Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Details

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster UK
Published: August 29th, 2013
Genres:  YA, romance, paranormal, Gothic,
My Rating: 3 Stars

15801763 GoodReads Review 

It’s time to choose sides…. 

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.

My Review

Just as a note this is the second book in a series so this review may contain spoilers of the first book. You can read my review of that book here

This book starts out with a great action scene with scarecrows come to life and fire and a battle. It’s great.

However, this book really reads like the middle book in a series. It feels like it’s building up to something that’s going to happen in the next book. I liked the first book more than this one because I felt like more happened in the first book. This book does dwell on what happened at the end of the last book with Kami and Jared and their link. They spend a lot of time avoiding each other because they think the other one is angry at the other one about the link. It’s a classic case of “communication used for drama” which I find annoying.

This book does develop the rest of the characters which is something I felt was missing from the first book. We learn more about Angela and Rusty’s life. We learn a lot of Rusty and his life and backstory. We also learn about Holly. These characters feel much less flat in the second book than the first.

There is a lot of coming up with a plan, and very little acting on the plan. A lot of build up for very little result, this is an issue that I find a lot of in second books. It feels like a bridge instead of a complete story.

Kami is an interesting and fun character. She’s a great narrator, and I enjoy reading her interpretation of the story unfolding around her. She has a distinct way of talking, that can be a little hard to follow, especially if you are unfamiliar with British colloquialisms but once you get used to it, her way of talking becomes easy to understand and follow.

I am interested in finishing these series. I want to know what happens in the battle with the Lynburns. I find Sarah Ress Brennan to be a very interesting writer and I’m attached to the characters.

So far I am recommending this series as a different and witty view of a gothic novel. It’s a different way of looking at magic and small towns. Kami is a great strong character. I will be reading the third book of this series soon (I got a couple ARCS and a book club books to read first). I will be writing a review of that book when I finish it.

Have you read the Lynburn Legacy novels? What did you think?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Review- Unspoekn by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Details

Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers
Published:  September 11, 2012
Genres:  YA, fantasy, paranormal
My Rating: 3.75 Stars

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GoodReads Blurb

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met… a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Review

So, fun story about me. I have a terrible habit of calling famous people I follow on Twitter and Facebook “my friend.” In no person am I guiltier of doing this than Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. In the last few years I have said “My Friend Jared” and then talked about the Always Keep Fighting Campain as if a person I actually know was involved in it. I’ve been called out many a time. One memorable one being my mother saying to me “You don’t know anyone named Jared.” Although one time he did like a comment I made on a Facebook Live he did and therefore we are friends and I will fight you.

So I feel a weird connection to Kami. I  have never talked to other people in my head or heard other people’s thoughts, but still. I felt an understanding with Kami.

There were parts of this book that I felt didn’t exactly make sense. I felt that Holly and Angela accepted Kami’s explanation that flesh and blood Jared standing in front of them is the same Jared that Kami’s been talking to in her head too easily. I also felt the romances were a little forced. But overall I enjoyed this novel.

There’s a lot going on in this book, murder, magic, mystery, people that can read one other person’s mind, animal sacrifice, breaking and entering. And for the most part, it’s laid out pretty straightforwardly. I feel like some of the dialogue is wonky, but I think it may be a “language barrier” between American English and British English. There are parts of Harry Potter dialogue that still make no sense to me.

This is a good modern Gothic novel, which after reading some Victorian Gothic novels, I enjoyed seeing how those themes aged through time. I liked those elements that I’ve seen in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in a brand new story. Even my least favorite element, Cousin Marriage, survived. Stop marrying your first cousins. I have seen so much cousin marriage in media the last few months it’s getting a little weird. Everywhere I look COUSIN MARRIAGE.

I like the mystery, the who and why. I think it’ll be an interesting series as I continue reading it. I think there is a lot to explore. The history of the town and Lynburns is going to be interesting as it continues to unfold. I recommend this novel to people looking for something a little creepy and odd. It was a fun quick read.

Have you read any of The Lynburn Legacy? What did you think?

Until next time Internet

 

Deanna