Undying was most certainly not the book to be reading during a global pandemic, but even without that it was not the follow up I was hoping for after Unearthed.
Rating: 2 Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Synopsis: Trapped aboard the Undying’s ancient spaceship and reeling from what they’ve learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity’s greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.
This review is going to be quick and dirty because full disclosure: I barely remember what happened in this book. While reading Unearthed, the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to get real. Well, during my reading of Undying, things got really real and that definitely affected my reading. But there were still some things that threw this book off for me outside of the whole…pandemic thing.
I felt that the plot was very muddled and would have been hard to grasp even if I wasn’t watching our nation totally mess up the pandemic response while listening to the audiobook. Being worn down by current chaotic times probably didn’t help with me keeping up with the chaotic times of our characters. There was lots of traveling across Europe and having plans thwarted and then new plans made. Oh, and did I mention there is a plague-ish outbreak? Yeah, that was great to read right now.
What struck me the most was the lack of world building. One of the best things about Unearthed was the adventurous elements of the planet Gaia. But the Undying is set on Earth and it just felt lackluster. Even if there wasn’t a global pandemic currently ravaging our society, I would still want to be off-world in this story. The best parts of the book were when Mia and Jules are trapped on the Undying ship. Bringing the story back to Earth made sense for the plot, but was detrimental to the enjoyment and adventure.
Jules and Mia are still just fine in this one. I didn’t feel a great sense of growth from them. And their romance was just kinda blah for me. I’ve found that I’m not overly fond of the romances in Kaufman/Spooner books. There was a lack of character building since it was such a short book and there were so many new characters introduced. And again, I never really got invested in any one.
The sad thing about the Undying was it was pretty forgettable for me. I honestly couldn’t tell you how it ended. But the fact of the matter is, if you finish Unearthed, there is a good chance you’ll want to pick up Undying. And I certainly hope it works better for you than it did for me.