Sunday, 10 August 2014

Review: 'Untold' by Sarah Rees Brennan

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)The first book in The Lynburn Legacy, Unspoken, was the book that opened my eyes to the fun things that the YA and Paranormal genre actually can offer. Up until that point I had only really encountered YA/Paranormal books that disappointed me and I had basically given up on both genres. Unspoken popped up on Netgalley and I thought 'Why not?' and I raced through the book, loving pretty much every page. It should come as no surprise then that I picked up the second book as well.

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.
Unspoken ended on a very painful note, which made me both want to read this book but also curl into a ball and pretend the last chapter of Unspoken never happened. In Untold Sarah Rees Brennan continues along the same paths of misery, but in a different way. What I really appreciated about this book was that you could see that in some ways, the characters had grown up. Although hardly any time passes between the two books a lot has changed from the beginning of the first to the beginning of the second and it was really interesting to see how this impacted upon the characters. I loved Kami Glass in the first book and maybe I love her even more now. Whereas in the beginning she was plucky and maybe a little bit too reckless, she becomes a lot more responsible and protective, while securely remaining a teenage girl. While this may sound as an impossibility to some, Brennan makes Kami very three-dimensional, giving her a character that can change and adapt, depending on the circumstances.

Although romance played a part in the first book, it is definitely a bigger theme in Untold, which I really enjoyed. Although there is a hint of a love-triangle, Brennan deals with it in such a fantastic way that it becomes quite clear love-triangles don't really exist. If that doesn't make sense, read the book and it will. Brennan writes some really steamy scenes without making her characters act out of character, another really refreshing aspect of this book. I really enjoyed how she explored some of the side characters more and the further the book progresses, the closer they all grow to your heart, which is its own special kind of torture considering how dark the future looks for Sorry-in-the-Vale. It was also fun to see parents actually try to keep their children out of trouble. Often when the protagonists are teenagers parents are either completely oblivious or support their children's strange exploits. Untold offers a number of different parental and maternal figures, which once again creates a lot of variety. Not that this means the protagonists get into any less trouble than in the first book.

Where in Unspoken it was just the key characters who faced danger, Untold definitely pulls out all the stops in making the danger tangible. There is one scene near the beginning, which must be one of the creepiest ones in the whole book. All I will say is it involves scarecrows and if that doesn't give you an idea of how scary it can be then nothing can. Sometimes when series amp up the drama, it comes of as ridiculous. For example, in Eclipse it is almost impossible that no one notices the "massive" vampire battle going on in the forest just outside of town. In Untold however, it all seems quite plausible if one accepts the existence of magic. The whole town is suffused with it and has been for centuries, which makes what happens almost logical. Props need to be given to Brennan for that.

I can't wait to read what happens in the next book, Unmade. If the title is anything to go by we can expect a major showdown. The only thing I wish had been different was the coverart. I loved the gothic-like drawings that were on the cover of Unspoken and the two prequel novellas. It really made the books pop out.

I give this book...

4 Universes.

I really enjoyed Untold and would have finished it sooner had I not been desperate to not finish it. It's the kind of book you race through and don't want to put down, but then when you finish it you wish it'd been longer. I recommend this book to YA fans but also to readers looking for a book/series with a diverse cast, interesting characters and a strong female protagonist. This series offers it all!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like it could be an excellent read! I haven't heard of the series, but it definitely sounds like it's worth picking up. Kami sounds like a fun heroine! Thanks for the fantastic review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds