“If the truth didn’t help anyone, and love didn’t last, what was there left to struggle toward?” // Review of “Untold” by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre:
YA/urban fantasy
Date Read: 28/02/2017 – 06/03/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review: 

This was a strong sequel to Unspoken, with beautiful writing again and some strong character arcs, but the plot itself was a bit dull. I realised 200 pages in that I couldn’t really tell you what had been happening.

Factions are forming in Sorry-in-the-Vale, with sorcerors and townspeople giving their support to either Rob Lynburn or Lillian. Jared is still mad at Kami and she is trying to work out whether she likes Jared, Ash or both of them. And they have until the Winter Solstice when Rob Lynburn will return the town to its old ways and demand a blood sacrifice.

Credit where credit is due, this is the first time I have read a YA love triangle that actually worked. I think it is because Jared nor Ash are both actually well-developed characters and we get to see scenes from their points-of-view, which avoids that issue in so much YA where the two romantic interests just come across as entitled jerks. Jared and Kami’s relationship returned to the deep messiness that I enjoyed so much in the first book, and I really appreciated how Ash tried to understand that but really just couldn’t appreciate the connection Jared and Kami shared.

The side characters are all really well written. Angela’s coming out story, which was touched on briefly in the first book, was addressed, and continued to be handled with nuance. The awkwardness between her and Holly felt really honest. The conflict between Kami’s parents when her father found about her mother’s involvement in magic also read really well, and both the situation itself and Kami’s feelings about it were very realistic.

As I said above, it was the plot that moved so slowly that lost this one points. I got to page 228, where Kami was once again doing research into the Lynburn records to try to find information that might help them against Rob Lynburn, and realised that with the exception of the opening chapter, there had been little action up until that point. It had all been about who it was that Kami made out with in a dark corridor at the pub, and Ash feeling inadequate about all facets of his life, and Angela and Kami making sure nothing was awkward between them. So while it was all beautifully written and the characterisation was great, it still got a little dull after a while.


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