Monday, October 21, 2013

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia (Legion series book 1)

"I never believed in ghosts until one tried to kill me."

Kennedy Waters lives with her mother in a row house just down the street from Georgetown University. It is just the two of them since her father left when she was five, because he just wanted a normal life for his family. Her best friend Elle drags her out one night to go to the movies with some friends. When she gets back home just before cures, she notices that her mother has waited up on her like she usually does. There are no lights on in the house and it seems that the power is out. She goes upstairs to look for her mother and notices something is immediately wrong. Kennedy notices the stench of cigarette smoke. The temperature was much colder like a window had been left open and a light is flickering from her mother's room. In her mother's room, her cat is sitting on her mother’s chest on the bed and lets out a guttural sound like a scream. Kennedy goes to her. Other but it is too late. She is dead.

Four weeks later

Elle is helping Kennedy pack up her room. Kennedy has decided to go to boarding school than live with an aunt she hardly knows. Wanting to spend one last night in her room by herself before her aunt sells it, Elle agrees to cover for Kennedy with her mom. Asleep in her bed, Kennedy tries to pull herself from dream. It feels like someone is on top of her, trying to suffocate her and she sees her cat, Elvis. She then hears her bedroom door bang open and someone shout “take the shot!" A guy is standing in the doorway and he raises his arm. A shot rings out and the weight is lifted off of Kennedy's chest. At the foot of her bed is floating girl, a ghost. A second shot hits the ghost and it dissipates. A guy her age touches her shoulders and asks if she is okay. Kennedy asks who he is. "My name is Lukas Lockhart, and that's my brother, Jared." She looks at the guy in the door and notices that the brothers are identical twins. Knowing she is about to be sick, she rushes to the bathroom and locks the door. The brothers are outside the door and ask if she is alright. Kennedy asks them what just happened. They tell her that a vengeance ghost was using her cat to suffocate her. She recalls the night her mom died and realizes what really happened. The guys want to take Kennedy with them, she isn't safe. The ghost tried to kill her. She bluffs that she is going to call the police. They reluctantly leave and she wonders how they knew her name.

After spending the day at the library looking up information on paranormal activity and vengeful ghosts and trying to locate the Lockhart brothers, Kennedy goes back to her house at dark to finish the packing that should have already been completed. A little apprehensive about more ghosts in the house, she notices a black van parked across the street. Deciding that her neighborhood was safe if she got into trouble, Kennedy walks over and knocks on the window. She is shocked when Jared Lockhart is sitting behind the wheel. For the first time, she realizes how gorgeous he is. Lukas is with him, snarky as he was the night before. Kennedy isn't buying the answers they give her when she asks about the previous night. Lukas tells Jared that she deserves to know the truth. She is in danger because the demon who wants to kill her will just send more ghosts.

The three of them go back into Kennedy's house to explain to her why a demon is using vengeance spirits to kill specific people, one of them being Kennedy. She wants to know why. The long story short is that the Catholic Church formed a secret society, the Legion of the Black Dove, to destroy another secret society, the Illuminati before they could kill the pope. Turns out the Legion was made up of five excommunicated priests who didn't play by the rules. Not knowing who the members were, the Legion turned to a grimoire to summon and command a demon named Andras. Not believing the Lockhart brothers, Kennedy starts to question them. Before she can respond, an unplugged radio comes on and begins searching on its own for a station. It eventually settles on an Alice in Chains song but repeats the same line over and over, "Ain't found a way to kill me yet--" . The kitchen cabinets start shaking and the knives from a block start flying through the air. It is all Kennedy, Jared and Lukas can do to escape the house and drive off in their van.

On the drive away from her house, Jared and Lukas begin to explain what just happened. Andras uses vengeance spirits to do what he is unable to do; harm and kill the living. The Legion has vowed to protect the world from Andras' attacks. The Lockhart family has been fighting the attacks for over two hundred years. Each member of The Legion chooses a blood descendant to assume their role at the time of their death. Two Lockhart cousins were original members of the Legion and over time, those roles have been passed down to Jared and Lukas. Upset that their relatives summoned a demon that eventually led to her mother's death, Kennedy is completely unprepared to learn that her family is also involved in the Legion.

Stunned, Kennedy has no one left to either confirm or deny that someone in her family was part of the Legion. At all times, there are five members of the Legion. One month ago, all five members were killed at the same time and in the same way. Not only did Jared and Lukas' father and uncle die but Kennedy's mother was murdered as well. At what best could be described as their home/ workshop, Kennedy meets the other two members, Priest and Alara. Turns out each member has a specialty they bring to the team inherited from their relative. Of the five, Kennedy is the only one who was kept in the dark about her destiny. Each member of the Legion kept a journal that has been passed down through the generations. Priest is the weapons maker. He is shows Kennedy his journal. Looking through it, she spies a drawing that has the symbol of Andras on it. When asked, Priest had never noticed it before. Turns out it is some kind of ocular device called the Shift. Calling the rest over to look, Lukas recalls his uncle reading him a passage from his journal that mentions the Shift. The newest members of the Legion think they might have uncovered a weapon to destroy Andras.

Is Kennedy the fifth member of the Legion? What if she is not! Why did her mother possibly keep this legacy from her? What specialty could she bring to the team? Can they find the Shift? Is it capable of finally destroying Andras? What happens when Kennedy's heart wanders to one of the Lockhart brothers? Will it cause turmoil amongst the five or bring peace to the Legion?

Let's just say the concluding chapters were creepy and heart stopping with such an emotional cliffhanger that you will be clamoring for book two, Unbound, in 2014.

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