The Legion Series #1
Paranormal Young Adult
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available October 1st
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
Unbreakable is a fast-paced, deliciously creepy tale, one that practically dares us with its haunting cover and synopsis to sit by ourselves and read it into the dark hours of the night, and when we accept said dare and crack the spine, we find Ms. Garcia has a gift for sending shivers across our skin. We hit the ground running in this story, swiftly and brutally exposed to death and demons along with Kennedy as a rag tag team of extraordinarily brave fighters lifts the veil from her eyes to reveal a terrifying world ruled by vengeance. Once we're in this story it never lets us go, catapulting us from one place to the next as Ms. Garcia tests our hearts to see how fast and how loud they can pound before they suffer irreparable damage.
Kennedy is someone who could be described as frustrating realistic (this is more of a compliment than it sounds), thrust into a life-threatening situation so far beyond the scope of her understanding as to be completely incomprehensible, and struggling to hold onto anything familiar about herself before she loses the person she thought she was to the girl the members of the Legion tell her she is now. The frustrating aspect of Kennedy comes into play when we try and place ourselves in her shoes (something very easy to do), the fervent hope that we would be strong in the face of the terrors of this new world causing the disappointment when Kennedy flinches or falters to be all the more acute; our sense of failure stemming not so much from her but more so from ourselves because we know it's likely we would react just as she does, no matter how much we wish a different truth in its place. Thus Kennedy's fears and flaws both beautifully but painfully reflect our own, making her feel so very real against the most unreal of backdrops.
The romance between Kennedy and Jared, while an enjoyable distraction from the various ghosts and the mysteries they're protecting, isn't quite as strong as it could have been, things between them staying primarily on the surface rather than giving us the opportunity to poke at their sore spots in order to find out why they're there. A love triangle between the two of them and Jared's brother Lukas does threaten to form, but luckily Kennedy is pretty clear on which brother she prefers from the beginning, and though Lukas doesn't necessarily give up the fight even when he senses the direction of her affections, the angst between the three of them is relatively low. Jared plays a bit of the push-pull game however, his reasons for doing so not explored to the degree that would help us understand and emotionally connect to his motivations, but given the romance is secondary to the search to find and destroy a demon, it doesn't detract too much from our overall enjoyment.
In addition to the romance, there are a couple other elements that could have benefited from a more thorough exploration so as to really allow us to sink our hands into the grit and grime of the characters' lives, though Ms. Garcia does an admirable job of giving us just enough backstory to help us get our bearings without exhausting us with histories and explanations. Those looking for a quick, creepy read will devour Unbreakable, skin covered in goosebumps and eyes darting to dark corners repeatedly to check for signs of movement as we sit back and allow Ms. Garcia to entertain us. The ending manages to be both nicely wrapped up yet also open, the team's purpose in this first installment more or less achieved but it's clear that what happens is only the beginning, and I have no doubt the intensity (and maybe the romance) will be ratcheted up another level or two in the already much-anticipated sequel.
This book was given to me at BEA by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.