Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Th Legion (books 1 and 2) by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable (The Legion Book 1)

In Unbreakable we meet Kennedy.  At a young age she’s already had enough to deal with.  Her father walked away from her mother and her when she was young.  Now her mother has died and she’s about to be sent off to a school she’s never seen by an aunt she doesn’t know.  That was the plan anyway, until all hell broke loose.  A ghostly girl and a couple of boys suddenly appearing in her home, in her room — that changes everything.  

Kennedy learns of a  group known as the Legion.  A small secretive ghost / demon hunting organization.  One that believes she is the fifth and final member of the group’s current configuration.  Her mother never told her anything.  She is sure they have the wrong girl.  Still, she ends up taking off with the boys and meets their partners.  Desperate to belong somewhere, to be needed by someone, she settles in with the Legion - the twin boys who found her: Lukas and Jared, the girl who funds it all: Alara, and the youngest of the group: Priest, the boy who builds weapons from soda cans. 

Using their family journals and unusual talents they head out in search of a tool that could put an end to the biggest, baddest demon any of them are aware of.  A demon who is desperate to make the world his playground.  He’s not strong enough yet, but he does have a scary amount of power over the spirit world. 

I like this book, but didn’t love it quite as much as I could have.  The rushed immediate forever and ever romance between the broken teens might have been a good setup for book two, but felt forced.  The tension between the brothers also seems awkward (even after reading book 2 and getting more insight there on their story).  The throwing an unprepared girl into the action without even covering the absolute basics with her seems very wrong even from teens.  

That said the overall story is good.  Good enough that I read book two immediately after finishing this one.  It has potential as an extended series if handled properly.

Unmarked (The Legion Book 2)
I’m giving this book 4 stars after having given the first book in the series 3.  I just couldn’t give this book the same rating as the first as it’s actually better (one of the rare sequels that surpasses the first).  BUT, it’s still probably more like 3.5 stars. 

This book picks up just weeks after the first book ended.  Kennedy’s aunt has sent her to a school where she won’t have to deal with her.  Being away from the Legion doesn’t change much.  They’re still all Kennedy can think of, especially Jared — when she is not busy tracking stories that sound like the work of Andras that is.  Luckily for Kennedy, all the Legion (or at least Jared) can think of is her and they how up to "kidnap" her… again.  This time they’ve brought along 
Kennedy's BFF, Elle, now an unofficial member.

This book  commits my ultimate book series sin — it is a cliffhanger that feels like half of a story.  

This time around their mission(s) are far more personal.  Kennedy learns things about her family that she didn’t know. Alara and Priest learn about the list that Jared had created and the role it played in their family members deaths.  Lukas opens up about his jealousy for Jared.  And of course there are demons, mainly Andras, who get way too close to them all.  Oh, the Illuminati is here as well. 

As I said, it’s a cliffhanger.  I hate books that leave me feeling that I didn’t read a full story.  Sure, they can be continued, but if I don’t feel like I accomplished something in reading the book, I end up quite disappointed.  So in that sense this book was a total failure for me.  On the other hand, it really is better than the first.  It left me curious enough to read on, but it didn’t need the incomplete story to accomplish that.  It feels like it’s going somewhere good.  If it goes beyond three books, I hope the next one at least wraps this story up (there’s plenty they can do beyond this).  If not it will probably be the last I read in this series, but I will be reading at least one more.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of Unmarked at no cost in order to review it. I offered no guarantee of a positive review, though I only request books I think I'll like because why read a book you think you’ll hate?