Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review | Unmarked by Kami Garcia - with Audiobook Notes

Unmarked by Kami Garcia
Series: Legion #2
Published by Little, Brown BYR
Publish Date: September 30, 2014
384 Pages
Source: Book - Lauren from Love is not a triangle. Thank you, friend! / Audiobook - Library


He is here... and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us–a demon she accidentally set free. 

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?
 (from Goodreads)



Unmarked by Kami Garcia

My Thoughts:  After enjoying Unbreakable by Kami Garcia so much, Unmarked was one of my most highly-anticipated releases of 2014. (Here is my review.). I even recently reread Unbreakable via print + audiobook before tackling Unmarked because so much happens in the first book. I wanted to be ready. 

Unmarked begins just a few weeks after the end of the previous book. Main character Kennedy has been separated from her friends in the Legion after demon/bad guy Andras was released to wreak havoc on the world. This is for the best, Kennedy thinks. She's sure that she is the reason for all of the bad things that have happened and are happening out in the world - she's the very reason Andras was set free to do all of these bad things. Weird weather, missing girls, things like that. It's not a pretty place out there right now. 

Kennedy begins the book at a boarding school for girls, having been sent there by her aunt (remember her mother is killed in the beginning of the first book and her dad is nowhere to be found). Her friends from the Legion soon come to rescue her, and they go off to fight the good fight, the Good vs. Evil fight, to defeat Andras, the bad guy. 

There are a couple of key problems: 

1. Kennedy doesn't have her mark, the mark that identifies her as part of the Legion. They actually don't know who the missing fifth member is - but until Kennedy gets a mark, it certainly isn't her. SO WHO IS IT? 
2. Love interest Jared, also in the Legion, has been taken over by the bad guys - by taken over, I mean that he is currently demon-possessed. He isn't alone inside of his body. It's completely creepy. 

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Unmarked by Kami Garcia is, in my opinion, a little bit less strong book than the book before it. I loved all of the returning characters, and the new faces are fun too, but it felt like what they were working toward in this book was just a little bit narrow. What I mean is that YES, they're looking for the last person carrying the mark, the last member of the Legion, and YES, they're looking to defeat Andras - but that's kind of what they were doing in the last book. I felt like I wanted a little bit more. 

To be fair, there are some twists and turns in the plot. There is a little bit MORE that does come, but it takes a little while to get there. By the end of the book, I certainly felt closer to what I feel is the end goal, so I can appreciate that overall. But the twists felt a little bit smaller than what I wanted out of Unmarked. I'm hoping for something big in the final installment, because THAT END, wow. The plot twist at the end left me holding my breath, actually. I'm ready for the final part of the story to feel like this series is completed, to feel some resolution for these characters because they've been through so much, particularly Jared. 

As far as the romance goes - the first time I read Unbreakable, SOMEHOW I didn't really consider the love triangle a strong one. I'm not sure how I came to that understanding with my reading-self...because on my reread, the love triangle felt pretty big. I also stated in my review of Unbreakable that the romance didn't really take up a major part of the plot line, but on the reread I found myself wishing that it would take a little less of the plot. SO INTERESTING, right? That a reread can feel so different? Anyway - 

- the romance in Unmarked is way better, I think. The feeling of a potential love triangle felt suspended, at least for this second installment. The un-involved brother never felt like a threat to the romantic relationship between Kennedy and Jared during the portions of the story in which Jared is incapacitated (and he is for much of this story). It is easy to see that Kennedy's heart lies with Jared. I loved this affirmation because I do like the two of them together. 

I can't wait to see what comes in the finale. I'll admit that this story was almost too creepy for me. Demons are a place that I don't tend to go in my reading, but I have enjoyed this series so far. 

I recommend Unmarked to fans of young adult paranormal/supernatural stories. I'm ready for the next part of this story because I feel like I'm just holding on, holding on, holding on after WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END. Doggone it. Next installment, please! 

Audiobook Notes:  The audiobook format of Unmarked by Kami Garcia is published by Hachette Audio and is 8 hours and 48 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Christine Lakin who I already knew and loved from listening to her performance of Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This narrator was great for this part because she made an already-creepy book sound a little bit creepier; this isn't a negative thing at all. What I mean is that she did such a great job of pausing at the right places and placing accents in the right places - I feel like she represented Kennedy well at this place in her life, so stressed and scared. This reader is different from the reader that read the first book in the series. Both do a great job in their respective books and I would recommend both as first reads or rereads. 

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Unmarked will appeal to fans of:

YA Paranormal/Supernatural
Romance:  Already established from the first book,
the love triangle present in the first book seems to have gone away
for this installment.  

Unmarked by Kami Garcia
is currently available for purchase.

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The Legion Series: 




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