Top positive review
Entertaining and Eclectic Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021
"The Forgotten: The Complete Trilogy," by M.R. Forbes, compiles the three novels "Forgotten" (2017), "Forsaken" (2017), and "Unforgiven" (2018) into a single volume. With a 99-cent pricetag, this collection is a steal and is well worth the time of any reader looking for fun, creepy, violent, action-packed science fiction.
The "Forgotten" trilogy is another riff on the popular themes of generation starships and alien invasions. Taking place on The Pilgrim, a large generation starship, "Forgotten" follows the perspective of protagonist Hayden Duke, who is the sherrif on the aforementioned vessel. Born on the ship, Duke knows only the life of a colonist. So when strange, unprecendented occurrences begin to happen aboard the ship, Duke is thrust into uncharted territory and must act decisively to save the lives of the thousands of colonists aboard The Pilgrim.
"Forgotten," The first book in the trilogy, is undoubtedly the best of the three. It was the most breathless read I've experienced in a great while, and I absolutely couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Author M.R. Forbes paces the story in a fantastic, creepy way, and each reveal is dynamite. Ocassionally, the dyanamics of the story felt akin to that of a videogame, but it was such great fun that I had no problem with it. The ending is mind-blowing and will make you want to devour the second book without delay, but...
"Forsaken," The second of the trilogy, is the weakest and is quite a letdown after the superlative first novel. It's almost as if the two novels were conceived as different projects and that the author just found some way to paste them together into one storyline. The tone and setting of the two novels are completely different, and this is very jarring to the reader--and not in a good way. Whereas the first novel was reminiscent of the film Pandorum, the second felt like something out of Mad Max. I wish I could say the transition was unique and interesting, but unfortunately the opposite is true. The book does pick up steam up steam, however, and you start to glimpse that mysterious sense of wonder from the first volume, and then...
"Unforgiven," the third volume, brings the series to a satisfying close. A solid final act, book three improves greatly on book two, though it never reaches the excellence of the first book. I did find the book dragged on a little much toward the end, but the author keeps the action taut, and gives the reader an epic, perfectly acceptable closing to the book. The ending is satisfying but will make you want to return to the Forgotten universe for more action, and fortunately author M.R. Forbes has many more books set in the Forgotten universe.
Other than a weak second book, my chief complaint with the Forgotten trilogy is uncompelling characterization. After reading the trilogy and reflecting on the characters, I had trouble coming up with good adjectives to describe them in any more than surface detail, and found any development to be perfunctory at best. It's this inadequacy that really keeps the trilogy from being "great" rather than just "really good." The story ideas, worldbuiling, action, and other ingredients are all there, but solid characterization is missing in action.
Absolutely give the Forgotten trilogy a shot. While you might be frustrated with some of the things I have highlighted, you'll no doubt have a good time reading these stories, and will likely want to come back and visit this interesting universe that M.R. Forbes has crafted.