In Fates Unsparing, Lali’s mother is finally home after having been kidnapped by Kai. But all is not well in the Yavari household. With parents who are constantly fighting, Lali’s responsibilities to her brothers and sisters grow. When Kai reappears on her doorstep begging for her help in rescuing his sister, Lali and her siblings embark upon their most dangerous travel yet.

Traveling through time, they do manage to rescue Kai’s sister, but who will rescue Lali, her brothers and her sisters?

Theme of the Book

In this novel, a disparate group of young people with varying abilities manage to work together for the salvation of all. Cooperation, acceptance, and teamwork are important themes for our times and this series exemplifies them.

What I Liked About the Story

Fates Unsparing takes up Lali’s story shortly after the events of Souls Untethered. In this second book, Lali is no longer mourning the loss of her mother but is instead worried about the loss of harmony in her home. The tension between Lali’s parents feeds her need to be responsible for her younger siblings and her guilt at not being able to solve problems. The reader will have a much more detailed picture of Lali as a person. She is determined and sometimes impulsive, stubborn yet caring, and certainly courageous. Lali also suffers from a well-developed conscience which leads her to feel guilty over things she could not control. She worries about harming others all while seeking to end the suffering of semmies (mixed blood children). She even has the normal teenage jealousy when another girl is attracted to Kai. Lali’s actions and reactions make her seem like a real teenager and not simply a character in a sci-fi novel.

Kai, whose rescue of his sister begins the saga, is also more developed in this book. From a handsome, cool yet one-dimensional older teen, he becomes a more well-rounded character with his own flaws. Kai, too, comes to regret his past actions and becomes more concerned with the safety of those around him.

The book has two types of chapters: the chapters that are character driven and which give the reader insight into Lali and Kai; and the chapters which are action driven and which move at a dazzling pace.

The author has taken the idea of time travel seriously. In many sci-fi works, time travel seems to have few, if any, disadvantages. In Fates Unsparing the author writes about the complexities that can occur when people change the past or peer into the future. One of the siblings can travel to the past and another to the future. These powers used together bring the family into more danger than they could have imagined.

What I Didn’t Like About the Story

In Fates Unsparing there is a large number of secondary characters who are not well-defined and so hard to tell apart. The reader will figure out that some are there to assist and others to hinder, but aside from their obvious roles, there is nothing distinctive about any of them. For example, Kai’s sister Kala, who should have a major impact on the story line, is not very interesting at all. Although she does provide some assistance at the end, there is not enough about her to make her an appealing character. One of the problems is that there are just so many characters to keep track of that I, as a reader, finally just gave up.

Confusion reigns as well in all of the scenes with action, including fights, captures, and escapes. These scenes are quite detailed, but still hard to follow and come so often that it becomes hard to tell one from another. The action sequences may appeal to YA readers, but they certainly didn’t appeal to me as an adult reader.

Final Say

Fates Unsparing builds a good foundation to this series. The ability to travel in astral form is fascinating coming as it does with its own limitations. The idea of a team of young people with “superpowers” is not new, but the cooperation among them is well written and inspiring. The series should be fine for a YA audience looking for action, romance, science fiction, and adventure without too much violence or sex.

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