Undaunted: Inhuman, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Undaunted:  Inhuman, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Action-packed fantasy series has satisfying wrap-up.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

People with physical differences shouldn't be cut off from society; everyone should have the care, support, and access to opportunity they need to survive and thrive. One mistake or bad decision doesn't define you or negate the good things you've done. You may not be a leader or a fighter, but it can be just as important to speak out when you see injustice or wrongdoing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lane, 17, and co-adventurers Everson and Rafe model loyalty, sacrifice, and determination. Adults range from heroic to villainous. Lane makes mistakes along the way but learns from them and always follows her conscience. She has good self-esteem, which enables her to trust herself, to think through problems, and to act when she needs to. Lots of positive female role models in leadership and authority positions as well as some with tremendous physical prowess.

Violence

Scary fantasy creatures attack with biting, clawing, and dragging people off seemingly to be eaten. Real-world violence includes fighting and beating with kicks, punches, guns, and knives. Past violence remembered. Some descriptions of violent photographs. Sounds of bones crunching mentioned. Blood is mentioned but not described in detail. Pain and injuries are described in more, sometimes mildly gory detail. Characters are frequently in intense peril, and some locations are dark and menacing. Medical tests are conducted on animal-human hybrids kept in cages. Lots of verbal aggression and hostility. An adult bullies a child.

Sex

A few kisses not described in detail. Flirting, caressing. A teen couple sleeps in the same bed but there's only cuddling and caressing under clothing. Some mild sexual innuendo while bantering.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A bottle of something, assumed to be alcohol, is passed around a campfire. Lane doesn't drink any of it. Main plot involves discovering a vaccine and a cure for a virus. Some animal-human hybrids are forced to be test subjects. Others are allowed to decide whether to try the cure before it's been fully tested and long-term effects aren't known.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Undaunted is the second in a two-volume, dystopian fantasy that started with Inhuman. Reading Inhuman first will deepen your understanding of the characters, but things are explained well enough in Undaunted so that it's not strictly necessary. Fantasy violence involving human-animal hybrids and real-world world violence include fighting and beating hand-to-hand as well as shooting and stabbing. Blood is mentioned but not described in detail, although some pain and injuries are described in more detail and sometimes with mild gore. Main characters are frequently in intense peril, and some of the hybrid creatures are horrific and monster-like. Sexy stuff is very mild with a few kisses, and a couple who cuddle in bed together and caress under clothing with no mention of sensitive body parts.

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What's the story?

Lane McEvoy is UNDAUNTED when, several months after she's been safely back home, she and her dad have to go back over the wall and into the Feral Zone. Aside from helping her father with his research mission, Lane needs to accomplish two other, secret missions of her own. One is to expose the truth about the Feral Zone to the citizens on the uninfected side of the wall: that there are still uninfected people alive in the Zone, and that not everyone who's infected loses their mind and goes completely feral. Lane can hardly bring herself to think about the second reason for going back: to find Rafe, and if necessary fulfill the promise she never should have made, and that keeps haunting her dreams.

Is it any good?

This last of a two-part, dystopian-fantasy series will satisfy fans of the first book as author Kat Falls keeps the action, dread, and suspense, with just a touch of romance, coming. The plot of Undaunted is more evenly paced than the one in the first novel, Inhuman, but still keeps the pages turning thanks especially to some creepy atmospheres, genuinely scary fantasy creatures, and exciting action.

Teens will relate to Lane as she struggles with figuring out the right thing to do, and learns she can make an important difference in the world even if she's not a leader or a fighter. The ending satisfies while leaving the door open for more adventures. Nightmarish creatures and intense action and violence make  best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Undaunted. How much is too much? Do you react differently to the fantasy violence than you do to the real-world violence?

  • What makes Lane a good role model? What are her character strengths and weaknesses? What about Rafe and Everson? What do you like or not like about them?

  • Did you read Inhuman first? Which of the two books do you like better? If you didn't read it, would you like to now?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and dystopian novels

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