Title: Unbreakable (The Legion #1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: 10 October 2013 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Format Read: Paperback, 320 pages
Synopsis: “Kennedy Waters didn’t believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her.
When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that evil forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her house and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.
Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels.” (Taken from Goodreads)
Kennedy Waters was just like any other normal teenager, until she came home to find her mother dead in her bed, the breath sucked right out of her by their possessed cat. The ghost of a girl she had convinced herself wasn’t real, when she was chasing her cat through the graveyard, was in fact not a part of her imagination. With the help of two teenage twins that turn up conveniently, Kennedy manages to escape from her house just in the nick of time (it literally went berserk and tried to kill them). On the run and with no where to go or turn to, Kennedy reluctantly follows the twins back to their hideout where she meets the other two members of the group. They explain that the five of them are from families who were part of a ‘Legion’ that accidentally set a demon free, and that their ancestors were all working to send this demon Andras back to where it came from. Kennedy manages to not freak out entirely, considering she had never seen a ghost before and in the past few days, the one she’s seen had tried to kill her twice.
Not knowing how to explain the collapse of her house to anyone, Kennedy decides to stick with the Legion without really consulting with her aunt or her bestfriend. This leads to the police thinking she’s been kidnapped and her face being broadcast all over national news. Yet she continues to stick with the group, who’s convinced her that she’s the missing fifth member who’d fallen off the grid (or her mother had anyway), but of course a bunch of teenagers were able to track her down. A little hurt that her mother had never talked about this Legion stuff, Kennedy sets off to figure out why, and of course to help the group save the world.
The pacing of the story was quite fast, which I enjoyed. It was a nice short read and it was quite an interesting take on this paranormal genre. I know a lot of people are comparing it to Supernatural, it’s true they have quite a lot of similar elements, but that’s not to say Garcia didn’t execute her version of the story quite well. I thought it was very well plotted and the scenes were very intriguing. Her descriptions of the ghosts and spirits sent shivers down my spine more than once, especially the well scene with the scary vengeance lady.
The idea behind this novel was the coming together of the five new Legion members, who all lost someone on the same night (the previous Legion member, and the person that was training them). What is inconsistent about the coming together of the five teenagers is that the Legion separated themselves for a reason – in order to avoid Andras and to keep themselves safe. Due to a mistake undertaken by Jared, one of the twins, the Legion members were all killed. Surely this was a sign that they shouldn’t all group together? But the good thing that comes out of it was them being able to piece together new information from their journals full of paranormal information (another thing similar to Supernatural). Through this, they figure out that they’re looking for pieces of an instrument, which can defeat Andras when it’s assembled. So they set out going to all these spooky places to find them. The journey and the spooky places they end up was very interesting, but it just felt way too easy. But considering the size of the book, their ability to figure out all the clues so quickly makes sense. Plot and pace wise, this novel executed it very well.
But three major points still irk me. First, the hint at a love triangle between Kennedy and the twins. And then the instalove/attraction between her and Jared. It was really unnecessary and it felt really forced. The second point is a major issue that I just can’t let go and it could really kill the whole story had I not enjoyed the paranormal scenes so much. Kennedy and the other four Legion members set out to found these ‘disks’ that slot into a cylindrical contraption that supposedly can destroy Andras. But the main issue lies in the fact that these disks were hidden in hard to find places by each of their dead Legion relatives. Not once did they stop to think that it was hidden for a reason. If the disks were really helpful, why didn’t the five members just come together and kill the demon already? This major point is at the foundation of the entire story and it’s really annoying that no one bothered to mention it. Lastly, the issue of Kennedy’s father still remains at the forefront of my mind. He seems like such an important character to the story, so I hope he does manage to play a bigger role in the next book (or all those pages spent talking about him would just be wasted pages).
So because of those three major points, I was unable to rate this novel any higher. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it! I did, it was fast paced just the way I liked it, and I enjoyed the dynamic between most of the characters (minus the twins). Kennedy was also a likeable character, so I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series to see where Garcia will take this story next.
Thank you to TheReadingRoom and Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.