Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Unmarked by Kami Garcia

The Basics:
Unmarked by Kami Garcia
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Book Two in the Legion series
YA, Urban Fantasy
Published September 30, 2013
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon.ca Kobo.com

Why I picked up this book:

I enjoyed the first book, and wanted to see if the second would build on that promising start.


He is here . . . and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us-a demon she accidentally set free.
Now Kennedy and the other Legion members-Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared-have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

My thoughts:

It had been long enough since I read Unbreakable that I didn't really remember much about it until I'd sunk into Unmarked. That said, after the first chapter, I never felt lost. Unmarked did a remarkable job of catching me up very quickly without giving me large, boring infodumps.

As a story, Unbreakable succeeded at entertaining me. This book deals with the fallout of Kennedy's decisions in book one, and it is fairly significant. We also delve more into the mythology of this version of the universe, learning more about the Legion and the Illuminati, as well as Kennedy's family, and I appreciated that as it added depth where it could easily have been lacking.

That cinematic quality that I detected in Unbreakable is still very much present in Unmarked. It has enough big set pieces and very strong imagery that I can easily envision it as a show on the CW or as a blockbuster movie. There's plenty of action served up with blasts of rock salt and plenty of holy water. There's visual effects to be found in the hauntings from spirits and demon, and I suspect that it would all do very well on the screen.

It's in the smaller moments that Unbreakable doesn't fare quite so well. Kennedy is very angsty and involved in her own drama, which, to be fair is a) pretty significant drama to be dealing with, and b) true of many teenagers. Still, I wanted her to suck it up and 'move onto the next thing' (as I often suggest to my four year-old when she's getting worked up over something).

I still am not in love with the love story. Jared's insistence that he *needs* Kennedy didn't impress me as much as it should have - perhaps I'm just holding them at a distance instead of letting their moments melt me? I did appreciate how the love triangle from book one was dealt with - shockingly maturely, really, compared to all the nonsense that could have happened instead.

I found a lot of the minor characters in this book to be pretty fickle. Again, I have to acknowledge that they're all dealing with some pretty major stuff, including the death of loved ones (not a spoiler, this is how these kids came together to be the Legion in the first book). But I really wanted to run around shaking them. Perhaps it was easy to forget how young they really were after seeing them in action? I think that it would also have helped to really emphasize Andras (the demon Kennedy released) as the demon of discord a few more times - I'm sure that some of the fickleness can be attributed to his influence. Right? Benefit of the doubt?

Bottom line:

Not as creepy as Unbreakable, but still quite entertaining in its own right, Unmarked is a solid sequel. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book, or hopes that it's going somewhere - it definitely is. Anyone who enjoys the bestsellers in the YA paranormal genre is going to like this one, I think!

4 stars
For fans of YA paranormal, love triangles, hot boys

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