Friday, 4 October 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Title: Unbreakable
Author: Kami Garcia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 10th October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: Kennedy Waters didn't believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her. When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn't know that evil forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her house 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.

There is nothing outstanding about Unbreakable.  It follows a standard plot often seen in many YA books. A young girls world turns upside down when she discovers that her family is not who they seem and the world is not as normal as it appears. When the secrets come out, she grows to embrace the world with help from quirky friends.  Unbreakable is pretty standard read. However it’s a good read for fans of horror and the TV show Supernatural. There is creepy fun to be had and the book sets up an interesting story that is sure to get better in future.

In essence, Unbreakable is about a secret organisation of demon hunters called the Legion, who protect the world from the supernatural. When Kennedy’s mother dies, her life is completely turned upside down. It turns out that Kennedy’s mum was killed by a demon out to destroy the Legion. Now the demon is after Kennedy.  Kennedy and the other Legion members including Jared and Lukas Lockheart have to find away to stop the demon forever. The story is very effortless to read. Kami Garcia did a great job setting up the history of the Legion. The world building of Unbreakable is not complicated and easy to follow.

Certain elements of the story drew parallels to the TV show Supernatural. There’s two ghost hunting brothers, salt bullets, salt lines, tracking unnatural deaths in the news, EMF devices and iron weapons.  The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about the Winchester brother and how they do the whole ghost-hunting thing better, but that’s just me. If the similarities to Supernatural wouldn’t bother you then I’m sure you will like this story. The setting is utterly creepy. Garcia includes many creepy, grotesque, abandoned building filled with menacing ghosts. There is an abandoned children’s home, an old prison and decrepit mansions. The ghosts themselves were daunting and disturbing.  Their deaths and past lives were down right unsettling.

Kennedy was the perfect mix of vulnerability and determination. She was portrayed with many good qualities. She always stood up for herself, constantly questioned the world around her, and owned up to her mistakes. It took a while to get to know her. She starts of with a lot of insecurity but as she learns more about the Legion she becomes the heroine of her story. One who always protects those she considers friends. Priest was another character that stood out. His inventions were a treat to read about. He also had some of the best lines.  Alara has a tough exterior but deep down she cared about the others. The Twins Lukas and Jared were the total opposites of each other. Lukas the more outgoing and caring whereas Jared was the broody troubled brother.

Kennedy’s relationship with each of the twins is different. There is a slight love triangle between the three of them, but its clear which brother Kennedy chooses.  Although the feelings Kennedy has for Lukas are not clearly defined and left in the air. The romance was not one that I enjoyed. It didn’t add to the story and if it were lifted out it wouldn’t change the book.  It’s the typical story thread of a girl falls for broody boy who is sure to break her heart.  I really enjoyed the group dynamics. Each member of the new Legion had their own specific role and their own talents. Together they made a formidable team. Also their relationship with Kennedy develops over time. They do not always trust each other. Especially Kennedy and Alara but as they discover what each other is willing to do they grow closer.  

The best part of this book was the ending. The story builds to a great climax set in the ultimate creepy location. The ending also turned the story on its head and it will be interesting to see what happens next. With an ending like that it felt like the start of something and that book 1 was just setting up the series and introducing the mythology and the characters.

Overall unbreakable is a good read with creepy locations and heaps of similarities to supernatural. 

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