Title: The Unwanted (Blackwater Tales #2)
Author: JeanNicole Rivers
Publication Date: Mar. 31, 2016
Find: Amazon | Goodreads
Other Books in Series: The Secret Keepers
In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.
Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.
The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.
JeanNicole Rivers is a great lover of reading and writing. Though she loves reading and writing varied genres, horror/thriller is her favorite. JeanNicole has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers.
Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew.
Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy, and she lives in Houston, Texas.
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That fall was one of the coldest Black Water had ever seen. Blaire could not have been more
than eleven years old. Sabrina Langford had asked her if she wanted to go walking up to the
Grammercy Bridge. Grammercy had once taken trains safely from one side of the river to the
other and on through the picturesque town of Black Water, but that was long ago. It was a place
of little interest to two young girls and, from what Blaire had known at her innocent age, it was,
at most, a place where the older kids went to kiss on Friday nights. When Sabrina suggested it as
a play place that day, Blaire wanted to object, but hesitated at the thought of turning off her
Long ago the bridge had become lifeless, but it still gave an endless series of death breaths as the
girls walked along it. The water flowed rapidly, and the sound of the swishing and churning
made Blaire shiver. After throwing a couple of rocks into the river, a series of familiar faces
emerged. Lacey Wright, Sharla Hig, Kiana James, and Elizabeth Morrow claimed territory on
the bridge, creating a poignant image that Blaire would never forget. A pang of fear sliced
through Blaire’s stomach: seppuku. Nothing involving Lacey, Sharla, Kiana and Elizabeth could
be good for her because the Frightening Four were perpetrators of horrendous kiddie crimes. Just
the week before they surrounded a girl on the playground, who they teased relentlessly until she
cried and admitted she was a “slut” as they kept calling her. It was a word that Blaire knew
vaguely from hearing it in R-rated movies that she snuck to catch glimpses of from time to time,
although she would have been hard pressed to define the word if asked. Against her better
judgment, Blaire stepped into the circle of doom on the playground and screamed at all of them
to leave the helpless girl alone. Within seconds of hearing the commotion, Mrs. Bennett,
infiltrated the mob of minors with a series of inquiries and instructions that made Lacey roll her
eyes. The kids scattered but not before Blaire received a malevolent glare from the hellion gang’s
little hierarch. The four of them were relentlessly brutal BFFs, who stopped at nothing when they
craved the blood of another in the form of utter humiliation and in the name of pure adolescent
Many times, when I start a thriller or horror story, I have a difficult time getting sucked into the story due to a lack of ascension as it goes on. Also, there's oftentimes a failure to construct a world that I feel like I'm a part of. But, from the first pages of The Unwanted, I could feel the foreboding coming through every word. Starting with a description of the quaint town of Borslav to the subtle malevolence of St. Sebastian (home for unwanted children) that was crafted by Ms. Rivers.
From there, the story just got better. I enjoyed how realistic and dark the characters were. From the beginning I wasn't sure which side characters would be the "villain" in this story.
I was always rooting for Blaire, however. Poor Blaire who came to Borslav with an evil already following her.
Because this book has children in it, I already figured it would take "creepy" and raise it to "harrowing". Aaaaand, I was right. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I can't wait to go back and read the first in the series.
If you, or someone you know, find yourselves wanting a terrifying read with engrossing characters, look no further than The Unwanted.