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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Unmade (Lynburn Legacy #3)
by Sarah Rees Brennan

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Copy received from: Purchased
My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.


This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Review:  After absolutely loving my time in Sorry-in-the-Vale in Unspoken and Untold, I had high expectations for this conclusion. Kami and co. are back and are charming and complex as ever, the story resolves its interpersonal drama in a satisfying way, and Kami gets many opportunities to prove she is a hero of a journalist. On the strength of its characters alone I quite like Unmade, but I do have some reservations regarding its plot.

As mentioned, Kami, always an active character, really steps up in this novel. Her refusal to go along with Rob Lynburn’s murderous plans for the town (unlike the vast majority of its citizens) makes her and her loved ones a target, but she never backs down from doing what she believes is right and always has a plan. She takes the initiative when it comes to her relationship with Jared too, making a decision and acting on it. That doesn’t mean things are resolved simply though. For two people who shared a mind link for most of their lives, they sure cause a lot of drama based on miscommunication. Ash is still a factor as well: moping around like a professional third wheel, sorcerer-style. Angela, Holly, and Rusty all have roles to play (besides simply being awesome) and my personal favorite character, Kami’s dad Jon Glass, nearly saves the town in one quick move (that he doesn’t, and that it could be as simple as that, is one of my issues with the plot).

This story tends to the darker side of fantasy, with torture, murder, and the endangerment of small children all a factor, but the jokes never stop flowing with Rees Brennan’s signature charming humor and world play. The atmosphere of the novel wants to suggest no one is safe, and there is tragedy that is, dare I say it, Whedonesque. The novel succeeded in getting me invested in these characters and giving me a need to know their fate.

Now for my issue: a large part of this novel hinges on the Big Bad, Rob Lynburn, simply not bothering much about the heroes. He’s overpowered., except when he’s not, and it’s all very arbitrary. He and his evil sorcerer gang knows exactly where everyone lives in the small town that no one tries to leave, and no one makes any real attempts to hide either. Kami, Jared, and the rest of the crew are in and out of the supposedly impenetrable evil fortress of the Lynburn house so often a revolving door should’ve been installed.  On the side of evil there’s a lot of waiting around for the equinox to perform a sacrifice.  One the side of good there’s waiting around, discussing what they can do, having a party, and continuing to stay in obvious places waiting to be attacked until they finally are and it comes as a shock. These waiting periods allow lots of time for relationship drama. The action of the finale is extremely mystical and vaguely described, and I found one of the hero’s sacrifices frustrating, as it seemed less heroic than unnecessary and extraneous.

Despite those critiques I did like this novel and definitely recommend the series as a whole. It’s rare that I find a story with such a large group of well-rounded characters and complex relationships, let alone one that can induce such a spectrum of emotions; from laughter to tears, from swooning to biting your nails from the tension.

This gothic novel qualifies for RIP IX

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Unmade (Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unmade (Lynburn Legacy #3)
by Sarah Rees Brennan

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Copy received from: Purchased
My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.


This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Review:  After absolutely loving my time in Sorry-in-the-Vale in Unspoken and Untold, I had high expectations for this conclusion. Kami and co. are back and are charming and complex as ever, the story resolves its interpersonal drama in a satisfying way, and Kami gets many opportunities to prove she is a hero of a journalist. On the strength of its characters alone I quite like Unmade, but I do have some reservations regarding its plot.

As mentioned, Kami, always an active character, really steps up in this novel. Her refusal to go along with Rob Lynburn’s murderous plans for the town (unlike the vast majority of its citizens) makes her and her loved ones a target, but she never backs down from doing what she believes is right and always has a plan. She takes the initiative when it comes to her relationship with Jared too, making a decision and acting on it. That doesn’t mean things are resolved simply though. For two people who shared a mind link for most of their lives, they sure cause a lot of drama based on miscommunication. Ash is still a factor as well: moping around like a professional third wheel, sorcerer-style. Angela, Holly, and Rusty all have roles to play (besides simply being awesome) and my personal favorite character, Kami’s dad Jon Glass, nearly saves the town in one quick move (that he doesn’t, and that it could be as simple as that, is one of my issues with the plot).

This story tends to the darker side of fantasy, with torture, murder, and the endangerment of small children all a factor, but the jokes never stop flowing with Rees Brennan’s signature charming humor and world play. The atmosphere of the novel wants to suggest no one is safe, and there is tragedy that is, dare I say it, Whedonesque. The novel succeeded in getting me invested in these characters and giving me a need to know their fate.

Now for my issue: a large part of this novel hinges on the Big Bad, Rob Lynburn, simply not bothering much about the heroes. He’s overpowered., except when he’s not, and it’s all very arbitrary. He and his evil sorcerer gang knows exactly where everyone lives in the small town that no one tries to leave, and no one makes any real attempts to hide either. Kami, Jared, and the rest of the crew are in and out of the supposedly impenetrable evil fortress of the Lynburn house so often a revolving door should’ve been installed.  On the side of evil there’s a lot of waiting around for the equinox to perform a sacrifice.  One the side of good there’s waiting around, discussing what they can do, having a party, and continuing to stay in obvious places waiting to be attacked until they finally are and it comes as a shock. These waiting periods allow lots of time for relationship drama. The action of the finale is extremely mystical and vaguely described, and I found one of the hero’s sacrifices frustrating, as it seemed less heroic than unnecessary and extraneous.

Despite those critiques I did like this novel and definitely recommend the series as a whole. It’s rare that I find a story with such a large group of well-rounded characters and complex relationships, let alone one that can induce such a spectrum of emotions; from laughter to tears, from swooning to biting your nails from the tension.

This gothic novel qualifies for RIP IX

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