December 15, 2014

Monday Review: UNMADE (THE LYNBURN LEGACY #3) by Sara Rees Brennan

Cool font, spooky like.
Summary: Okay, so, I have read books 1 and 2 of The Lynburn Legacy and failed to write about those, so this is really a review of the entire trilogy. I know, I know; I really MEANT to write about them individually. But, what can you do? Anyway, I will, as per usual, try not to give too much away, but if you have a pathological fear of spoilers, I suppose you might want to just go read the books now.

Right: for those of you who are still here! Unmade is the third book in this trilogy; Unspoken was the first, and Untold the second. In this story we meet Kami Glass, who lives in the wonderfully picturesquely-named English village of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Kami's a pretty normal girl; she's part Japanese (go mixed race protagonists!), she wants to start a school newspaper, she has two little brothers and a Goth-y best friend named Angela. Oh, and she hears a boy's voice in her head—and he answers back. That kind of keeps her on the outside of things, for obvious reasons.

SO she isn't totally normal. But she's been talking to Jared in her head ever since she can remember. She doesn't even know if he's real or not, but it is what it is. Until the legendary Lynburns return to the village and everything changes. The Lynburns used to "rule the town"—whatever that means, thinks Kami. Who cares if the youngest Lynburn, the super-hot Ash, starts going to her school and even wants to join her newspaper staff? Who cares about all those crazy rumors? Well, turns out that makes a pretty juicy news story…but what she uncovers is dire and magical and frightening. And it involves generations of sorcerers and their unusual relationship to the village they supposedly protect.

Oh, and then—Jared appears. In the flesh. IRL. That's when things start to get really weird, not only for Kami, but her friends and family, too.

Peaks: I really like the fact that nobody is truly safe in this story. It isn't just the protagonist, Kami, putting herself in danger, but her entire family is threatened, and the village's way of life as they know it. Friends become enemies; enemies become friends—their small world goes topsy turvy and it isn't a secret to anyone in the town. There are no clandestine adventures, had by only young people, that no adults ever find out about; it's all too real for everyone, and so much is at stake. That was really well done, and Kami makes for a very interesting and quirky (and diverse! without it being a Thing!) protagonist who isn't your average heroine, but someone who prevails due to her wit, her inner strength, and her love for her friends and family.

Valleys: I guess if I have to pick at something, on occasion I found the characters' witty banter to be a little too perfect. OK, there, I said it. All joking aside, that's a tough balance to strike, and opinions may vary, too. And, of course, there's always that love triangle thing that shows up so often in YA romance. (We should all have been so lucky. Or unlucky.) But it's handled well, I'll admit.

Conclusion: The story is both lovely and dark; atmospheric and spooky but with a lot of humor, too. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black—definitely don't miss this one. A very enjoyable adventure, and a must read for fans of magical stories set in Britain.

I borrowed my copy of this book from my local library. You can find Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy), and the other two books in the trilogy by Sara Rees Brennan at an online e-tailer, or at a real life, independent bookstore near you!

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