3.5 out of 5 stars
Though the plot was a bit too romance-centric for my tastes, it was crafted pretty cleverly and was a relatively unique read for this genre.
Rachel Vincent undoubtedly planned this novel before writing it, because lots of little pieces of foreshadowing came together to unveil a very, very big secret in the plot. That being said, it was still pretty surprising, which I appreciated. In that aspect, the plot was pretty unpredictable, but the romance wasn't anything new.
I'm not quite sure what the point was in having alternating narration, but I like that focus still remained on Olivia. I'm not a big fan of alternating narration unless it really adds to the story, and all this really made me do was sympathize with Cam a bit more - which is fine, but his character isn't as fleshed out as I might have hoped, so his narration wasn't particularly interesting to read. Vincent does know how to reveal certain aspects of the romantic plot to make it dramatic though, and Cam and Olivia's romance was kind of interesting to read - it just wasn't very unique.
Vincent's world of skilled and unskilled people seems like it could be really fascinating, but unfortunately, we were limited to Olivia's town. How the "revelation" came about wasn't explained either, so I'm hoping there will be more world-building in the sequels.
I also admire Vincent's attempts to make each of the characters more fleshed out. Ruben, for example, despite being a mobster is a bit more complex - if a bit generically so, in that children are his weakness - and Cam isn't a perfect man either (though not much apparent effort has been made to give him flaws yet). Each of the characters (with the exception of Tower, but we don't see much of him anyway) is pretty 3-dimensional, so I definitely appreciate that.
The pacing of the book is a bit slow at times, mostly because of the romantic plot getting too much focus, in my opinion, but toward the climax, it speeds up.
Vincent's Unboard series seems promising overall, and I'll definitely be checking out the sequels.