Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley!
We join Kennedy just over 2 weeks since the events of Unbreakable, and she's been packed off to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. The world is pretty much going to crap around her, there's been a missing girl every day since, and they all look creepily like her. The day creepy writing with a message appears on her mirror, Jared finally finds her. Feeling like she doesn't belong, she goes with the gang and Elle in search of her long lost Aunt Faith, her Dad's secret sister.
Using her memory they track down a taxidermy museum that holds the clues to finding her aunt, but when they do, paranoid is...well that's being polite. Her aunt's specialty is prophetic dreams and after a run in with the Illuminati they've been hunting her. But they brought something with them, and when Andras finds them, the end result is tragic.
Using the clues her aunt left her, they learn more about the Freemasons, and when they finally find the journal....they learn more about the night Andras was freed. Setting out to find Andras turns out to be easier than it first seemed, when he finds them, but after some shocking revelations regarding Kennedy's family, followed by an accident with Andras, the life of someone she loves is left hanging in the balance and they find themselves working with the enemy. The Illuminati. Could they not be the villains they've been lead to believe?
"We have officially entered The Exorcist territory"
Nooooooooooooooo. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. *sob*. Dammit all. My poor feels just can't take this, I'm slightly glad the third book isn't out yet because it saves me some pain and suffering, but then I'm not glad because now I have to wait. But what a thrilling sequel, it's not often sequels can match the first books but this one manages it!
It pretty much picks up straight away, pulling you in to the story, but time has passed so we get flashbacks of Kennedy remembering what happened after Unbreakable ended so we don't miss out on anything and it's more interesting than pages of "previously on The Legion"
With Unbreakable we had what was kind of like mini episodes of Supernatural, with the whole different locations and destroying the ghosts thing, to get and build the Shift. This is an entirely different....what's the word, format? Story? I don't know. In this we have the search for her aunt, the clues to be followed to the journal, the run in with Andras, and then trying to find a way to save Jared. Unmarked is aaaalll about the demons and specifically Andras, there's no vengeance spirits in this, I mean there's a residual haunting which was delightfully creepy but this ones the demon book. Which ya know....means it's less creepy....sort of.
But I loved the change of pace with the story, I loved the focus on the demons in this book and Andras, it's keeping the series interesting. We learn more about demons in this book, as well as more about the Illuminati. I can't get enough of the rich lore/history whatever you want to call it regarding the story's world and the things in it. It's every bit as rich and detailed as Unbreakable.
Unmarked continues the fast pace, engaging narrative, and concise and smooth prose. There is literally nothing for me to complain about so this will be a gushing review full of love. This book is so engrossing it's not even funny! It's also just as humorous as it is serious and sad, the scene where they're talking about what they'd be doing if they weren't in the Legion and Priests reaction, for example, was heartbreaking. Our characters become more complex, we're left needing to know more about them, the third book is subtly set up at the end and the world continues to ooze off the page and surround you.
"I'm not sticking around to be one of the Ghostbusters"
So we have the taxidermy museum, nice and creepy, slightly wish I couldn't picture it so well, but there we go. We have her aunts house, we have the tomb in Boston and theeeeennn the safe-house. I can picture all clearly in my mind, and I love being able to do that. Each place had an atmosphere that you felt while reading and again the world sucked you in. I was oblivious to everything and everyone.
There was plenty to keep you intrigued in the book, I was trying to work out what the deal was with the missing girls, to no avail. The plot twists are insane, and if I was home alone I would have shrieked/screamed and had a full out temper tantrum at the one with Jared....I mean dude, seriously. And it's still not resolved and we have to wait for book three....someone hold me!
"She missed the chapter on prison tats in criminal history class"
I love these two books because it's not often I read a book lately and I can't work out what's going to happen next. I always work it out. Not so with Unbreakable and Unmarked, I tried, I really tried but I got nothing. I loved it! It's just so great to be able to read a book and not know what's going to happen next so you're frantically turning the pages.
Like I already said, we learn loads more this book, particularly about the Illuminati as we meet the characters of Gabriel and Dimitri. It would appear Gabriel was tasked with spying on Kennedy's aunt, broke her heart and was also a friend of Kennedy's mums because SPOILER ALERT, her mum was a freaking Illuminati. You can imagine my face when I was reading! I'm really excited to learn more, because her mum was part of an order that where kind of a shady group of Illuminati's that weren't sanctioned, and now I want to know more and why her mum got involved and so on.
"A marquis of hell preying on a bunch of kids? Times must be tough Andras"
We also get a deeper look in to what happened the night the Legion summoned Andras, what went wrong and the whole one of the Legion stabbing the Angel but not actually killing her like they'd assumed.
I enjoy the flashbacks, whether it's Kennedy remembering something, or courtesy of a journal entry it's a nice break from the narrative that keeps it fresh and conveys important information in an interesting way while adding to the intrigue.
There's a new interesting twists regarding the Vessel which is assumed to be the Shift but turns out to be the White Dove, who is Kennedy, who was predicted by her aunt and I'm excited to watch that play out and see where it goes!
Jared and Kennedy are finally together in this one and they're are so adorable which is what makes what happens so heartbreaking, because they really deserve a break. After releasing Andras Kennedy is feeling really guilty, and pretty much is feeling how Jared always feels, so they make kind of the perfect match.
In Unbreakable we saw a brief glimpse of Elle and I was sad not to see that much of her but for anyone feeling the same, don't worry, because Elle is along for the ride as well in Unmarked! It would also appear her and Lukas have something going on *winkwink* which means we'll be avoiding a love triangle, although there is still going to be plenty of angst to keep things interesting!
"No-one touched your precious demon-slayer belt Buffy"
I must say I really like the character of Elle, she's the perfect best friend, so fiercely loyal to Kennedy, I love how she just believes everything Kennedy tells her, no questions asked and even through everything she still sticks with the gang. I'm excited to see more of her and Lukas too. I wasn't sure how I felt about a possible love triangle, but I love how Lukas has Elle and is just Kennedy's friend. I also love her bickering with Alara, and watching their friendship grow was a nice added touch to the story! I need more of those two together!
Dimitri and Gabriel are....interesting. I love Gabriel's snark, and while he and Dimitri are new characters, they have just as much depth as our other main characters, including Elle who clearly has more to her from some things Kennedy said about her family. Gabriel was her mothers friend, and I do want to know more about him but right now I'm focused on Dimitri, we don't get as much about him as Gabriel and I neeeedd to know what his deal is! SO much intrigue!
"Holding hands while you waited for your Wonder Twin powers to activate?"
I'm also excited to see the whole Kennedy being Illuminati thing playing out. Like I said I want to know more about her mum, but I also want to see how this plays out. In the beginning Priest and Alara are very not okay with it and a line is drawn in the sand but as it carries on they appear to be over it, and I want to see whether Kennedy can still become the Legion member when her Dad dies, or if she'll be joining Gabriel and co.
Yes, yes I did say Kennedy's dad. He pops up. I think he's a douche. Kennedy is really easy to connect with, and you feel what she feels, so I was feeling some rage when her dad was all "you think you love him" about Jared. Turns out her Dad is the fifth Legion member and I'm soooo not buying what he's selling with his excuses.
With the arrival of Kennedy's Dad you can see the relationship with Kennedy and Alara thrown in to sharp relief. Like Kennedy says in the book, Alara has known her for a short time but knows her better than her stalker father. I love Alara's friendship with Kennedy and after her saying Kennedy reminds her of Maya her sister I had so many feels. So many.
We get more Alara background too! We know she's rich, but in this installment we see her sister and brother helping her out so she doesn't have to do what her parents say, and it turns out she has a secret hot boy. More of him please!
"I'm going to my room, or whatever you call those cryogenic chambers where you have us sleeping"
We also get more of Priest and what life was like for him and I'm really feeling for him. His grandfather was all he had, and he doesn't have another person like everyone else does, can we please give him a new friend? Pleaaaseee?
Lukas....well, we get a deeper look at him as well. As we all gathered from the previous book he and Jared where very competitive, because their father favoured Jared, and we see more of how deep that went, because it's revealed that Lukas isn't quite the golden boy everyone thinks he is. He knew about the list and didn't stop Jared because he wanted him to get in trouble, I can see his reasoning, but it's another side to Lukas I didn't suspect was lurking. Especially as he partially deserves some of the blame.
I'm excited to see more of the new group dynamic. It's been revealed about Jared and the list and as expected Priest and Alara aren't happy, Priest more so. While Alara appears to be okay with Kennedy despite knowing she knew, Priest is really not okay with Jared at all, and I'm not sure how he is with Kennedy, he was really pissed but then he seemed a bit more mellow at the end. So it's really going to change the dynamic of the group especially when Jared is back.
Because of this our merry band of demon/ghost fighters are split as Dimitri takes Priest and Alara to look for a new demon Bastiel, that Andras released. I'm sad because I need more of Alara and Kennedy's friendship especially after what Alara said, and I need for Priest to be okay with Kennedy because he was her first friend and ugh. I don't like them being separated!
I'm ridiculously excited for the next book to see how everything plays out, and like I said, particularly the whole Kennedy/Illuminati thing and if Priest and Alara are really okay about it or if they'll shove her out again. Not to mention Kennedy having to deal with her dad although I think Elle might rip him to shreds? The new pieces of information have tided me over but there's so much more to know and I love how we get just enough to keep us going but we're still left with questions, it's the perfect blend!
Unmarked is a strong sequel to what's turning into a fantastically unique series filled with great friendships, plenty of creepyness and a smidge of world saving! There's plenty of different puzzles to try and work out but the unpredictability of the book is another feature that marks out from the crowd. The world of Unmarked is fast becoming a favourite and the lively characters jumping of the page are becoming more loved each installment! Bring on round three!