Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees BrennanUnmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #3
Published by Random House BFYR on September 23, 2014
Genres: Gothic, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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A modern, magical twist on the Gothic romance and girl detective genres, the Lynburn Legacy books will appeal to fans of both Beautiful Creaturesand the Mortal Instruments series.

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

As coauthor with Cassandra Clare of the bestselling Bane Chronicles, Sarah Rees Brennan has mastered the art of the page-turner. This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

*applauds* Unmade, to me, deserves much applause. I can’t say that this book or series is flawless, even by my limited measure. It’s not. However, it’s brilliant in two major ways: 1) every book in this series improves on what came before and 2) this book mucked about with my feels like I was a piece of clothing in a washing machine. This is not so easily done. For fans of the series, Unmade will make you an emotional wreck and even prouder to be a fan of the Lynburn Legacy.

I’ve read the full series over the last two months. I’m really sad to be done with it. The fact is that I’m not ready to let Kami, Angela, Jared, Holly and Rusty go. I’m sorry, Ash. I wish you well, but I still am able to let you go happily enough. These characters have come to vibrant life for me and closing out their story leaves me feeling separated from friends, in a way that’s perhaps not unlike Jared and Kami’s severing; I know they’re still there, but I don’t know them as intimately and have no way of tracking their actions.

Once again, I must praise the brilliant bantery writing. It’s perfection. I bonded so hard to Angela and Kami and Rusty because they all major in banter. They’re my favorites for a reason. I know everyone isn’t into wordplay, but nothing’s better for me than that. The tone of this series changes so perfectly. With each installment, the tone gets darker. By Unmade, things are pretty heavy. You actually get to see what Sorry-in-the-Vale is like without banter and it’s a sad place made of pain. Finding humor in the situation is the only way that Kami’s gang get through the tough times.

Now I know I’ve mocked Ash a bit. He can sort of banter, but he’s ultimately just not someone who interests me. What I do enjoy about Ash is that he’s the more obvious love interest in a lot of ways. His appearance is perfect, where Jared’s is marred by a scar. Ash is polite and thoughtful. On paper, he’s so great. With Kami’s connection to him, the reader gets a view into Ash’s mind and I like that he’s very different under the surface. Unmade makes him a bit more real, which is cool. I did find the scene View Spoiler »

Discussing this book without spoilers is a challenge. All I can really say is that I think the plot worked pretty well. A lot of it was predictable on a larger scale. Choices were set up and not a surprise. Except for one. I think the predictability works fairly well, since Kami is the sort of person to research a bunch before taking action. Things that she does are not going to come out of left field, and I like that about her. Even when she does something impulsively, it’s a whole different realm of impulsive than Jared’s or Lillian’s. This is why Kami’s plans turn out much better in general.

The romance is very sweet. All of the couples’ romantic problems are not due to the larger scenario. I’ve praised this before, but I continue to be so glad of that. The romantic fate of Kami and Jared has very little to do with Rob. Yeah, they might die because of him, which would put a damper on the relationship, but that’s it. The struggles of all of the couples are those of trust; they need to learn to believe that the other person truly cares. My one sadness ship-wise is that I ended up with a bit of a crackship, which usually does not happen to me. Damn you, View Spoiler », for not being meant to be.

Also, the star of this book? Jon Glass. I love this man so damn much. He’s one of the best fathers in YA. He’s loving and caring and also completely hilarious. Kami is so much like her dad and we finally get to really know him and he is impossible for me to not love. It’s rare to see the parents’ relationship get development, but that happens here. I adore Jon Glass.

The series lacks for me in a handful of ways that are inconsequential in terms of my emotional enjoyment, but do keep me from quite swooning utterly. The lack of Britishness is pretty consistent, with one or two scenes per book that remind you that this is not actually America, as much as it reads like it could be. Rob never became anything more than a psychopath. He lacked motivation and development. He’s fine as a villain, creepy certainly, but I wanted more from him. View Spoiler » I also thought that Henry’s character ended up being narratively pointless. I like Henry okay, but I think the only thing he actually accomplished was to be a source of romantic confusion, since people thought Holly might be into him. View Spoiler »

This series was magnificent in the feels and some of the best banter to exist ever. Might I casually suggest a spin-off series about Angela and Holly? Pretty please?

Favorite Quote:

“I suppose some were born acting, some achieve action, and some have action thrust upon while they wail feebly ‘Dear God, no, let me sleep in.'”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif crying or laughing gilmore girls

2 responses to “Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan”

  1. Nori says:

    I would love a spin-off series too! Honestly, though I would just love more anything by this author. I was never a huge Ash fan either (we agree!). But, what I super love maybe above the banter, but probably not above the characters, was the play on my emotions. Seriously, I was laughing out loud at moments, shocked and destroyed in other moments, and just plain feeling all the feels for it all. I also loved that the romance all happened outside the main plot arcs. I would like more of that in YA. The ships seemed more believable this way.
    Nori recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (116)My Profile

  2. Meg says:

    Your crackship is perfection and it is the greatest of tragedies that it wasn’t to be canon.
    Meg recently posted…Review: The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick IIIMy Profile

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