Thursday, October 17, 2013

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Summary from Goodreads:
It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?
So, the first book in this series was my favorite book of 2012. I was blown away by the characters, by the gothic elements, by the amazing sense of humor, and by the brave ending. That brave ending was also a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, and I’ve been dying to read this sequel for the last year! I’ve read some of the teasers that Brennan posted online, and those just made me want the book even more.
Was the book all I was hoping it to be? It was almost all I was hoping it to be. The same gothic backdrop is layered behind the witty sarcasm, the angsty love triangles, and magical battle of good versus evil. Like with the first book, there again is this huge divide between those who are afraid of the sorcerers –and willing to submit to them, and those who want to defy the sorcerers and –and not sacrifice anyone.
This book was missing a lot of the family charm of the first book because Kami’s father is finally in the know of all the magical things happening. And well, I guess being lied to for your entire marriage, can take its toll. There is definitely a nice sized hole in happiness that used to be Kami’s home life. Kami’s mother also unfortunately falls into the part of the town that is afraid, and is actually willing to let someone be sacrificed in order to protect her own.
Kami’s Nancy Drew sleuthing is still at an all time high. Between going through historical records, educating the townspeople on sorcery, and trying to learn magical protection spells, Kami has a lot to learn. This book also deals a lot more with teamwork. It’s about trusting your friends and working with lots of different types of people. If you have the same goal, Kami’s philosophy seems to be, “We can find a way to work together.”
There’s some serious love triangle moments in this one. But, the way the characters handled embarrassing situations, intense anger, and heartache was just so spot-on. These teens are intelligent and brave. They have the sense of humor of the best Brits in comedy. And sometimes I forget they are not adults. But, then crazy, awkward moments happen, and I’m reminded of just how young they all are.
There are steamy romantic moments and then there are scary, suspenseful moments. Most of the book did seem to be about prepping for a war that hasn’t exactly begun yet. I understand the reviewers who wrote about wanting more story. However, I liked getting so much character development. This book truly shows what each character is made of, and I know this will be important later on.
I also kind of felt like I needed this character-heavy/preemptive planning book to get used to things, to get a feel for where things were going romantically, and to understand characters I wasn’t necessarily in love with in the first book. There is another cliffhanger in this one, though it’s not quite as gut wrenching as the first one. It certainly ends with a bang again. And there is a ton of crazy suspense moments at the end that had me on the edge of my seat.
This book is also loaded with wonderful dialog and fantastic swoon worthy scenes. I’ve already gone back and re-read certain scenes. It was one of those books where the characters feel so real that it feels like, when I open the pages, that I am revisiting old friends.
All in all the characters made this book. There wasn’t as much action/mystery as book 1. And it definitely does have that book 2 feel (where there’s a lot of prepping for the finale). It did still surprise me. It made me swoon. The dialogue and humor were still there, and there was some juicy suspense right at the end. It didn’t have quite the Wow factor of book 1, but I did still finish it feeling that happy sensation you only get when finishing a sensational read. I give it a 10/10 (mostly because of that feeling and because of the fantastic characters).

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