Book Review & Giveaway: Path Unchosen (Daughter of Ravenswood #1) by Kim Cleary

Posted December 11, 2013 by Melissa in Book Review, Giveaway | 13 Comments

Title: Path Unchosen
Series: Daughter of Ravenswood #1
Author: Kim Cleary
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Pages: 338
Publisher: Ravens Lair Publishing
ISBN: 978-0992316808
Publication Date: October 3, 2013
Available Formats: Paperback, E-book
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon


When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life. Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

My Thoughts

The Good:

  • I really enjoyed the gothic feel of  Path Unchosen and the world that Kim Cleary built. I wanted to help Judy explore Ravenswood and the grounds as well as the nearby village.
  • The premise was unique and very creative…I was sucked in from the very first chapter.
  • Judy really grew up throughout this book and I’d be curious to see how that growth continues in future volumes.  She went from a rash, silly young girl into a young woman capable of stepping back and making the right choice.
  • Great secondary characters! I adored Lyken & Evie…and was very torn about Glynn
  • A Dragon! (Not going to say more for fear I’ll give something away!)
  • And most of all, I loved the concept of magic here….the drawing strength from the earth…the walking between worlds…it was real!

The Not So Good:

  • There were what appeared to be very many continuity issues.  Things were just said and done that seemed not to fit into the context of the scene or the conversation at hand.  It was quite distracting as I have a hard time ignoring issues like that.
  • I found it really unbelievable that Judy questioned so little upon being brought to Ravenswood – maybe it was youth or inexperience but considering her pretty reckless personality I had a hard time buying into it.
  • I never fully connected with the characters nor figured Purah out. (But I suppose that leaves a lot open for exploration in future books)
  • The odd love triangle. I didn’t feel like I knew either of the men and they seemed like just that…men compared to the young naive orphan Judy.
  • The animal sacrifice – this is a huge huge issue for me.  I hate the idea of any animal suffering and I hate to see witches or magic portrayed as needing or including something so cruel and barbaric.  My rating for this read would have been much lower had Judy not later condemned the action and promised herself that something like that would never occur again.  I suppose it was a growth moment for Judy and I don’t blame the author for the actions of her characters, but that sort of thing is just beyond the scope of what I enjoy.

Final Thoughts:

I did enjoy this one and would recommend to those who would enjoy a unique sort of paranormal (necromancers) with a great gothic setting.  And who most importantly can ignore the editing issues for the sake of the great plot and expressive story telling style.



Was It Worth My Time?

3 Timepieces

The Author

Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.


Find the author: Website | Twitter | Facebook 

The Giveaway

Prizes – Open internationally:
-A signed copy
-2x 20$ Amazon Gift Cards

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13 responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: Path Unchosen (Daughter of Ravenswood #1) by Kim Cleary

  1. Lori H

    Sounds like an interesting read. The first I’ve heard of it. It will be interesting to read it for myself. Thanks for the review. I’ve added to my TBR stack as well.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Not connecting to the characters can make it so hard, especially to get us to believe in their motives and stuff for like how she never questioned things etc. It does sound like a pretty cool world though and I love books with gothic vibes to them! My fav genre! And a dragon? Yes please! 😀
    Giselle recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (103)My Profile

  3. I could totally overlook the inconsistencies for a dragon. Perhaps it was the ARC? Hmmm, I often wonder how much changes between the two. Anyhoo… the two words “dragon” and “gothic” kind of sold me on this. It’s also nice to see something a bit different with a necromancer being the main character.

    I cringe at animal sacrifice for magic, too. For some odd-ball reason, I can totally disconnect from it in books – like I know it’s all make believe. But put it on tv and I’m switching channels and never looking back! *hugs huge puppy sleeping at my feet*

    Great review!!! Three star reviews are always tough for me – I like the books but you still have to write why you had some problems with it. UGH!

    You rock!!!

  4. It sounds like this has great promise. The issues you pointed out sound like things I may have issues with as well, but if it’s the first in a series then I can probably overlook them if the rest is good and they are mostly resolved issues. I hadn’t heard of this before but I’m definitely very curious about it now!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Must Love Otters by Eliza GordonMy Profile

  5. The book sounds interesting and I’d like to read it, though the animal sacrifice thing has me worried. I’m aware such things go on in reality by some idiotic people throughout the world, but that doesn’t have to make me like it – even if I’m reading a fictional account. If the animal sacrifice is a “character” in the book, I will be quite upset. I truly do get attached to my animal characters. I’m still upset with Stephen King for killing Oy, the Billy Bumbler in his Gun Slinger series (Oy’s death was temporary, sort of).
    Michelle Willms recently posted…Let’s Talk About Books! turned 1 today!My Profile

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