UNMARKED by Kami Garcia–Cephalopod Coffeehouse October 2014

Hi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

I’ve read a bunch of great books this month, but I’m featuring a new YA paranormal romance.adventure because, hey! It’s Halloween! UNMARKED is the second book in this series about spirit-hunting teens who are trying to protect Earth from the demon Andras. In book one, UNBREAKABLE, they were right on the cusp of killing Andras–when, unfortunately, they set it free. Yeah. And he’s been wreaking havoc and killing people for the last several weeks.

Unmarked (The Legion, #2)About the book:
He is here… and he could be anyone.

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?

My Review:

Okay, so, where UNBREAKABLE left off, the MC, Kennedy had been injured in her escape from the scene when Andras came through to the earthly plane. She and four other teens–Jared, Lukas, Alara and Priest–had banded together because each believed the other part of a mystical Legion of the Black Dove sect. Jared and Lukas are twin brothers who sought the other members out based on documents their father had left behind. Turns out, assembling those documents had actually led Andras to each Legion member, and killed them, which is how Jared and Lukas lost their father and uncle, and Alara lost her grandma, and Priest lost his grandfather, and Kennedy lost her mother–all in one single night. The listing of their names…and it’s Jared’s biggest secret shame–he wrote the list.

Kennedy, for her part is despondent. She thought she’d become a Legion member when she exorcised her first ghost, but that didn’t happen–unlike all the other Legion members, Kennedy didn’t receive her Mark, an insignia handed down to the next Chosen in a family. Unmarked, she recognizes her folly–she was never meant to join them, and she feels utterly alone now that her mother is dead. Her father disappeared years ago, and her aunt has just dumped her into a reform school.

Haunted by news reports of atrocities no one can explain and gruesome nightmares, both courtesy of Andras, Kennedy recognizes that each day a girl who closely resembles her goes missing. Is Andras hunting her? It seems so, which is why she runs the second Jared and the rest of the Legion turn up at her school. Safety in numbers even if she isn’t one of them.

But their news, of her missing, distant aunt, gets her back on board. The hunt is on for the fifth Legion member, and now it’s about fixing the mess she made. Of course, this ghost/demon story is fraught with death and destruction. Kennedy’s poised to lose the only people she can trust, and gain some very unsettling allies when the Illuminati come to call.

Andras is on the prowl, and it’s clear he wants to possess Kennedy. She’s got some skills in the demon wrangling arena, thanks to her training in UNBREAKABLE, but Andras is too powerful for her. Plus, nobody told her he could jump from person to person like a vengeful louse. No, possession seems a breath away, when Andras targets the one person left whom Kennedy loves in this world.

The revelation of Jared’s mistake sends shock waves through the Legion, just as they need to gather closer–to save one of their own, but Kennedy is determined to fix all her mistakes, and she’s got the brains to get the job done right.

Well, I assume so. Because it looks like the final resolution is gonna happen NEXT BOOK. Stay tuned, peeps!

As far the book goes, it was an interesting read. It gets a bit explain-y, trying to link all the moving parts together. Turns out Kennedy’s mom wasn’t such a great gal, and her dad left for (albeit crappy) reasons connected to Legion and the Illuminati–organizations which have for centuries been diametrically opposed as this book purports. It felt a bit deus ex machina when the Illuminati swept in to clean up the Andras mess, but there was still lots of time in the story. Time to go on and explain. In the end, we’re left with a demon in chains, another on the loose, with Legion members splitting and Illuminati men hunting. Oh, and a reconnection of the parental-kind in the offing. It fell a bit flat for me. I supposed I should have felt tense, but all throughout I knew this story wouldn’t end here, so the urgency wasn’t as strong as I would have liked.

It’s still a good read. And safe for kids because, instead of kissing and sex, there’s killing and horror. It is a perfect Halloween read, however. And, I’m sure I’ll get book 3 when it comes out.

Interested? You can find UNMARKED at Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and probably lots of booksellers and libraries. It came out last month. I obtained my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Thanks for popping in, and don’t forget to catch up with my fellow Coffeehouse reviewers on this blog hop.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

1. The Armchair Squid 2. mainewords
3. V’s Reads 4. Berriesandmore
5. Cherdo on the Flipside 6. WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
7. Life Before the Hereafter 8. StrangePegs — The Woggle-Bug Book
9. StrangePegs — In Short Supply 10. Huntress aka CD Coffelt
11. My Creatively Random Life 12. Words Incorporated
13. StrangePegs — Lovely Death