Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Unspoken

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
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Jun 01, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

** spoiler alert ** ***HUGE SPOILERS!!!!***Kami has always had an imaginary friend, Jared, who can talk to her, but that's just one of the things that makes her "weird". She and her friend Angela have decided to start a school newspaper and do investigative reporting (well, Angela just wants to nap!), so when the Lynburn family moves back to the small English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, they take it upon themselves to find out more about them, especially the two really good looking boys their age, Ash and ...Jared. Yes, it turns out that Jared is the boy that Kami has been talking to in her head for all of these years. When another student informs them that the screams people are hearing at night in the nearby woods may be animal sacrifices, the girls look into this and find that the Lynburn family has been feared for generations. For good reason, they are sorcerers who have performed animal and even human sacrifices for years. To make matters worse, Kami and Jared are connected because both of their mothers drank blood in a ceremony when they were pregnant, and now Kami is Jared's source of power. If she dies, he dies. Kami thinks that perhaps some of the Lynburns might be good, even with their vast history of cruelty, but it's hard to tell which one of them, if any, is on her side.
Strengths: This is a good, bloody, solid, English paranormal mystery. It reminds me vaguely of some of the Green Man legends, where evil inherent to an area rears its ugly head. There aren't a lot of mystery series, and this is book one-- I can't wait to see the other covers, since this is particularly nice. Blue and green next? I also like how Kami is described as being half Japanese and it's part of her character but not the entire focus of the story.
Weaknesses: I adore Brennan's Demon's Lexicon Trilogy. This book, however, has some odd weak spots in it that could have benefited from tighter editing. Hard to explain, but I'd be reading along and Kami would say something that sounded wrong-- either too old or too young. There were also a few scenes where a major event was just brushed over with little character involvement (the first human murder) that struck me as something that was written in draft and somehow escaped refinement. I mention this because it seems unusual for this writer, and surprised me.

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message 1: by Angie (new) - added it

Angie I am in the middle of this. I've always heard good things about her but I really ... really do not care for this. Which surprises me because 1)I LOVE STORIES BASED IN ENGLAND and 2)I enjoy a good paranormal. But so MUCH sounds wrong in this one. Debating finishing it. And if I do do I put the review on Netgalley? Or do I post a review at all? Or do the better parts happen near the end? Right now about halfway through I'd give it a two. If it got better I would be willing to go up. So unsure of blogging rules/etiquette.

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