Author: Kami Garcia

Publication: 2013, Little, Brown Books

Pages: 320

Overall Rating: bth_4-star-rating_zps38e772a0[1]

Rating for Action: bth_4-star-rating_zps38e772a0[1]

Quantity of Action:bth_35_zps7a173504[1]

Age Category: 13+

Brief Summary: When Kennedy finds her mother dead she has no idea what’s really going, not until twins Lukas and Jared break into her house and kill a vengeance demon sent to destroy her.  Only then does Kennedy discover that she’s a member of The Legion – a centuries old secret society formed to protect the world from a powerful demon.  Only all the adult members of The Legion died on the same night.  And now it’s up to a group of misfit teens to try and save the day: Jared, trained in weapons and with a dark personality to match; Lukas, the nice brother with a head for patterns and a place in his heart for Kennedy; Alara, full up on attitude and serious voodoo magic; Priest, inventor extraordinaire; and Kennedy – who doesn’t know who she really is, or what, if anything, she could possibly contribute.  But with demons on their tail, she’ll have to figure it out fast if she wants to survive.

Age of Main Character: 16

What I Liked the Most: The interaction between the members of The Legion.  Priest shines as the rocking, hoodie wearing genius with a penchant for inventing deadly weapons out of junk you could pick up at your local hardware store.  And Alara is just badass, but deep down it’s clear she cares about Kennedy.  I wasn’t so hot on the romantic rivalry between Lukas and Jared, but I did appreciate that Garcia doesn’t let it drag on forever.  She allows for some mistakes and misunderstandings – two necessary components of any rocky romance – but wraps them up in good time and lets the story keep on chugging.

What I Liked the Least: Much of the story is taken up searching for pieces of a weapon that the teens believe the previous members of The Legion left hidden for them, a weapon they can use to kill the demon.  However, when we realize at the end that things were not all they seemed I couldn’t help feeling a bit cheated.  I never felt particularly invested in the quest, and couldn’t help asking from early on why – if this were such a powerful weapon – their parents hadn’t used it.  I didn’t really believe in the quest and was not very surprised by the “twist” that turns it on its head.

How Good was the Action? Garcia does an excellent job when it comes to creating suspenseful situations – fights at the bottom of a deep and narrow well, battles surrounded by the spirits of abandoned children, being locked in a small closet with demons banging on the door.  And that sense of suspense definitely helps to elevate the action and give each battle the tension that it needs to really rock.  The action definitely isn’t the center of the story, but it won’t disappoint either.

How Engaging was the Story? I think I found the first half of the book more engaging than the second.  Kennedy’s discovery of The Legion, her first encounters with the spirits of the dead, her first battles, the mistrust and sexual tension – it all drew me in.  The second half has some excellent ghost action, especially once the teens enter an old orphanage and later an abandoned maximum security prison.  But because I didn’t totally buy into their quest, I felt slightly less engaged in the story than I had at the beginning.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s still a good read and very much worth the time.  But don’t be surprised if you end up feeling a tad cheated at the end.   

Overall Assessment: A scary thriller with a cool premise, plenty of great demon action, and an intriguing cast of characters.

Profanity: Minimal.

Sex: There is some kissing and a bit of mild fantasizing, but nothing remotely graphic.

Violence: Some.  Kennedy and her pals do get hurt.  But the creatures they kill are demons and they don’t really bleed.  So while there is violence, and some of the fights can get a bit scary and intense, there’s little in the way of actual blood.

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