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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable is the first book in the Legion series.  Kami Garcia co-authored the Beautiful Creatures series, and this is her first book on her own.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was easy to read, and it stayed interesting the whole time.  It did have some of the characteristics that are kind of common in YA lit (new/confusing situation, love triangley, etc.), but the story itself was one that I have not really seen before.  The story follows Kennedy just as her world is falling apart.  She discovers that her mother has died.  As she is spending her last night in their house, she wakes up with her cat on her and unable to breathe.  Two young men come in and destroy the vengeance spirit that is using the cat to steal Kennedy’s breath (basically the spirit is trying to kill her).  The next day, Lukas and Jared (the two young men) are waiting for Kennedy outside her house.  They all are in her kitchen as the boys try to explain what is going on when a poltergeist starts attacking them.  It throws knives at them, locks them in the house, and pretty much destroys the place.  All three are able to escape, and Kennedy starts to believe Lukas and Jared and some of the craziness they are telling her.

They are part of a secret society called the Legion that was created to fight an evil demon that they ancestors accidentally summoned.  There are always five members of the Legion with membership being passed through family members.  Lukas and Jared believe that Kennedy is the fifth member.  They take Kennedy to meet up with the other two members of the Legion.  The current members are all teenagers because the previous members were all found dead in the same way on the same night.  It was the same way that Kennedy’s mother died, adding to their belief that Kennedy is also a member.  Kennedy is skeptical because her mother never mentioned anything about the group or its history.  She also never had any of the training that the others have had and had no idea that this responsibility was being passed to her.

The basic plot involves the group trying to find the pieces of a weapon that they believe will allow them to destroy the demon.  This involves them battling different types of spirits that are protecting the pieces.  The spirit protecting the final piece causes Kennedy to question whether they are doing the right thing because he tells her it will allow the demon to fully come out in the world.  The others do not believe the spirit, so Kennedy finishes putting the weapon together.  It seems the spirit was telling the truth as the building they are in crumbles and basically all hell breaks loose.  Kennedy is found by the police (it has been believed through the story that she was kidnapped) while the rest of the group gets away.  Kennedy still feels like she is not truly a member of the Legion.

I’m excited to continue this series, and hope that I don’t forget about it when the next book comes out.  I think a good premise has been started and that the rest of the series could be pretty great.

 

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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

The Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series.  This is a book where what you expect to happen is not what happens. What is really great about this book is that we finally get to have a better understanding of Will Herondale and why he acts how he does.  Will approaches Magnus Bane for help with a curse that he believes was put on him 5 years earlier.  When Will was about 12, he opened a pyxis that he found in his father’s things.  A pyxis is used to hold a demon captive.  By opening it, Will freed a demon that had been prisoner for many years.  His older sister Ella comes in to help him with the demon.  The demon tells Will that he has cursed him by making it so anyone who loves him will die.  The next day, Ella dies.  This prompts will to leave his family and seek out the London Institute so that nothing else will happen to those he loves.  He has spent all of his time at the Institute being mean and rude and trying to keep people at arms length to prevent them from being harmed by the curse.  Will hopes that Magnus will be able to help him find the demon so that the curse can be lifted.

While this is happening, Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs start growing closer.  This ultimately leads to Jem proposing to Tessa and her accepting.  This is right about when Will finds out that the curse he thought was put on him never actually existed.  After being captive for so long, the demon is not strong enough to place a real curse on him.  Will hurries back to the Institute tell profess his love to Tessa and she tells him that she has already accepted Jem’s marriage proposal.  Tessa says she does not love Will to protect both him and Jem.  She loves both boys.

Charlotte Branwell is faced with opposition to her being the head of the London Institute.  The Lightwood family wants to take over for her.  The Consul gives her two weeks to find out as much as she can about the Magister.  This is how we find out all sorts of stuff about the Magister.  He was adopted by two warlock parents and raise as their own even though he is mundane.  He learns from his warlock father about how to make the automatons.  His parents are eventually killed by Shadowhunters.  The Magister is able to escape.  A few years later he seeks reparations for his loss but is denied.  He decides that he will exact revenge on all Shadowhunters, which is why he builds his Infernal Device army of clockwork automatons.

This also leads to information about the Lightwood family being found out by the Institute Shadowhunters.  Benedict Lightwood (who is the main proponent for having Charlotte removed as head of the institute) is discovered to have demon pox.  This disease is spread to Shadowhunters who have sexual relations with demons.  It is also discovered that he is working with the Magister.  Charlotte using this information to her advantage to remain the head of the Institute.

A plan to get information from Tessa’s brother Nate goes awry and he ends up being killed.  Jessamine gets sent to the Silent City to be investigated by the Silent Brothers because she married Nate and was helping him set up Tessa and Charlotte.

What is great about this book is that most of what happens you don’t see coming.  Sometimes that is a little disappointing but more often it is exciting and drives you to continue reading.  It is really a great book.  My only real issue with the first two books of the Internal Device series is that they cannot stand on their own as a story.  Neither of them have an ending that really provides any kind of conclusion.  Other series are able to have each book tie up their own stories while still being part of the series.  But these books don’t really tie anything up.  There are some minor plot lines that are resolved but the main story is obviously not over.  While it helps make readers want to continue the series it also makes finishing the book a little disappointing because it seems unfinished.