renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
cover of Unspoken cover of Untold cover of Unmade

I flew through The Lynburn Legacy in two weeks. I can hear everyone going, "that word, I don't think it means what you think it means, Renay" right now, but all the other things in my life, two weeks for a trilogy is a big deal. Considering I start trilogies and never finish them (how long has Bitterblue been on my shelf? Don't ask. Mostly because I couldn't tell you, it's been that long.) "flew" absolutely works in this context. I was surprised that this series worked for me so well given my preferences about love triangles (i.e. short walk, long pier) and my capacity to handle literary heartbreak. But I— liked it a lot? I was really entertained!
  • sassy teenagers
  • broody love interests! with different flavors of brood!
  • interesting parental relationships
  • badass team of ladies!
  • girls being friends!
  • kissing!
  • telepathy!
  • the complications of mind-reading powers!

I found this so delightful.

The premise of Unspoken, the first book in the trilogy, is that Kami Glass, who lives with her family in Sorry-in-the-Vale, hears a boy in her head. She's had Jared in her head her whole life, and he's had her in his. They know each other intimately and they're always there for each other, just a thought away. Meanwhile, Kami's world is expanding because the mysterious Lynburns, who the whole town speaks of in awe, have returned to Sorry-in-the-Vale after years away, and she and her school newspaper are in the perfect position to break the story. BUT SUDDENLY, Jared's not just a voice in her head anymore.

I was recced Unspoken a few years ago after I loved The Demon's Lexicon (see, Trilogies, Renay's Unfinished) but someone said the word "gothic" and I balked hard. It's a little shameful. I'm from the South! Southern Gothic is a huge thing! It was a huge thing to every professor I had. Some of them got this look in their eye when it was mentioned, like, if they were anime characters their eyes would have transformed into perfect pulsing pink hearts. But somehow I escaped my first college attempt with only one Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, and a plethora of forgettable short fiction. I left with no real sense of the Southern gothic besides it featured a bunch of things I was, at the time, trying to leave behind, and so probably unfortunately stamped all gothic literature with that brush, even though the Southern writers were spinning off of a different literary tradition, which a professor I had when I went back to school framed as "creepy old houses in families with secrets and a lurking sense of terror". Which only goes to show you that it's all in how you sell it. So I avoided Unspoken for years because of miscommunication in literary genre advertising.

This is a sad story because Unspoken, Untold, and Unmade are the perfect blend of teenage melodrama, heartbreak, and a small amount of hope cast against a backdrop of the exploits of an old family, with old magic, and a town full of secrets. Plus, there's a creepy house full of even more!

My favorite elements of this series was the excellent friendship between Kami, her best friend Angela, and the new friend they make, Holly. The romance and complicated relationship between Kami, Jared, and Jared's cousin Ash was entertaining, but no joke, I actually kept reading these books because I was so charmed by the other interpersonal stuff. There's Kami's strong friendships, her relationship with her parents, her care for her younger brothers, and the side relationships that develop were so lovely and well-done. Plus, Kami's propensity for running directly at the evil villains/evil villain lairs in dire situations is great. I'm not often this charmed by characters, but friends, I love Kami. I am so sad there are no more books about her. Can there be a sequel trilogy with her in college, sleuthing about and uncovering more magical plots? My vote is yes!

The only complaint I had was that sometime transitions in this book from chapter to chapter wouldn't really make sense and the pacing of some scenes, especially in he first book, felt really choppy and awkward. And I kept wondering if this series was at all related to Stephen King's The Dome; that never really gets explained. But it was so funny and bleak and sometimes filled with such black humor that I couldn't help but laugh. Plus, at the end I was a weepy mess and was all, don't mind me, cat, I just need to put my leaking face into your warm furry body for a moment. I just have a lot of feelings about relationships between women okay IT'S FINE.

This series was really fun. I suppose this means I should reread and then finish the series that The Demon's Lexicon started, like a responsible series reader. Oh, and apparently Sarah Rees Brennan has another book coming out next year that sounds excellent, Tell the Wind and Fire.

(Yes, I am going to read Bitterblue this year, friends. PUT THOSE PITCHFORKS DOWN. I'M DOING IT I SWEAR.)

Date: 2015-04-02 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As a long time SRB fangirl, this makes me so happy! And YES to finishing the Lexicon trilogy! I liked the first book but the second and third are amaaazing.

-Maureen E

Date: 2015-04-02 03:54 pm (UTC)
marenfuga: (4 excellent questions)
From: [personal profile] marenfuga
I remember flying over this series last year, but the third book wasn't out yet (I think?) and I had to conform myself reading like 1000+ pages of Harry Potter fanfiction, because Underwater Light was THE REASON I started reading in English (before that I depended on yahoo groups and geocities pages with Spanish translations #oldschool)

But I digress, the thing is that by the time Unmade came out I had had time to process my feelings and was a bit afraid of how easily Unspoken and Untold had sent me back to my 16 yo self. I was reticent to fall into that pit of feels and despair again. And I still am, to be honest. So... was it worth it? The last book, I mean? Is Kami allowed to be fun or I have to default to Angela to get my smart, kick-ass girl fix? I have so many questions, Renay.

Date: 2015-04-02 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh damn I didn't know Sarah Rees Brennan was Irish. This changes everything! (I am really trying to keep to my quota of only 60% American authors this year.) I shall give these books a try posthaste! Every year when the warm weather comes on, I become immediately in the mood for a Fun Fantasy Series, so perhaps this can be my next one!

Date: 2015-04-03 02:44 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Steps away from the pitchfork :P These have been on my TBR forever and I should get to them soon (there are just so many great books out there). I think there's a free story set in this universe btw but I also know SRB recived some hassle around it so not sure if it's still available.


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