In the town of Jericho, a group of misfit teenagers haunts the underbelly of their society. Armed with the ability to manipulate different parts of nature, these teenagers fight for their right to stay alive. In the months following an attack on their lives, danger still lurks around them. Those behind the original strike have risen from the ashes, and new powers are beginning to reveal themselves. With this mysterious threat imminent, Mara, Miyuki, and the rest of the Unusuals must stand together to fight. However, time is running out for the group, for someone—or something—is hunting them, and this time around, not all of them will survive.
“Picking up where Mara left off, Miyuki is an enthralling tale that brims with the same action-packed storytelling and complex teenage realism that fueled its predecessor. Author Veronica Bane has built Jericho into a supremely engaging world that is at once strangely mysterious and comfortingly familiar, and the pulse-pounding buildup to our unlikely heroes’ final confrontation will leave readers clamoring to know what will happen next.” -Ashley Heaton, Editor
Unlike a lot of sequels, Miyuki doesn’t spend a lot of time doing a recap on the first book, Mara. Thankfully, Mara was easily memorable that I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with the story even if it had been months since I read the first book. I think a couple of people have been wondering why the books are named after the characters in the book. I don’t really know what the author’s attention is, but as I see it, certain characters are given more focus in each book.
The Unusuals series is told in multiple third person point of views though so there isn’t really much focus on each character. Miyuki, however, was given more of a back story. I’m honestly not a big fan of Miyuki – maybe it’s my loyalty to Mara – but there are times when she would go too far and she doesn’t really bother much to listen to others. But she definitely has a good heart, and her intentions are good. And I love her ability to control water. I’m a little sad about Chris though who has been pining for her for a long time, but who is only seen as a friend. I loved seeing how Miyuki and Chris first met and how they have been together since.
Mara is also softening up a little in this book. She can still be a raging fire sometimes that burns whatever is in her way. But she has also learned to moderate herself a little and has become a source of warmth in developing relationships with the other characters in the book. She is now more open to helping out her allies and friends and listening to them. I especially love her relationship with Miles, and how it is slowly growing. They should totally be together! I think it’s adorable how a spitfire like Mara is tempered by a scrawny nerd like Miles.
I think what also makes this book or series so special is its uniqueness from most YA books nowadays.I personally feel that a lot of authors, especially female ones, focus too much on romance. I find it refreshing that the romance (if there is any) is just a side note to everything else that is happening all throughout the book. I also love Veronica Bane’s description for the characters because they are all so real. A lot of YA books describe so many characters as beautiful, but there is none of that here. I love seeing love for those scrawny nerds or girls with glasses and bushy hair.
One thing I must say about this book is that it is very intense. I kept on going “holy sh*t” in my head or whispering it because of everything that’s happening. There is so much action, violence, and brutality. Veronica Bane does not hold back with her descriptions. And there was this certain scene somewhere halfway through the book that made me lose it. And I just keep on asking “why why why why why.”
Lastly, I must say that I love how a little more details have been given to the abilities of the Unusuals, and why they are being hunted. I also liked meeting a couple of new Unusuals that control other things too. I know I compared this to Avatar in my Mara review, but I have found that there is more to this one. It’s not all about the basic elements anymore – fire, ground, water, etc. – but there are also other Unusuals who can control other elements of nature.
OVERALL, Miyuki is fascinating, action-packed and intense. There aren’t a lot of books written by female authors that I would recommend to my little brother, but Miyuki, or the whole Unusuals series for that matter, will definitely be one of the few that I would tell him to read. I love how it is different from a lot of YA books nowadays. This book was definitely awesome. I must warn of the cliffhanger in the end though. But I surely adore this book and I will be looking out for the next one in the series!
Miyuki was not the story I would’ve liked it to be, and I blame the page limit for this. Although this second installment of the Unusuals series was almost as badass and action-packed as the first, character and relationship development seemed to be left behind, and the plot twists were unusual and unexpected. The story also ended with a cliffhanger, and you know how I feel about those… (and if you don’t, you’re about to!)
Introduction With Mara’s brother, Zach, siding with the enemy to eliminate the Unusuals from the town of Jericho, Mara, Miyuki, and their friends need more help than ever to stay alive. As the group continues to try to find and recruit the other Unusuals before the enemy does, they discover that things are not as they seem. They find enemies among friends, and friends among enemies. Which side will prevail? (Hint: I don’t know either. Hmph.)
Discussion So with the title named after a certain character in the story, I expected to get to know everything about Miyuki and her past, as well as her secret crush on her childhood friend. (The last part of that was all me – Bane turned me into a shipper already after one book!) Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen; Miyuki gets almost the same page time compared to the other main characters from the first book, and her romantic ventures are unsatisfactory (as in not what I ship, therefore I don’t understand). The good thing about that is that I got to learn more about the characters’ personalities. Still, I want more Miyuki time!
Also, with such a short book, relationship development has been shoved off to the side so that there’s room for action and plot twists, but this just left me craving for more details about both the relationships and the plot twists. For example, Mara and her brother’s relationship is hinted at in Mara, but their relationship remains stuck at that point even in this book. The plot twists are also unexpected and suffer from the lack of proper backstories. I think I had questions from Mara that I wanted answered in Miyuki, but Miyuki had to keep pushing forward, so I’m left feeling excited but with a significant buildup of “but wait’s”.
And that ending. OH MAN. Right in the middle of the action, and right after a major shocker too, and I just can’t deal with cliffhanger endings! Hopefully the third book will hold the answers to EVERYTHING. (There’s a third book, right? Right???)
Conclusion Overall, Miyuki keeps the action going while sacrificing backstories and a more coherent plot. And maybe if this was a full-length book instead of a novella, I would’ve enjoyed it more… so I’d say that it’s a combination of book format and the Second Book Syndrome that makes Miyuki a less enjoyable read than Mara.
I have to say I enjoyed every minute of this book. Action-wise it was best than the first one, but in character development I felt it was a bit short, because we were left almost in the same place as we were in book one.
As it is a novella, the plot is very fast paced, which is good when it comes to getting into the book, but not so helpful at times because I’m always left wanting more and with tons of unanswered questions. I think maybe a longer book will allow the plot to develop with more detail; especially when it comes to character’s backgrounds.
Nevertheless, this book brings a lot of unexpected turns and twists, the plot certainly thickens, but new questions arise, when few of the old ones are answered; and it ends with a horrible cliffhanger! I mean, you shouldn’t be allowed to do that, that’s pure and utter torture. I need to know now!
I did love the more aggressive turn the plot took. It was very crude at times, but so is the Hunger Games, and that doesn’t take anything away from a great book. It did remind me of said book in certain aspects, but I won’t tell how, because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I already stated that character development was a bit poor, because we barely learned anything new about them. It still baffles me why the books are called after characters if they are all written in various points of view, and aren’t especially centred on any of them. Maybe slightly on Mara.
I did like to see Mara and Miyuki’s relationship grow, and how the group was acting more responsible regarding their current predicament. It was great to see them standing up for their principles and being brave and mature about their acts.
New characters were introduced, but I still want some more about them.
I very much appreciate the different points of view, because it allows us to understand the whole picture. We always know what is happening with the group when they are not together, and it also allows us a better insight at Mara and Miyuki’s relationship.
The book is intriguing, engrossing and filled with tension. I felt like the author took a lot of risks with this plot, and I’m glad to say that they worked for me. I’m glad about the direction the story is taking, even though I have some conflicts with the whole idea that Unusuals are monsters. It portrays truthfully how we, as human beings, are scared of the unknown and have a tendency to its destruction.
*Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, but my opinion was not biased in any way by this fact.
In the town of Jericho, a group of misfit teenagers haunts the underbelly of their society. Armed with the ability to manipulate different parts of nature, these teenagers fight for their right to stay alive. In the months following an attack on their lives, danger still lurks around them. Those behind the original strike have risen from the ashes, and new powers are beginning to reveal themselves. With this mysterious threat imminent, Mara, Miyuki, and the rest of the Unusuals must stand together to fight. However, time is running out for the group because someone, or something, is hunting them, and this time around, not all of them will survive.
Miyuki is a return to dangerous, secretive Jericho, a town where people who are different are feared and quite often hunted down, a town where some rather unusual teenagers are fighting back while also winging it a bit.
The group is back, complete with Mara, Miles, Miyuki, Chris, Alex, and Terry. After meeting The Stranger and knowing what he's up to, they continue training in order to fight back, to push back, to save the others like them and put a stop to the death and slaughter. Mara's continued anger at her brother fuel her need for revenge and she struggles to move on from it, to focus on the task at hand, but it sounds like there's something dark in her past concerning him. Miyuki is focused more on finding others like them and keeping them safe. Like before, the two girls clash, perhaps because they both want to be in charge, both attempt to direct the action and their mission.
Enemies abound in this story both old and new. Danger is always following them, watching them. People are still after the Unusuals, wanting to find them, stop them, kill them. Things get dangerous rather quickly.
It felt like things were happening a lot faster in this book than in the first book. There is some back story at the beginning, some reminding, but then it seems to jump right into the action, right into the suspense and the fighting. Now that they know what they are, that they're not alone, that they're hunted, they're forced to fight for their lives. I hope that the next installment will come soon because, after that ending, I'm desperate to know what happens next. And I'm still shocked about who died. Wow.
In Miyuki I was launched back into the world of the Unusuals! I rejoined the band of misfit teenagers in Jericho.
Once again the teens are fighting for their right to stay alive and live their lives in peace! We see the return of the baddies behind the original attack in book 1. We meet some new players! Will these new players be good or bad?
So Mara, Miyuki and the rest of the group of Unusuals need to stick together and be prepared to fight once more. Not everyone will be able to fight as there is someone or something hunting them. This someone or something is determined to kill them all; one by one.
This is the second book in the series, last year I read Book 1; Mara, (my review can be found here). I was left wondering what was going to happen next, so when I received an email from Veronica asking me if I'd like to review book 2, naturally I replied "yes please"!
Mara is able to control fire and can conjure flames and fireballs in the palm of her hand. Miyuki has control over water, which is more difficult as she needs to have water nearby in order for her to manipulate it.
As much as Miyuki, Mara and friends seem intent on doing nothing except living their own lives, not all unusuals are so good natured! It's because of these 'other' unusuals that once again Miyuki, Mara and company are forced to find a way to fight/escape them and stay alive.
Once again I found myself hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Miyuki. This book is concentrated more on Miyuki so we learn about her, see things from her perspective. There is still lots of interaction with all the other characters too.
Veronica's writing style seems to have progressed and grown in this book, along with her characters. The goings on in both books seem to have helped each of the characters to grow, their personalities appear stronger; Mara's stubbornness is ever present.
It looks as though Veronica is choosing one character to focus on and use as that particular book's title, I'm interested to see what the title will be and who will be the focus foe the 3rd book.
All in all Miyuki is another great book from Veronica, I'm certainly glad that I squeezed this one into my already heaving TBR list
This review published originally on giantsquidbooks.com.
After reading Mara I couldn’t wait for the second book in Veronica Bane’s Unusuals series–it was just begging for a sequel. At the end of Mara, the Unusuals have just begun to come together and confront the danger they face from the Stranger as well as their personal conflicts: Mara’s past with her abusive brother, Chris’ complicated feelings for Miyuki, Miyuki’s absent parents. All of that and more develops in this second installment, and–no spoilers– Miyuki leaves the reader hanging off an even steeper cliff than Mara did.
Once again Ms. Bane uses flashbacks to sculpt a story that is impressively multi-layered, a tribute to Black Hill Press’ mission of publishing novellas with the “focus of a short story and the scope of a novel.” The characters and conflicts that were planted in Mara start to poke up through the soil in Miyuki and will inevitably bloom in future installments.
There were things that didn’t quite hit home with me–a cast slightly larger than I felt the length of the novella allowed for left me a little confused, and the beginning was a little slow. But when Miyuki hits its stride, it hits it hard!
My favorite thing overall was the complicated nature of the relationships in this book, which are so much more dynamic than in the average YA story. Few things are made explicit, and characters don’t divide neatly in to friends and enemies–leading ladies Mara and Miyuki snap at each other constantly, and the Unusuals are united not by friendship but rather mutual isolation, which I loved.
“Do you think I’m a monster?”
“No. I just think you’re an asshole.”
Also, I mentioned this in my review of Mara but just have to say it again: the cover art for both these books is just gorgeous!
Miyuki by Veronica Bane: 4/5--and I can’t wait to hear more about the next one!
A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Woah. WOAH. That’s pretty much the only thing going around in my mind after finishing Miyuki. WOAH.
So Mara was a pretty exciting novel. A lot of things happened and there was a lot of drama. Take that and multiply it by one hundred and you get Miyuki.
Everything was action all the time – and it was amazing! There was shock after shock after shock, and drama after drama. But the most amazing thing was that it all flowed really well, and it wasn’t unrealistic in the slightest. It was fast paced and heartbeatingly (new word – hurrah!) good.
There was this one scene and my heart kind of broke and I went through that denial stage of ‘no this did not really happen, did it?’. But it did happen, and I was kind of broken about it. But now, thinking back on Miyuki, there were quite a few of those moments. And I think they are some of the reasons why Miyuki was such a good novella.
I remembered writing in my review of Mara that some of the descriptions of the physical appearances of the characters were lacking. Well that was definitely made up for in Miyuki. I think the descriptions of the characters was ace this time around, and I was not left wondering for one moment what a character looked like. Bane definitely upped her game.
The ending. THE ENDING. I need the next Unusuals novella in my life right now! Everything was so hectic and there are characters that I am worried about and there’s the unknown future ... I just need to know what happens!
Miyuki is a fantastic read. Fast, action based, storyline rich – Miyuki is not one to miss.
In "Miyuki", the sequel to "Mara", our two heroines and their friends have it even tougher than in the first book. Now they all know they have some kind of super power – Alex’s is lightning, Mara has fire, and Miyuki has water – but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. With The Stranger still hunting Unusuals, and with some of the other Unusuals turning against their own, they have their work carved out for them if they want to survive.
Mara is convinced her brother is still hanging around, and in fact, working with The Stranger. The others aren’t convinced of her idea, causing another division between the Unusuals. Then something terrible happens, ripping them apart even more. When they get captured by The Stranger and his cronies, they’ll have to fight for their lives once again. The stakes have never been higher.
I liked Mara even more in this book. It’s obvious that she’s struggling between her tendency to be a loner, and to do everything on her own, and working together with the group, but she’s trying to protect them regardless. She even puts her neck out for Miyuki, even though it’s obvious the two of them have several issues they still need to sort out.
Miyuki was okay. I still don’t like her as much as I like Mara, and she still comes across as arrogant some of the time. As a character, she’s great, because she’s deeply flawed, and hard to get along with. But I still don’t find her very likeable. Miles and Chris play a larger role here, which was good, since we didn’t get to know them very well in the first book.
With a great dose of suspense and action, an enjoyable writing style, and an eclectic mix of characters, this book is a great read for fans of young adult
I received a digital copy of this book for review as part of the Miyuki blog tour.
Ten Second Synopsis: Miyuki and the other unusuals must decide whether to fight or flee as the stakes get higher in the scheme to hunt and use Unusuals in Jericho.
This book seemed a lot darker than the first in the series. There seemed to be a lot more violence and the characters were collectively descending into a state of fear (understandably), with some starting to crack under the pressure. The enmity between Mara and Miyuki is highlighted and was quite harrowing to read in some places. I was intrigued by the character of Nayara and her particular talent. It added a lot of depth to the story to have a character who wasn't in the original book and whose allegiances are not clear. I felt this book was a quicker read, despite being longer page-wise, as the action rolled on and we found out more about the original inhabitants of Jericho.
This was a great follow-up to the initial book, with lots more action and mystery for readers to chew over. I'd still love to see an illustrated or graphic novel form of these books too!
I was a huge fan of the first book, but this one takes everything to the next level. Leaner, tighter, and with more character development. It's an awesome ride and definitely ups the stakes. I think the voice is even better with this one, and I'm anxiously awaiting the third book!