Book Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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For my review of “Unspoken” – the first book in this series – please click here.

Naptime is over for Kami, Angela, her brother Rusty and Holly, as Robert Lynburn’s scarecrows attack Sorry-in-the-Vale. Rob is quickly gaining followers in town, who are either terrified of him or still remember the old ways when the Lynburns had the power. Kami attempts to engage her reporter skills to tell people the truth, but to no avail. Her friends’ efforts to help are unfortunately fruitless. Enter the Lynburn cousins (or are they?). Ash is the son of Rob and his wife Lilian who has no attraction to evil stuff. And of course, there is Jared, Kami’s former imaginary friend. At the end of “Unspoken” they, rightly so, severed their mind link, removing their connection to each other. Or so they thought. They are missing each other immensely but what can one do if Jared’s uncle is a magical murderer demanding a blood sacrifice from the town and Jared’s aunt is an aloof, cold witch who wants to take him down but doesn’t want any help from outside the family. She is quickly forced to change her mind about that though – Kami’s instincts and talent for investigation, Angela’s readiness to channel her anger at the evil wizards and Holly’s magical heritage are not something she can do without, it appears. However, what if their forces are not enough to defeat the entire town standing behind Rob? And what if Kami is forced to lose the ones she loves and destroy herself in the process?

 

First of all – dear Miss Brennan, your love for “The Princess Bride” is showing.

Second of all – every good book starts with a scarecrows’ attack, and with ladies being represented in the scarecrow movement.

Just kidding.

But it’s a great start. And it sets the tone for 4/5 of the book that was action-packed, full of funny quips and ladies getting stuff done (boys helped sometimes but with the exception of Rusty, they mostly brought drama). I do have issues, however, with all the romantic drama which makes up the rest of the novel. For starters – I haven’t liked Jared since “Unspoken” but he’s even more annoying in this installment, bar a few moments when him and Ash bond. And do, please, leave Kami alone – she doesn’t want to depend on anyone. I may be biased but I don’t believe they would ever work as a couple – there is too much history with them knowing each other’s every thought and feeling when they were linked. While Kami may miss him and feel attracted to both him and Ash (which is understandable – they both have excellent hotential), Jared is slightly obsessive and borderline homicidal and Ash did try to kill her best friend. My advice is to stick with journalism – she said herself before that guys disappoint but journalism never lets her down. Re: romantic option – may I suggest sticking with Rusty? He is handsome, deep without being homicidal, and appreciates her intelligence – calling her Cambridge speaks for itself.

Next issue – Holly, darling, what are you doing? We are all guilty of using other people to help us escape our own problems and struggles, but you know – there are evil sorcerers running around your town! Although I do understand that having your parents join the villains may be a bit much, but you have your friends by your side! And you don’t even have to make out with them – talking works just as well, you know. Also – props to Miss Brennan for including a bisexual character struggling with her sexuality and not making it the central focus of the novel. Her and Angela need to get back together! After they kick the sorcerers’ butts, of course.

Enough of the boy/girl drama – the best part of reading the book was getting another insight into Kami’s sleuthing and journalistic abilities. As a book blogger and an amateur legal journalist, I can appreciate a witty piece of writing and research. I am really hoping to see Kami combine what she has learnt during her time at the Lynburns’ library and her street-smarts and create some beautiful articles for “The Nosy Parker”, the town’s newspaper (which she has started herself by the way – could she get any more awesome?). Her one-liners didn’t go anywhere, fortunately – “hotential” is officially a term I shall be employing on a regular basis from now on. The combination of action, funny dialogue and drama (which was admittedly too much sometimes) means that I am rating “Untold” 7/10.

 

Favourite character

That spot will always belong to Kami in this series, for many reasons. Her character can be summed up in a single quote – “If the truth didn’t help anyone, and love didn’t last, what was there left to struggle toward?”. We know that, despite everything, Kami loves Jared. But she also loves her parents and her brothers more than anything. We can see her struggling to make sure that her loved ones are OK throughout the book, but we also know that she is the type of person who would do anything for people to know the truth. I respect that.

 

Character who gets the most development

See above – Miss Kami Glass goes through a lot of stuff in this book, both romantically and magically. I am looking forward, but at the same time I am not, to how SPOILER

her new mind link with Ash would affect her in “Unmade”.

END SPOILER

 

Favourite realtionship

Kami and Rusty – he’s good for her

 

Favourite quotes

“For the preservation of our sacred journalistic integrity, we have to see every scarecrow in town”

Being able to depend on someone doesn’t mean you’re dependent on them”

“If the truth didn’t help anyone, and love didn’t last, what was there left to struggle toward?”


Dreamcast:

Kami Glass – Jamie Chung

Angela Montgomery – Janel Parrish

Rusty Montgomery – Joe Dempsie

Holly Prescott – Jennifer Lawrence

Ash Lynburn – Richard Madden

Jared Lynburn – Jason Dohring (circa Veronica Mars)

Lilian Lynburn – Emilia Fox

 

Recommendations

You would like “The Lynburn Legacy series” if you liked:

“Buffy”

“Veronica Mars”

“The Raven Cycle series” by Maggie Stiefvater”

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