Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

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Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Unbreakable
Kami Garcia
Series: Legion #1
Genre: Supernatural, Thriller, YA
Publication date: October 1st 2013
by Little Brown BfYR

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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.
-A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group for review-

What a nail biter! Unbreakable has a creepy cover with an equally freaky story. For all of you supernatural thriller fans out there this one is not to be missed!

I made the mistake of starting this book at midnight; a book that has crazy happenings and intense goosebump-worthy scenes right from the beginning. Every page had me delving deeper and deeper under the covers just so I would stop imagining hellish demon ghosts at the foot of my bed! And by hellish demon ghosts I mean exactly that! You won’t find Casper in here. By page 32 my heart was already pounding from the horror of this unexplained supernatural evil that started to haunt Kennedy. Ok if I’m being honest, I kind of loved it. I’m a sucker for horrors and even though I freak myself out reading them I can’t stop myself! Kami vividly describes these vengeful spirits in the eeriest of ways. I could imagine them clear as day and feel their coldness seep into my skin. From evil ghosts children holding mangled dolls, to faces that flick from a child’s to an old woman’s, to bloated and bruised faces rising from wells; it’s all wonderfully horrific with a sense of anxiety that never lets up.

At first, Kennedy is not sure exactly what’s going on but she knows it’s nothing natural. Soon she meets twins Jared and Jack who explain that she’s part of a secret society of demon hunters. This is where we meet the intriguing cast who make up the Legion. The character development is not the book’s strongest component, however. Due to the action-packed nature of the plot, we get no backstories and few occasions to get to know them. In turn, the group dynamic is not dominant which could make a big difference in how much heart this series possesses. I still found the characters fun to journey with. I enjoyed Priest the most. He’s perceptive and intelligent; the one exuding the most personality. Seeing he’s the baby of the gang also evokes a sense of protectiveness towards him.

Another area that could have used work is the romance. Although it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book per se, I would have much preferred if it had been non existent. For one, it felt like it was added for no other reason than a perceived necessity in today’s YA market. Secondly, using my sub-par deduction skills, I concluded she falls for this guy simply because he’s hot. Lastly, there’s a bizarre maybe-triangle that forms between Kennedy and the twins. I say maybe because we’re never certain of where everyone’s feelings lay. It could be a love triangle, or it could be a single love interest with a “protective older brother”. Don’t let this romance deter you, however. Despite it surfacing regularly, I didn’t find it to be a very significant part of the plot. As such it’s hardly a nuisance, it simply didn’t strengthen the book.

Fans of Supernatural (the TV series) will find similarities in both story arcs and tone. To defeat this demon they need to find a certain weapon, which means a lot of visits to the most terrifying places – an abandoned prison and a home for children for instance. Like the ghosts themselves, the descriptions of these places are thoroughly chilling. The horror aspect is the book’s strong suit, and if you go into it wanting an entertaining, scary read you will be highly satisfied despite it’s flaws. It focuses and succeeds at being a fast paced thrill ride with plenty of terror, dread, and suspense!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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19 Responses to “Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I saw that it had a plot similar to Supernatural. Who doesn’t enjoy Supernatural?
    It’s a shame about the characters not being as developed though. I’m big on character development but it seems that the plot and the pacing are intense, so I won’t really mind it. I’m a bit worried about this love triangle especially since the romance apparently needs work.
    Still, I’m excited for this one.
    Great honest review, Giselle!

  2. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    So I restarted this one at a more suitable time of the day and I’m now halfway in! I agree, the romance (that’s starting to develop) is rather unnecessary and I do think it would be better without.

    Fabulous review, Giselle! <33

  3. Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction

    I do love me some scary, creepy stories…especially during this time of year! I was not familiar with this book but now it’s definitely going on my list to read. Hopefully the creep factor and thrill ride will help me get past the character development side of things as I usually love my characters well-rounded. But I can settle for an awesome scary story too!

    Awesome review, as always!

  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Definitely agree with the Supernatural-ish tone to the whole story, which made me love it even more! This was creepy but not hide-under-the-bed-with-the-dogs creepy, always a plus for me.

  5. Danielle

    I’ve heard the Supernatural similarities alright, I really want to read this one. Sounds like the perfect book for this time of year! Awesome review Giselle, really excited about it now.

  6. Savannah

    Confession: I don’t watch much tv so I have yet to watch supernatural. But I’m glad that this book is good. I love going on a adventure, walking into creepy places, etc. Sounds awesome.

  7. Christianna

    Well I’m a HUGE Supernatural fan so I have a feeling that I’m going to be in love with this book! Seriously, I’m addicted to that show, even though I only watched the first 5 seasons. I rewatch them all the time. Guess this one goes in the buy it and read it soon pile!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    Sounds great!! I do love a spooky thriller sometimes. They freak me out, but I find them so fascinating. I wish more YA books would leave out the romance, because it’s NOT always needed. Despite that, I think I’d enjoy this one too.

  9. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I loved the horror within this book but I agree, the romance was completely unnecessary. For me, it actually detracted from all the great stuff within the book and I rated it 2 stars. Will be posting my review soon.

  10. Aman

    Oh, I didn’t realize it would be that scary! Usually I don’t go for that but Halloween’s coming and I need some scary, creppy, full of gore books and “evil ghosts children holding mangled dolls” pretty much covers it up. Thanks for the rec, Giselle! Awesome review 🙂

  11. Chri @ Fathomless

    “I’m a sucker for horrors and even though I freak myself out reading them I can’t stop myself!” Me too! The romance here sounds really meh. And I agree – it does seem like a lot of books nowadays are just throwing in romance for the sake of having romance. Which kind of really sucks because, honestly, some books really don’t need the romance and could do better without. I juuuust started watching the first few episodes of Supernatural (I made the mistake of watching the Bloody Mary one alone in my house at night *shivers* – kind of like you and Unbreakable), and if it’s anything like that, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this book 😀 I’ll make sure to read this in broad daylight, though! 😛 Great review!

  12. Pili

    Great review, Giselle!
    I’m quite intrigued about this one after your review and Supernatural references are a win in my book!
    If I get to it, I’ll be sure to read it at night, I love horror stories but I freak myself out so much!