I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Published by Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins on April 23rd 2013
Genres: Action and Suspense, Contemporary, Dystopian, Parallel Realities, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.
And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?
Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris continues the story of Janelle Tenner and thank goodness for that! When we leave her at the end of Unraveling her world has fallen to pieces around her. People she loves are dead, the world is in chaos and the boy she loves, Ben Michaels, has just left to go back to his alternate reality to try and set his life straight.
So, a totally upbeat lead into this story right? 😉
Despite the dark mood, Janelle’s kept her positive outlook. She’s found a way to be helpful to the folks around her and she’s a force for good, even within her limited means. But when people start disappearing from her community, Janelle has a sneaking suspicion she knows who’s behind it, and it might not be someone from this world.
I was thrilled to be able to get more time with Janelle. I love this character! She’s tough but feminine and just a kick ass heroine! And she’s not the only stand out character in this series! One of my favorites is her sometimes friend/sometimes foe, Barclay. I loved the caustic yet strangely symbiotic relationship the two share and was happy to see it on display to full effect in this book.
Then there’s the mystery that’s the center of story in this book. Part political intrigue, part crime drama, 100% fascinating and with so many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing all the way up to the end!!
However, there were some parts of the book that did fall flat for me, things that bother me more since I learned that Unbreakable was the final book in this series.
For example, there are plot points that are given a lot of page time that remained unexplained. There’s a mystery about why Janelle and her best friend stopped being friends from the first book, a mystery that involves a pretty significant assault on Janelle that is never resolved. Then there’s the case that bothered Janelle’s father for most of his career. While it’s applicable to the story line in the second book, it takes so long to tie together that it looses it’s climactic power.
Then there’s the relationships in the book that just didn’t gel for me. Ben and Janelle love each other, but maybe there’s just too much pain for them in this book. I started to stop feeling the love. Then Janelle’s relationship with Barclay gets weirdly complicated. And characters are introduced, like Barclay’s former partner, that either need more explanation or less page time.
Finally, for me, the ending of this book just wasn’t satisfying. I may be an old fuddy duddy, but I like a nice, clear HEA even if it involves some necessarily cathartic pain. Pain for no purpose other than the fact that the universe is a vast, random place? Not my cup of tea.
Still, there’s so many interesting points about this book, the theories it explores about space and time, and the characters that really do shine (hello Elijah!) that’s it’s hard for me to say that I didn’t enjoy this book, because I did. It just left me conflicted.
What about you guys? Have you read this book already? What did you think?
Please let me know in the comments!!
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