Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan


Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release: August 29th 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Magic, YA
#2 in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy
Series: Unspoken (#1), Unmade (#3)


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.


“Jared stared at the door. “I thought you would like a weapon better than a rescue,” he told her, and ducked inside.”

Well, put a stupid hat on me and call me an idiot, because that is what I am. I openly admit to it, alright? I repent for my sins. 

I have not enjoyed Unspoken, because, for me, it was a confusing mess with equally confusing and frustrating characters that, while being unique, seemed blander than oatmeal. I did not intend to continue on with the series, but for some reason, I honestly have no clue why I even remembered this series in the first place; anyways, a few days ago I got this uncontrollable urge to actually continue on. I would like to call it divine intervention, because the Gods just could not allow me to continue on living in ignorance of the awesomeness that is this trilogy.

Truly, I don't know where to even start. I think, first and foremost, the thing that captivated me the most about this book right from the get go was just how much fun it is. Brennan has wits sharper than a knife and her jokes are right up my alley, I honestly believe there has seldom been a book where I have laughed — out loud! — as often as I have with this one. And smiled, and grinned, and smirked, it was so damn amusing and it's really been a while since I just enjoyed a book for what it's worth and looked forward to reading on, without constantly looking at the page count for any reason.
“Are you trying to make me jog? You know I think people who jog should be shot at midday.”
“Why at midday?” Kami asked absently.
“There's no need to ever get up at dawn,” Angela told her. “Not even to shoot joggers.”

Aside from the fact that this book was more than simply hilarious, I also finally got around to caring for these characters, and appreciating how well done they are. In the first installment, I never got a sense of how they tick, I felt like they weren't fleshed out coherently enough, but it all changed in this book. I have finally seen the characters for what they are, and they are all so, so amazingly crafted, and they're all different from each other. I have rarely had the honor of coming across a cast of characters that is so hugely well-rounded, with each one being extremely different from one another but still being in perfect sync and fitting together as a group. They each work independently on their own, when viewing their single character arcs, but they also work together so well. Plus, I appreciate that Brennan is trying to take prejudices and turn it all around, like that scene where Kami reprimands Ash for thinking lesbians are hot, or just generally scenes like these:
“If I want someone hit,” she said, “I'll hit them myself.”

The relationships were, as you probably already guessed from my gushing in the paragraph above, also excellent. I didn't dig Kami and Jared's weird bond relationship in the first novel, because I never got the reasons behind either of their actions, I never understood why Jared pushed Kami away physically but embraced her emotionally, and, again, I finally got that now. Untold did a fabulous job of laying out its characters motives and feelings in just the right way, and let me tell you that I embraced Jared and Kami's relationship fully after I finally got it. They are perfect for each other, they should be together, they have chemistry and they're absolutely cute; I definitely ship it. But not only the centric romance is wonderfully done, I also loved Angela's and Kami's supportive sisterly friendship, their silent understanding of each other so tangible it made me want to pump my fist in the air for their camaraderie. Also, all the family relationships were interesting too, especially those between our three main Lynburns, but also between Kami and her family, or Rusty and Angela. They all made my heart swell because of all the palpable love between these characters, Brennan just got them beautifully across.

Which reminds me, her writing was just so effortless and still managed to be so ... effective, I really want to read more of her writing now. 
“If the truth didn't help anyone, and love didn't last, what was there left to struggle toward?”
She wrote some seriously nice and pretty quotes, and her 3rd person narrative was absolutely perfect. Usually with 3rd person there's always this sort of glass wall between the characters and the reader, at least that's how it is for a lot of 3rd person omniscient books for me, but it didn't happen with this one. 

There's really not much left for me to say. I am sorry, I am so deeply, regrettably sorry that I have not realized this series' true greatness until now. I am thankful, however, that I did decide to give it another chance and try out the sequel, it was so worth it. I probably should have done this sooner to Unmade's release date, because now I have to wait a few months until I can get it, but still ... I'm just grateful I discovered this gem at all. This trilogy is just so addictive once you let it get to you, it seriously kicks off right from page 1 with some nice action like scarecrows come to life and come to kick your ass that you can't help but be caught up in the magical world of Sorry-in-the-Vale.  

No comments:

Post a Comment