Author: Kami Garcia
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Published September 2014
Book #2 of 2 in the Legion Series
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Summary: Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us – a demon she accidentally set free. Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?
I received a copy of Unmarked from Little Brown Books in exchange for an honest review, and I have to say, I was equal parts weary and excited. I love Kami Garcia and I'm a huge fan of her and Margaret Stohl's work with the Caster Chronicles. So I was a bit nervous to see if this book lived up to the literary genius that was Beautiful Creatures (although not the movie, but that's a whole different story). I also actually haven't read the first book in this series, so I was definitely worried that I wouldn't really understand what was going on. But since Garcia wrote this book and I'm already a big fan of her work, I decided to give it a try.
And I was really glad I did! I still suggest reading the first book in the series to get more of the background information, but if you don't have time or the resources to get around to that, that's nothing to worry about. As the summary explains, Kennedy is struggling with the fact that after the death of her mother, she should technically take her spot in the Legion. However, every time she tries to summon her mark, it doesn't come. So Kennedy's forced to face the inevitable and baffling question: if she's the last member of her family and she isn't the fifth spot in the Legion, who is?
I really, really enjoyed this book and I'm pleased to say that Unmarked lived up to the standards I had put in place after reading Garcia's previous work through Beautiful Creatures and The Caster Chronicles. I'm not really a huge fan of demons and fantasy and paranormal things like the subjects that this book is based on, but Garcia found a way to make it appeal to me. Many a nights were spent staying up late (After writing my 2,000 words that day for NaNoWriMo!) powering through this book because I couldn't resist reading just ooooone more chapter before bed. (In book nerd terms, one chapter = the phrase "one more chapter" is uttered ten to fifteen separate times.)
The whole plot itself is intriguing - I don't know what I would have done if my boyfriend had been possessed by a demon, and the only way to exorcise it is to kill the vessel (uh oh) or let it take over another body (double uh oh). Talk about a major inner conflict for Kennedy and her friends, here. Yikes.
I also thought it was interesting that Garcia found a way to tie the Illuminati into this. (Instant way to my geeky heart = bring up mafias or secret societies.) Since nobody except members of the Illuminati themselves are truly positive about how the society works, it was interesting to see Garcia's take on it and how she shaped them to fit into her novel. (I have yet to read two books that both describe the Illuminati and their actions the same way.)
All in all, Unmarked was a very intriguing and satisfying read that left me thrilled and wanting more. (Not to mention totally impatient with the amount of time I'm being forced to wait for the next book!) Garcia's writing is top-notch and I'm so excited to read a series that's entirely her own now and it's great being able to see how she writes away from her famous Caster Chronicles.
Thank you again to Little Brown Books for allowing me to read this!
*PLEASE NOTE: I was given a copy of Unmarked by Kami Garcia in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own and neither Kami Garcia nor Little Brown Books have seen this review until its publication on November 13th, 2014.