Book Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted 09/25/2013 by alicemarvels in Paranormal
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan




Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 356


Kami's personality sparkles again; supporting characters step up; sexy tension


not much actually happens; another angst inducing ending

A sequel that doesn’t move the story terribly far, but cements our love for the charming cast of characters.

Getting my hands on an ARC of Untold was bittersweet. On the one hand, I was dying to know what happens next to Kami, Jared, Ash and the rest of their crew. On the other hand, I know that Sarah Rees Brennan loves to create the kind of turmoil that puts her readers in emotional purgatory between books.

So I would say I was Jessie-Spano-on-pills excited to read this.



Was I right to be scared? Yeah, pretty much. SRB is very much like one of her evil Lynburn sorcerers, but instead of blood powering her, it is her readers’ broken hearts and tears that fuel her. The ending leaves us in a lurch, and no amount of Kami’s problem-solving pluckiness makes up for it. I suppose expecting the worst of the ending softened its impact somewhat, but it’s still going to be a painful wait for book three.

So we’ve established outright that the ending will be painful, now you might be wondering about the rest of it. I enjoyed the overall experience, but I would say Untold suffered a bit from second book syndrome. Not much happens in this installment, though just enough to leave us in another protracted state of discomfort, of course. The evil big bad guy sets a deadline for his evil doings early in the novel, and the people of Sorry-on-the-Vale choose to align with him or the good guys at a leisurely pace, giving us plenty of time to watch friendship and romantic angst develop in Kami’s circle of friends. It sort of felt like I was reading a mini contemporary YA novel sandwiched into a paranormal story frame, and on that front, it was a success. The thing is, I do SO enjoy watching Kami and her friends run around Sorry-on-the-Vale trying to foil impending evil with a Scooby Doo style wackiness and disregard for danger, that it’s hard for me to care too much that nothing really happens.

In spite of the lack of action and cruel ending, my love for the characters was even more fierce by the end of the book. Ash stepped it way up in this installment. I didn’t have a very clear picture of him after Unspoken (or perhaps he just got overshadowed by Jared), and now he is a three dimensional character I understand and can sympathize with. Holly and Angela’s friendship/relationship drama was interesting and well done, and Rusty, possibly the most cartoonish of the good guys, actually stepped up and did some “look at me, I’m a real character!” things. The highlight of this book is (and I suspect always will be) Kami and Jared, and their strange relationship. I think my BFF love for Kami has surpassed even my own expectations. She is so dauntless and plucky and resilient—no matter what danger she faces, she is a good reporter, a better friend, and a heroine I love to root for. Jared’s brooding personality and slightly wrong-side-of-the-tracks edge is always attractive, but in this book he overcomes quite a lot of the last book’s damage to his book boyfriend-worthiness.

Speaking Jared and all things sexy, this book succeeds marvelously in the sexy times department! Jared and Kami begin the book totally avoiding looking at each other, and there’s SO much painful angst and awkwardness, you will likely be checking your watch and asking yourself how there can possibly be sexiness in this book. Well there is a LOT of kissing, and most of it is emotional and hot. Whatever ship you’re rooting for, never fear, there is probably something juicy for you in this book.

By the cruel, cruel end, we are set up for what I hope will be an exciting, danger-filled finale with more of the whimsical humor I’ve come to expect and love in all Brennan’s stories. Even though she rips at my heartstrings viciously, and meanders a bit with her plots, her characters always blaze their way into my heart, so sticking with them is pretty much a foregone conclusion once I’ve begun their stories. I eagerly (and painfully) await the next installment of the Lynburn Legacy.



Read an excerpt here.



    Gah! I have been super nervous to start this one too! I really liked the first book and I wanted Kami and Jared to be together and was so very worried they wouldn’t be able to recover form each other’s loses.


    I haven’t read the first one, though I do want too. I want to read more by Brennan in general. That’s a bummer not much happens in this one though!


    Even though I still haven’t read Unspoken I’m really planing to. I mean more or less all reviews say the same about this book. Too bad it suffers from middle book syndrome so I might wait till the next book is out to read the whole series. Great review 🙂


    *perks up* You know you piqued my interest with the “Scooby Doo style wackiness” comment! And yay for good smexytimes!


    Oh lord, I was meh about book one and your review has me nervous about this one, but the cover is awesome. Well at least there is some sexy time! LOL


    “So I would say I was Jessie-Spano-on-pills excited to read this.”

    *snort* I know that feeling for sure! There are a select group of authors out there who are experts at breaking my heart into little tiny pieces and then taking a good long time to put them back together, and Sarah is clearly one of those authors. I haven’t read book one, but it’s too bad this book (other than the sexy times) suffers a bit from middle book syndrome, I think that coupled with a killer ending is enough to make me wait until this entire series is out before I give it a try. Fabulous review!


    What else has she written…must check


    At least the characters shone even more in this one, since it was otherwise meant to torture you within an inch of your life. I dislike cliffhangers more than I can say so I was never really interested in this series. I actually started the first book, but was unable to get into it. And once the complaints and enraged screams started appearing on the blogs, I thanked my lucky star.
    I’m glad this was mostly enjoyable for you, despite the cliffhanger and the second book syndrome.


    I won’t go there with this one. I was one of those readers that got so irritated with the cliffhanger with book one that I completely lost my desire to continue. If you say that this one pretty much goes nowhere with the plot and has another brutal cliffhanger, I am glad I stayed firm with my decision not to read this. DOWN WITH CLIFFHANGERS!


    Hm… even though it suffers from second book syndrome it might be good within the whole series. So, that makes me want to wait a bit before I dive into the series. I do like that the characters were good in this one though.


    Ha! I love cruel endings they’re bittersweet bc I find them the most memorable but they can be SO. FRUSTRATING! and cruel!! I didn’t love the first book in this series though so I’m glad thar the sequel was good for its fans. If I ever read it I’d have to reread book 1 bc I don’t remember very much from it O_O


    YES, So excited, but so SCARED! I feel a lot of relief knowing that Jared and Kami don’t have the avoidance thing (or WHATEVER it is) the whole book and that there’s LOTS of kissing. Yes, definitely more excited and less scared. HOWEVER, if it has another killer ending maybe I should just wait until the next book is out and avoid all the pain. I loved how you stated the whole scoobiedooness of it all. That’s hilarious, but so true!


    Kami sounds like a great main character


    See, I felt like this was a pretty traditional plot: people choose sides on the way to a big showdown. But I guess it isn’t a complicated plot.


    I love, love, LOVE this post!! The Zack and Jessie pics made me giggle-snort! I’m so happy to hear someone else love on this sweet series and its amazing characters. I am a huge fan of book one, and I fell so hard for Jared and Kimmy. I cannot wait to start this book, and you have me super excited for the sexy times! I actually didn’t mind the ending of the first book and found it quite unforgettable, so hopefully I’ll survive the ending of this one. Thank you for your brilliant review!


    I totally just didn’t love the first one, I wanted to, but it fell flat. I still do however LOVE Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing and characters!


    I agree that this book suffered a little from second book syndrome. It wasn’t quite as enjoyable as Unspoken for me (and you’re right, the plot doesn’t actually get very far overall), but I still also love the characters and their witty ways. Even though I’m not quite as invested in WHAT is happening in the story now, I am still completely invested in THEM. Lovely review!


    I know there wasn’t as much action, but I still loved it so much. I think the development was in the character relationships, more than anything.

    katie miller

    will there be a third in the unspoken series?
    please let me know if there will viva email.
    these were the best books i every read and I’ve read almost all my schools fantasy section!

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