Thursday, June 13, 2013
Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy
Kami has lived her whole life in Sorry-in-the-Vale, a small yet strange town settled amongst woods and the towering Auriemere Manor, home of the mysterious Lynburns. The Lynburn family is treated with awe and fear by almost everyone in the town, but Kami does not understand why until the Lynburns come back, this time with a big surprise for Kami. Kami has always had a voice in her head, but this goes beyond the common imaginary friend, and when she finds out that not only is this voice, Jared, real but that he's a Lynburn, she thinks she will finally get some answers, but it only brings up more questions.
Even though the Lynburns are supposed to protect the town, there has never been more danger and Kami's team of would-be journalists and friends are the only ones that can discover its source.
I initially started reading this book last summer as a galley from NetGalley, but I just couldn't get through it. Remember how not every book speaks to you? Well, this one was not talking to me. Then I found it as an e-book from my library, so given another chance to read it for free instantly, I took it.
Then I remembered why I had trouble reading this book in the first place. It feels flat to me. The whole situation with Kami and Jared being in each others head constantly is an interesting concept, and their feelings when they discover that the other is real is pretty entertaining. Kami as a character is pretty well drawn, although a little annoying in her constant state of curiosity and action. But her opposite is the strikingly beautiful, yet unbelievably lazy, Angela, a girl that is up for a nap anywhere, anytime. (I've never identified with a character so strongly as with Angela-not on the beauty thing, but the nap thing). Jared is a love sick bad boy, and again, like Edward Cullen, it gets old pretty fast, but there's at least a good reason why he is so annoyingly in love. Then there are the other Lynburns who are more dark and brooding, except Ash who engages himself in a love triangle with Kami and Jared.
Oh, and werewolves, I really thought there were going to be werewolves. I was trying to work out some connection between Lynburn and lupine I guess, but it didn't work that way. There are no werewolves, although there is a clue to the Lynburn secret in an obvious name, but I'm not telling.
It seems like a lot, and it is, and it should be enough, but it's not, not until the very end. There are some great descriptive passages and one liners, little quips that would make a whole chapter worth it, but it felt like the spaces between those lines were mediocre. I especially loved the line about Kami's shy brother Ten: "Dad loved Ten the best because Ten needed someone to love him best." That line is just heartbreaking and sweet all at the same time.
While there were great lines and some pretty unsettling action, it just didn't pick up until right at the end. I wish that the rest of the book had been as engaging as those last few chapters. Maybe I was biased form the beginning, maybe I was disconnected because I read it on my Kindle, but I really think that this is a book written by a talented author that hasn't entirely hit her stride yet. Then again, this is being said by someone who has never written a book, so grain of salt there.
The ending did save this book entirely. All I will say is that I thought I had some difficult breakups, but no, not compared to Kami. And while the ending was fantastic and dramatic and heart-wrenching, it wasn't The Raven Boys. As far as modern gothic romance, I think that The Raven Boys is the gold standard, and Unspoken was a solid effort that feel just a little short.