My copy of Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan was shipped on Wednesday, and arrived in my PO box on Thursday morning (at 7am, the industrious little thing).
I was severely disappointed when I couldn’t get to the post-office on Thursday, but I went bright and early on Friday and liberated it from its cruel captors. And then had to bounce around at work for a Whole Day until I could get home and eagerly devour it.
Except … as I write this post I still haven’t read a word of Unmade!
As I sat down, snuggled in a blanket and listening to the Complete Recordings of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and flipped to the first page of Unmade. I read the Acknowledgments, and then promptly decided that I needed to re-acquaint myself with the wonderful world that Brennan has created.
So I grabbed my beautiful scarlet and gold hardcover of Unspoken, which has lain unread for years since I own three copies of the book (all of them have been read at least once now!) and sank into the exquisite gothic glory of the Lynburn Legacy.
This is the fourth time I’m reading Unspoken, and let me tell you: the thrill of discovering Sorry-in-the-Vale never really dims (not for me anyway).
I’ve always loved the way Kami introduces us to her village, the very first newspaper article she writes for The Nosy Parker. It says so much about her and the town, all in one convenient, snappily written article.
Kami’d always retold her fairy tales to make the fair maidens braver and more self-sufficient, but she had never had any real objection to the handsome prince.
I think my next favourite part is when Kami meets the first Lynburn boy: Ash. Gilded and handsome, Ash immediately makes an impact on Kami, who’s quick to notice that he, like all other boys, notices her best friend Angela first and only turns his devastatingly blue eyes on her once Angela’s disinterest has been made abundantly clear.
My next favourite moment is, of course, the elevator.
I’m not doing much, said Jared, warm in her mind, the amusement lingering. Just stuck in an elevator with this creepy Asian girl giving me a death glare.
I love so many things about Unspoken: the protagonists, their amazing friendships (seriously: ANGELA!), the relationship between Kami and her dad (actually, her whole family is seriously amazing), and all the Lynburn secrets.
“Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date?” Dad asked tragically. “Wearing that? Wouldn’t you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey.”
I also love the love triangle in the Unspoken (oh you didn’t think I was ever going to say those words, did ya?)
I like it because (1) it’s not a traditional love triangle, with Kami being Very Interested one of the Lynburn Boys and then only really trying with the Other Lynburn Boy because the First Lynburn Boy doesn’t want to touch her; and (2) because it doesn’t feel contrived: Kami’s not stringing anyone along and she’s not being dishonest.
I’d tell you all about how much I love Jared, but I don’t think we need that.
And then, when many secrets come out and we’re treated intriguing news that leads to a heart-breaking decision, THE BOOK ENDS.
Which leads me to …
I’ve only read Untold once before, so this re-read was all about seeing what I’d missed the first time around: the little clues and glances and touches.
“Been chatting much with Jared?”
“We often have special moments where I come into a room and he immediately leaves,” Kami said. “I treasure those times.”
Yet again, I really, really enjoyed the characters and their interactions. I think the strength of this series lies in its characters.
My favourite aspects of the novel:
This … because FINALLY!
“Every time he touched her, the touch felt new, like something they had just invented together.”
The high levels of danger and darkness (and how Kami’s knight in shining armour shines):
“I’ll bury you alive by her garden gate. I’ll enjoy it. Every time she goes out in the morning, every time she comes home, she’ll walk on your grave, and she’ll know she’s safe.”
“Excuse me, what is wrong with you?” Kami demanded. “Other people’s sexuality is not your spectator sport.”
“Oh, okay,” Kami said. “In that case, you’re going to give me a minute. I’m picturing you and Jared. Naked. Entwined.”
“I don’t care,” Kami informed him. “All you are to me are sex objects that I choose to imagine bashing together at random. Oh, there you go again, look at that, nothing but Lynburn skin as far as the mind’s eye can see. Masculine groans fill the air, husky and…”
Someone needed to say and it and OMG am I glad that it happened in this book. I love that Brennan didn’t make a huge deal over the sexualities of her characters, but at the same time, called out people who had weird attitudes about it. Best lines in the book, I think, because Kami very effectively points out how wrong it is to express interest in someone’s relationship just because lesbians are hot or something.
But the best part about Untold is this:
“Being able to depend on someone doesn’t mean you’re dependent on them.”
This is from my review: And of course, there is a lot of focus on Kami and Jared – in particular, on who they are now they are not linked. Both of them, having been linked since birth, have never ever actually been alone, and it’s heartbreaking that they are now as alone as the rest of us and aren’t mentally and emotionally equipped to deal with it. They are violently attracted to one another, but each has their own issues to deal with and there is a lot of tension because of this. I hesitate to call it relationship drama, because it’s so much more than that — this is two people who do not know how to live without one another on a level that none of us can comprehend (although the author brings it to life wonderfully).
And then, another awesome sorcery fight and some horrible sacrifices later, Untold ended. I was heart-broken but at the same Very Excited because I finally have Unmade in my hands and can find out all the things that have been hidden from me, like
1) Why Jared won’t touch Kami except for when they’re trying to suck each other’s faces off;
2) What Matthew Cooper has to do with everything;
3) And many, many other questions which are rather spoiler filled and so aren’t included here.
So, now I’m finally going to go and read Unmade, and I hope this post has achieved its two purposes, which are to encourage anyone who hasn’t picked up these books to go and look into them, and to remind fans of the series to go out and grab a copy of Unmade (and then read it immediately).
Here are a few interesting things I’ve come across over the years, which will be super-interesting to both long time fans and people who are considering getting into the series:
1) Free prequel novellas: The Spring Before I Met You (Jared) and The Summer Before I Met You (Kami);
2) A free e-novella told from Ash’s point of view set immediately after Unspoken ends, called The Night After I Lost You;
3) A short-lived Tumblr account that aims to be the online component of Kami’s The Nosy Parker.