By Kami Garcia
Published on October 1st 2013
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
It's actually been a stunningly long time since I've read a good ghost story. I usually tend more towards zombies and psychological horror when I want a good creep-out; ghosts don't always do it for me. Kami Garcia manages to create some pretty creepy ghosts and spirits in Unbreakable, the first book in her new series.I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.
Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.
We follow Kennedy as she learns that her family has been hiding some very big, very paranormal secrets from her, and with nothing left at home, she goes with them to fulfill a legacy she didn't even know she had. As she takes her place in the Legion, Kennedy begins to come into her own, learning about the world of ghost/demon hunters that she was abruptly thrust into. It's kind of a coming of age story for her as she grows into herself and her skills. It was fun to read about all of the new things Kennedy now had to understand, and never really came off as sounding too info-dump-ish. All of the explanation scenes felt natural, in my opinion.
I liked the romance in this book despite myself, since it is both instalove and a love triangle, both of which on their own are enough to make me roll my eyes. I mean, sure, I rolled my eyes a bit at the overwrought-ness of Kennedy's thoughts and worries over who she has feelings for, but ultimately I did feel like she really was being torn in two directions, instead of it being one of those one-way crushes where one of the dudes never has a shot. She gets along well with both Jared and Lukas, and, hey, they're identical, so we know they're both hot! I also enjoyed the other two members of the Legion, Alara and Priest, and hope we get to know more about them in the next books.
I didn't think that the book was too scary, but your experience may be different. While most of the creepy scenes aren't too different from anything else you'd see in other ghost stories, there was one scene set in an orphanage that was both super creepy and kind of poignant at the same time. That scene in particular felt very different from lots of other uses of children in ghost stories. I also enjoyed learning the backstory of each haunted place the group visited, to explain the haunting. It would have been easy to just say "oops grisly murder" each time, but each spot really had a unique story behind it, some of which helped us get to know the characters better, too, which was a nice touch.
But, okay, here's the thing. Have you watched any Supernatural? Are you an obsessive fan who can quote all the episodes? Have you only engaged in a binge-watching of a handful of episodes because a friend made you watch the best ones? Do you just see endless GIF-sets on Tumblr? Regardless, if you've got a passing familiarity with the show, a lot of aspects of this book are going to seem really similar to you. I mean, I've only seen a handful of episodes and know the broad outline of the show from having friends who are superfans, but I got to "hot brothers who chase demons as part of a family legacy" and went huh, that's familiar. If you're a hardcore Supernatural fan, this book could feel eerily familiar to you in ways that you might not like, so keep that in mind. The similarities didn't totally throw me out of the book, but for someone who's a die-hard fan, I could see it being a problem.
All that to say that I don't know that this book adds anything stunningly new to the genre. But despite some predictable plot points and the dreaded instalovetriangle, I still found this book to be pretty engaging. I'm looking forward to the next book and hope we continue to get to know the other members of the Legion. (And, hey, if spend the whole series rooting for Kennedy to just have her cake and eat it too by hooking up with both Jared and Lukas, well... can you blame me?)
Sound interesting? Want to check it out? Thanks to the publisher, we've got a finished copy of the book to giveaway! If you've got an address in the US (no PO Boxes), enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
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