A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{April 15, 2012}   Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Plot: Kami grew up in the quiet town of Sorry-in-the-Vale in the shadow of the mysterious Aurimere house. It seemed to be a town without secrets until the mysterious Lynburn family returned to their house on the hill. The Lynburns inexplicably inspire both respect and fear in the townspeople and aspiring-reporter Kami is determined to find out why. Before long she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. But Kami has a a secret too: since she was a child, she has talked to a voice in her head. When that voice turns out to be a very real boy, and a Lynburn to boot, she isn’t sure how to deal.

This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy received from Netgalley.

Unspoken is the first book in Sarah Rees Brennan’s new series, the Lynburn Legacy. It is a witty, exciting gothic mystery about a girl sleuth and the mysterious family that has always reigned over her town. I love that it actually is a mystery, with research, investigation and break-ins (which aren’t criminal because they are for truth!). The real joy that Kami and Jared take in their investigations (despite the fear it sometimes engenders) added to the fun and excitement for the reader. An atmosphere of danger and suspicion slowly grows in the tale until, like Kami, you aren’t sure who to trust anymore. I’ve read books in which all the build-up led to a disappointing or non-sensical reveal (the butler did it!), but this is not the case in Unspoken: the resolution of the mystery is both satisfying and terrifying. I will not talk about the magical system, except to say that it is fascinating, because it plays a significant part in the mystery. You can discover it along with Kami.

Kami is a great heroine: she is passionate, quirky, intelligent and fearless in the pursuit of truth. She has some wonderful sidekicks in Angela (Sorry-in-the-Vale’s very own sleeping beauty, always looking for a spot to nap but fully capable of kicking ass) and Holly (whose joy at finally having female friends is truly touching). And then there are the boys: the perfect-seeming Ash Lynburn and his bad-boy cousin Jared. Though, personally, I have a soft spot for Angela’s brother Rusty, who is as lazy as his sister but is also fun and overly dedicated to teaching the girls self-defense.

The best part of Rees Brennan’s novel is how she deals with the relationship between Kami and Jared. We often talk about love as a meeting of minds, of two hearts being one and she could have easily have written their mental link as a romantic one. It’s much more interesting because she goes in the opposite direction. She looks at how difficult it would be to suddenly find out that your imaginary friend is a very real, physical person. Jared can’t even bring himself to touch her. Romance is next to impossible in those circumstances. Their relationship is clearly difficult but I still find it beautiful, the way they support each other and share their joy and pain.

The ending of the book is perfect and it broke my heart. Rees Brennan sows the seeds for much worse things to come and completely changes the stakes in the relationships between the characters. I cannot wait for the next book.

Unspoken will be released on September 11th 2012. Meanwhile, you can go to Sarah Rees Brennan’s LJ to read the first 3 chapters and see a lovely picture of Ash Lynburn.

2012 (#37)


[…] Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan « A Rogue Librarian's Reading List […]

[…] is the sequel to Rees Brennan’s amazing Unspoken. If you haven’t, go read that first; I wouldn’t want to spoil it. She broke my heart at […]

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