keep you hostage until you’ve finished the book. It doesn’t matter what book of his you read and what genre they happen to fall into, you’re always right at the center of things. That, my friends, is the mark of a truly great author.
Instead of reviewing each book individually (as I did with Eleanor), I decided to rather write a bit of a mini essay on why I love the trilogy in a whole. It’s a bit different to what I usually do, but then again, this trilogy deserves something special.
I’ve reviewed numerous of Worthen’s books in the past, all of which have spoken to me on some level, but my favourite work by the author is The Unseen Trilogy. This young-adult fiction trilogy is so inspiring and relatable, so tragic and real even though it’s fiction, that I struggled to find the right words to convey my feelings. The intense emotions that Johnny Worthen leaves his readers with at the end of each book is just indescribable. You cannot not love Eleanor, you cannot not want her to be happy. Then there’s David, who is just such a lovable character and so understanding considering his own teenage problems. And Celeste, who you can’t help but feel all the feels for too …
Layered with mystery and intrigue, magic and drama, as well as romance, The Unseen Trilogy has everything a reader could ever want.The messages that Worthen painstakingly hides between the lines are so relevant today, it’s unbelievable that he was able to work them into a YA series. And considering how watered down some YA books are these days, this trilogy is a breath of fresh air.
**Mid-Review Rant: Seriously, YA fiction has become really bad lately, but the publishing machine keeps spewing out inconsequential drivel just to make more money out of an already over-saturated market. It’s why I’ve personally decided to stop reading most YA books that come my way!**
Personally, I L-O-V-E this The Unseen Trilogy. Why? Because the books are written intelligently enough not to offend young readers by suggesting they’re stupid, because adults can enjoy these books as well, and because the books handle with important subject matters without rubbing it in your face.
And that ending in David was just … well, I’m not going to give anything away, but boy oh boy! Are you in for a treat! I wish I could read these books for the first time. *cries*
These books are a must-read!
YA-lovers will enjoy the books for the good writing and well-crafted plot. Teenagers in general will be able to relate to the characters and the situations described in the books. Adult readers will love reminiscing about their own teenage years (and how the majority of them felt like outcasts). And paranormal readers will be thrilled to enjoy a shifter novel that deals with something other than werewolves and is plausible (if you’re into Native American mythology, of course).
Every bookcase should feature this trilogy in a collection. Period.
Loved this trilogy! It was a lovely new angle on the supernatural YA thing that's popular at the moment (no vampires or werewolves here! not that I don't love those stories too) I loved the character of Eleanor so much. She was really relatable despite being "other." Highly recommend!
Not nearly as good as book 2 but still a great story with all arcs, side arcs and unknown arcs well wrapped up. Not the ending I wanted but a better ending than I could have hoped for. Less emotional trauma in this one as there was in books 1 and 2 and less character growth as each character has grown as far as they can. However, satisfying end to the unknowns surrounding the magic. Would be more stars but the errors found in books 1 and 2 are also present in book 3.
(Disclosure: I received a free advance copy of David from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
After surviving the collision of every kind of angry mob Jamesford has to offer, Eleanor has been careful not to break the illusion that she died in the flames, so as not to bring any more pain and death to the people who dare to be kind to her. After months in hiding, however, she’s drawn back to Jamesford once more. To watch, to connect, or to say goodbye, she hasn’t decided yet.
Eleanor’s fit of masochistic self-pity, during which she refuses to go back to David for her own sake, or to consider for a moment that he might deserve a say in whether his life is better or worse with her in it, drags on for about half the book. Admittedly, this method of extending romantic tension is a particular peeve of mine and may work better for other readers, but it does make the first act feel a bit stagnant, and considering that this final installment of the trilogy is named for David, he’s disappointingly absent from most of it.
Midge, on the other hand, gets plenty of time to shine this book, and does so brightly. She’s the friend everyone should have to turn to. On a larger scale, the optimistic support of most of the town of Jamesford, which disagrees on the truth about Eleanor but mostly agrees on missing and caring about her, is a refreshing contrast to Eleanor’s doom-and-gloom natural wariness.
Eleanor’s shapeshifting is finally used to full effect in her covert return to Jamesford, hiding in plain sight and righting wrongs, and once she finally makes her choice about her own life, she’s the hero the series has always hinted she could be, with a thrilling final rescue mission to match. The tragedy of the sweet wallflower crushed by small town malice is over. Eleanor takes possession at last of her story and her powers.
Break out the tissues, our shy little shapeshifter is all grown up!
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. Eleanor was amazing, and Celeste was a heart-wrenching, action-packed cliffhanger (Ahhh!), so I have waited impatiently for David to come out. This third and final book did not disappoint me. After assuming the shape of a cat and being held captive for months, Eleanor thinks she is beginning to forget what it means to be a human, to be Eleanor. She misses her true love, David, and she worries about the good people she left behind. So, she changes back to human and returns to Jamesford, the small Wyoming town where she first came to know love and all its opposites -- prejudice, bullying, and hatred that turned her life into a battlefield. There she finds that some mourn her “death”, some use the event as a cheap tourist attraction, and some still hope that she’ll return. Eleanor learns more about her skin-walker heritage, which makes her wonder if death and misery are all that is in store for her and those who befriend her. Eleanor also learns that she has more friends than she thought as they reach out and help her. David is an amazing person who sees into her heart and loves her no matter what she looks like on the outside. But there are others who still mean to harm her, and as evil forces gather, bent on her capture, Eleanor is once again in danger. As she struggles to survive, Eleanor tries to do everything she can to make things right. I loved this story, from the beginning of Eleanor to the end of David. She became real, and I mourned and rejoiced with her in all her experiences, which dealt with issues that far too many regular humans face every day. Eleanor may be a skin-walker, but she is good, and she cares about people. Johnny has created a fascinating, complex character whom I will miss very much. Five Stars.
Johnny Worthen delivers a fast-paced and intense conclusion to the UNSEEN trilogy with DAVID. Eleanor faces ever more challenges. She encounters both new and old friends, as well as enemies. The author incorporates Native American folklore into his story with the skinwalker element. He explores the world of an outcast from an intriguing perspective, while weaving a teen romance into the mix. Modern day corruption, bigotry, and greed all become part of the tapestry, but the star of the story (trilogy) is always the unique and endearing main character, Eleanor. Bravo to a perfectly satisfying ending!
Excellent ending to a great series! Eleanor is able to learn more about some of the traumatic incidents in her distant past and learn to put aside the prejudices she had developed because of them. She is able to come back to Jamesford and see the impact her "death" had on the town and its people. And she is able to see David's family and discover the toll it has taken on them. But the evil Zalrnik is still after her wanting to use her as a lab rat to discover everything there is to know about her. Never dull, I lost a little more sleep than I would have liked because I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend the series to young adults and adults alike.
If my friends and family take anything away from my reviewing books on this site, I hope they will give this series a chance. The first book is "Elenor", and I love this series. It is great. It has a lot of good things to say and has a great moral. The plot/story line is fantastic, the characters really well written. I love this series.
I really enjoyed this series. This is not my usual genre but I was looking for something lighter for a change and usually find it among the YA options. The story was unique and all avid readers will attest that is rare . I hope to follow Eleanor in the future.