Saturday, September 28, 2013

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is Book 2 in “The Lynburn Legacy” by this author. This series is the reason that any time I find myself in a discussion about YA fiction, I always start off, “I don’t normally read young adult fiction, but…”. This second installment maintained what I loved about the first book. The story held my interest and kept me reading from start to finish. The characters are three-dimensional, not teenage stereotypes. The characters that I found interesting and cared about in Book 1 seemed even more developed and layered in this book. I was happy to get more of a window into Ash (young wizard and overall hottie)’s inner life in this book. You see his remorse about what part he played in the previous book, his longing for a somewhat stable home life, and his desire to be liked. I enjoyed seeing more of Angie’s older brother Rusty. He made me laugh and it was nice seeing those moments when he revealed how much he cared about his sister and Kami. He also let slip that he’s not as vacant as he would have people believe. And, by the way, I thought it was funny that he refers to Jared and Ash as Sulky and Blondie. I will cry big buckets of tears if he is ever killed off. I love Angie’s snarkiness – it totally reminded me of how I am. The little bit of a romantic triangle between Kami, Jared, and Ash had me interested rather than annoyed (as I normally don’t care for that in stories). I loved the scenes between Jared and Kami. I found them very powerful and sweet. You saw how deeply losing their mental connection affected them.  I can’t wait to read the next book to see how their relationship gets resolved. I totally fell for Jared in this book. Once he stops being so surly, he says a lot of wonderful things to Kami and gives her a lot of support. The dialogue in this book is very witty as usual. One of my favorite sections in the book is when Kami confronts Jared for nor going to school, and working in the local pub:

"It sounds like you're a tavern wench. Fleeing persecution, you have to take up a menial occupation to keep body and soul together. But at least it's honest work, though as you labor, many predatory customers make advances and offer indignities."

Then, later, when Kami finds Jared riding his motorcycle to the site of the super villain’s meeting place, she takes him to task:

"I mean, you're going into a situation where something really bad might be happening, and you've decided to make sure they can hear you coming? Better hope being a tavern wench works out, because you, sir, will never be a ninja."

The story had me hooked and anxious for Book 3. At the end of the previous book, things looked pretty bleak – the super villain caused a lot of destruction before going off to create his magical army, things between Kami and Jared were in a deplorable state, and there was a lot of uncertainty about who or what was “safe”. In this book, everybody on the side of good (or at least against human sacrifice) is kind of in a holding pattern waiting for the dastardly & very evil sorcerer Rob Lynburn to make his move. That’s not the strategy Kami prefers, but Rob’s wife Lillian is in charge and that’s how she wants to do things. Until then, Rusty tries to teach the others some non-magical self-defense, Ash & Jared train together strengthening their sorcerer abilities as well, and Kami’s crew all go on intelligence gathering assignments. I think the romance elements were balanced well with the rest of the story. I eagerly, and hopefully, await the total destruction of Rob Lynburn. I cannot wait for the next book! I highly recommend trying this book, even if you don’t normally read young adult fiction.

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