Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Unmade

Unmade (Lynburn Legacy, book three)
By Sarah Rees Brennan
Expected publication September 23, 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Read my reviews of books one and two.

Things are not looking good for Kami Glass. With the boy she loves missing and presumed dead and an enemy more powerful than she can imagine, an ordinary girl might give up. But Kami is no ordinary girl and, with the help of her friends (non-magical though they may be), she'll do anything she can to end Rob Lynburn's reign of terror. Can she do it before anymore innocent people die?

The first book in this series was one of my favorite reads a couple years ago and, while book two didn't quite live up to my expectations, I was still eagerly anticipating book three. Once again, I was very pleased to receive an e-galley from the publisher ahead of the book's release and I started reading as soon as I could spare a moment.

Despite a few minor quibbles, I'm pleased with this book as the series ender. Truly, and I've said it in both my previous reviews, what I love most about this series is the characters. Brennan has created some very realistic (if you ignore the sorcerer bit about some of them) and enchanting characters. They are complex and I love every minute that I spend with them. As expected from the cliffhanger ending of book two and the simple fact that this is the finale of the series, there are some casualties in this book. I admit to getting emotional a few times while reading, simply because Brennan has made me care about these characters so much. I'm completely in love with Kami - though she does come out a bit of a Mary Sue in this installment (i.e. every male character of similar age that is not a relative of hers professes their love for her). But, like I said, I'm in love with Kami, so I guess I fell for it, too.

The humor that I adored is still present and it works really well to balance the terrible things that happen throughout the story. It helps keep the pace of the novel pleasant as well - I actually had no idea this book was 400 pages long until a few minutes ago when I was double-checking the publication info. It flew by for me and I finished in a few hours.

I suppose I have to get to those minor quibbles at some point so here they are (and, I'm sorry, they're spoiler-y, so look away if you don't want to be spoiled!). First, there comes a point in the story when Rob Lynburn demands a sacrifice but then decides to go after Kami's younger brothers specifically. He's foiled and another character offers themselves as a willing sacrifice, which Rob accepts. To me, it seemed out of character for Rob to just be satisfied with the willing sacrifice - it doesn't hold the same amount of power as one of Kami's brothers would have and, though it definitely effected Kami, it's not quite to the same degree as taking one of her brothers would have. Rob has been characterized as pretty much pure evil, so this seemed just a little less than I was expecting.

Similarly, I found the final battle a disappointment. For a terrible war that's been raging for three books now, it seems to come to a pretty lackluster conclusion. I'm not saying I wanted ultimate carnage and the deaths of more characters, but I guess that's what I expected. Everything does come to a tidy and mostly happy end, which I appreciated, but felt a little too neat.

Even with these minor flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the series overall. I'm looking forward to reading Brennan's earlier works and already anticipating what she comes out with next.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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