A few weeks ago, I was looking for books for my seasonal TBR post and included Unspoken on a whim. I checked out the first book from the library and was soon lost in a series binge I didn't see coming. Having finished these books, I can now say that I'm shocked I don't hear more about them. Seriously, why isn't everyone raving about this series?! I don't often book push, but I feel like it's necessary at this point. So, I had to make this epic list - and it's completely spoiler free! | ADD ON GOODREADS
The Lynburn Legacy is the story of:
a courageous (1) HEROINE,
her supportive (2) FRIENDS,
her loving (3) FAMILY
and several hot (4) BOYS.
Kami Glass is one of my new favorite characters! I had no idea how much I needed to read about a girl like her. She's loyal, smart, courageous and hilarious. What's not to love about a girl who says:
"If I wasn't going to be a world-famous journalist and if I didn't have such respect for truth and justice, I could be an amazing master criminal.”
When the Lynburn family returns to Sorry-in-the-Vale, Kami is determined to figure out why they're back and why they disappeared in the first place. The truth may be darker than she ever imagined, but she refuses to back down. She'll do anything to protect the people she loves and fight for the place she calls home.
She's always been a little bit of an outsider, but that's probably because she's heard a voice in her head ever since she was born. Yes, she has an imaginary friend. While she's never quite fit in because of it, she's about to find out some very unsettling news about that friend. She's going to get to the bottom of the mysteries in the town... and the ones in her head.
There are a few moments where you may want to sit her down for a little chat, but overall she's an admirable and incredible character. She supports her friends, stands up for what's right and knows exactly what she wants. She has some of the best lines in any book ever. I LOVED HER.
Kami's best friend is Angela Montgomery, and they soon become friends with Holly Prescott. Angela is prickly, a little grumpy and wants nothing more than to just lay around. Her favorite thing: napping. Her least favorite: people. And I'm sorry, but I adore her. She tags along with Kami, even when you know she thinks Kami has gone crazy. Holly isn't their friend at first, but it's not long before she's roped into their (mis)adventures. Kami thinks she knows all about Holly, and it was wonderful to watch her actually see another side of someone she'd gotten all wrong.
While there is a lot happening in this series (both with the plot and romance), these friends are right by Kami's side through it all. Bonus: they're both gorgeous, and they're nothing like the stereotypical "beautiful but mean" girls. I loved that all of the females in this book are so multidimensional. They're all so different - and yet all badass in their own right.
Family plays an important role in this series, which is one of my favorite things about it. You see the absence of parents and how it can impact kids with Angela and Rusty Montgomery. Then, there's the more twisted relationships among the Lynburns. I loved how complicated things were in the Lynburn family - they want to fulfill their legacy and uphold their duty but they seem to only really care about themselves.
And there's the Glass family. Kami's parents and her two brothers frequently show up in these pages, and I looked forward to every chance to get to know them better. I loved that they were concerned for Kami and took a very active role in her life. While Kami's dad is way more awesome than her mom, they are still both very present throughout the books. Their marriage undergoes some tension, and I thought it was portrayed in such a diffiifult and yet realistic way. Plus, it doesn't hurt that humor clearly runs in the Glass genes. Kami's brothers are also so adorable - you totally understand why one of her biggest concerns is keeping them safe.
Yes, I said boys... plural. In Unspoken you'll meet Ash Lynburn, Jared Lynburn and Rusty Montgomery. Ash is confident and charming. Jared is dark and damaged. Rusty is lackadaisical and loyal. They're all so much more than those two characteristics, but that's the best way I can hint at what you'll find in these pages. The best part? They're all hot. Like seriously hot.
I know what some people are wondering - is this a love triangle (or love square)? NO. I mean, everyone's a little bit in love with Kami, but I can't blame them. But there's really never any question of who Kami loves. The boy situation is probably the most up in the air in the first book, but there's not a "choice" to be made. You know who Kami wants to be with, if only they could work it out. Kami isn't wishy-washy about her feelings, even though there are missteps and miscommunication (seriously, y'all, talk already!) along the way... Emotional turmoil is there, but it's not created by a triangle-type dilemma.
They work together to
defy a wicked (5) VILLAIN
and fight a terrible (6) CURSE
to protect their special (7) TOWN.
While there are a few shady characters in this series, there's one villain who is just THE WORST. I'll let you find out exactly who or what is behind all the horrors in the novels, but the villain is a great antagonist. There is a reason for everything that happens, which makes it so well-developed and intriguing. What happened in the past to cause such bitterness? And will the villain gain the control they so desperately desire? Learning the answers to these questions was just one of the many reasons I couldn't stop reading!
Is there a curse on Sorry-in-the-Vale? Well, something isn't quite right. Animals are being killed, Kami is being threatened... and everything seems like it might be connected to the return of the Lynburns. Kids in Sorry-in-the-Vale grow up singing this song:
"Forest deep, silent bells / There's a secret no one tells / Valley quiet, water still / Lynburns watching on the hill / Apples red, corn gold / Almost everyone grows old."
What's the secret no one tells? And will our fearless heroine and her friends uncover it? I loved the plot of this series! I think the characters steal the show, but that's not to stay that the story doesn't hold up to scrutiny. There are epic endings to each book - you'll have to read the next book right away. Tensions rise in each book until everything comes to a head in the finale. And the journey to get there was so worth it!
I love when a setting feels like a character - developed, memorable and important to the story. That was the case in the Lynburn Legacy! Sorry-in-the-Vale is central to almost everything that happens in the series. From the creation of the town to the return of the Lynburns, there's a story behind it all.
"Every town in England has a story. One day I am going to find out Sorry-in-the-Vale's... Six hundred years do not go by without someone doing something nefarious."
Kami knows what's up. If you want amazing characters, an engaging plot and a dark and creepy setting... this series is for you! Sorry-in-the-Vale has a story, and it's EPIC.
This gothic (8) MYSTERY
is packed with (9) HUMOR,
throws in some (10) ROMANCE,Writing:
and totally delivers on (11) EMOTION.
and totally delivers on (11) EMOTION.
Oh, how I love some good Gothic fiction! The Lynburn Legacy series has all of the staples of the genre: a mystery, a curse, a villain, the setting as a character, supernatural elements, an atmosphere of fear and dread... It combines all of these classic elements of Gothic fiction, but it also subverts the genre, too. Kami is no fainting heroine in need of rescue. Early on in Unspoken, you learn this:
“Kami'd always retold her fairy tales to make the fair maidens braver and more self-sufficient, but she had never had any real objection to the handsome prince.”
And that's what you'll find in this series: all of the ingredients for a dark and delightful Gothic tale with the addition of a kickass heroine. The dangerous mansion, the creepy family secrets, the horrors from the past, and the threat to the future... The Lynburn Legacy has it all in spades.
I think one of my absolute favorite things about this series is the humor. It's packed with witty comments, sarcastic remarks and smart dialogue. Let me give you a few examples:
“Don't feel bad, Angela," Kami said. "You know guys, they only want one thing. Repartee. I can't count how many times men have admired my well-turned phrases.”
“Put the jerk in the south wing, you won't see him for weeks at a time. Or lock him in the attic. The law will not be on your side, but literary precedent will.”
“Bros before hoes," said Jared. "By which of course I mean gardening tools, because I hold all the fine ladies of Sorry-in-the-Vale in the highest regard.”
For such a dark series, these are hilarious books. Personally, I loved it and felt like it provided such a nice contrast to the seriousness of the story. In the heavy moments, the humor was a welcome relief. It was definitely a signature of the series (and, I suspect, of Brennan's writing in general). While it's not be completely realistic (when is everyone really this quippy?), I adored it and wouldn't change a thing. The second and third books have a slightly more serious tone, but they still have plenty of wit and warmth.
Honest to goodness, this book has some of the best kissing scenes EVER. And when people aren't kissing, they're making romantic declarations that were enough to make me melt in a puddle on the floor.
"I want to guard you because you are important to me. Because you are - God, this is going to sound so stupid, I can never think of a way to say it - you are precious. I can never think of how to describe the value you have to me, because all the words for value suggest that you belong to me, and you don't.”
DEAD. DONE. No need to send help because that would imply there's a problem. But it's not all stolen kisses, longing glances and whispered words. There's also that special brand of swoon that comes from hot boys with a hint of mystery and danger:
"Some people, Kami knew, had bedroom eyes. She was saddened to have to admit that ______ had filthy alleyway eyes."
And, you know, the amazingness of someone recognizing that you're powerful all on your own so they say things like:
"I thought you would like a weapon better than a rescue."
There's also the swooning from:
"...the thrill of sharing your secret soul and having someone think it was wonderful.”
Did I get carried away? Nope. Because I didn't even share some of the very best parts.
I'm pretty sure that Sarah Rees Brennan lives on the tears of her readers. I rarely cry while reading, but these books broke me. Yes, I bawled. I loved these characters SO much, and I was so invested in everything that happened to them. There is so much emotion packed in these pages - grief, frustration, hope, fear, love, anger, bitterness, joy, disgust... It's all there.
"She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn't broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost. It seemed a worthwhile thing to know."
These books will break you, but in the best way possible.
This series will try to steal your heart, your time and your tears.
And you'll surrender all of those things willingly and with no regrets.
PS - If you need extra convincing, check out Morgan's series review!