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I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus


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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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Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The third book in the Beautiful Creatures series is just as secretive and out there as the first two.  In Beautiful Darkness, Lena breaks the order of things which results in mass chaos in both the mortal world and the caster world.  Gatlin, Ethan’s hometown, is being destroyed.  There are bugs covering every plant and surface in town, unbearable heat year round, Vexes (shadowy bad guys from the underworld) destroy main street and Ethan’s aunts’ house, and earthquakes are thrown in to help shake things up.  Basically everything is going wrong.  Link, Ethan’s best friend, is now part Incubus after being bitten by John Breed (a cross between Incubus and caster) at the end of the last book.  Ridley, Lena’s cousin, lost her Dark Caster Siren powers in Beautiful Darkness, but disappears for awhile in this book, ends up begging for forgiveness and gets them back.

Ethan and Lena and all their supernatural friends are trying to figure out a way to restore the order.  Amma makes a deal with a dark voo doo guy for help, which ends up not being helpful.  Macon and Liv do lots of research to learn about the past in hopes of finding a connection.  John Breed seems to be the key but ends up being mostly useless.  Marian is put on trial for treason against the Caster world.  The Demon Queen takes over Ethan’s teacher’s body and provides helpful information but not a lot of answers.

Ultimately, Ethan realizes that he is the key to fixing the order and jumps off a water tower.  I’m guessing he doesn’t die since there is another book (Beautiful Redemption) and he is pretty the main character and all the books are from his perspective.

Basically, Beautiful Chaos followed the same pattern as the others in the series by providing a lot of information but not a lot of answers.  There are also plenty of plot twists and cliff hangers and in general just a lot going on all the time.  I’ve learned it is almost impossible to summarize these books because there is just too much going on.  For the most part I enjoy the series.  I still think that the books could be shorter and still be as effective.  I also think there might be a few too many subplots going on that detract from the main story line and are often underdeveloped creating a lot of questions about why they are there and where they are going.


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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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I literally just finished reading Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  This is the second book in the series.  I came across this series because of an article in a magazine.  It was discussing what series or book would be the next Hunger Gamesand this was one of the possibilities.  The first book in the series is Beautiful Creatures.  This book introduces the reader to the main characters, Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes.  Ethan is the typical high school student and becomes enamored with new student Lena.  He feels an extremely strong connection to her.  Quickly, it is discovered that Lena is a Caster, a type of witch.  She belongs to a parallel world filled with Light and Dark Casters that are competing with each other to be dominant.  Lena is coming to an age where it will be determined whether she will be Light or Dark.  She ends up not having her fate determined for her like the rest of her family, but she is giving the choice between the two.  However, whichever side she chooses, all of her family members on the other side will die.  Then a bunch of stuff happens, and Lena ends up not having to choose either side until her next birthday.

This gets us into Beautiful Darkness.  This book begins with the funeral for Lena’s Uncle Macon, who died at the end of the first book because of a spell cast by Lena to save Ethan from dying (however, she did not know that Macon would take Ethan’s place).  Macon is the closest thing Lena has had to a father and he has provided tons of guidance during this particular time in her life.  This leads to her being completely devastated by his death.  She blames herself for killing him because of the spell she cast.  Lena begins to pull away from Ethan and starts turning more and more dark.  Ethan continuously tries to connect with Lena, but she always pushes him away.

Lots of other worldly stuff happens that helps Ethan understand what he has to do, but mostly it confuses him until near the very end.  Basically, lots of stuff that probably wasn’t expected early on happens to make it so that Ethan can save Lena from going Dark, but also makes it so Lena really doesn’t have to choose one side or the other (at least for now).  There is also a small skirmish that results in Ethan’s mortal best friend, Link, becoming a weird Incubus/mortal/maybe Caster hybrid.  The story continues with the third book of the series, Beautiful Chaos.

I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of Beautiful Creatures, but I was intrigued enough to continue the series.  The second book did a much better job of keeping my interest with a lot more going on the whole time.  However, both books do seem to drag a bit with details that don’t seem to matter much getting too much attention and just being wordy overall.  Both books are pretty long (I don’t remember the length of the first one, but this one is around 500 pages), and there are points where I just wanted the authors to get on with it rather than describing every little thing.  Overall though, I am enjoying the series and am excited to get the third book from the library in the next couple days.