Creepy spirits who come after you in the dark? Check.
An age-old mystery-slash-vendettta? Check.
Kick ass female protagonist and fun gang of “friends”? CHECK.
It’s autumn here in New York, gentle reader, and as a lead up to the cold weather, the leaves crisping under my feet, and as many rewatchings of Hocus Pocus as I can possibly swallow, I was beyond thrilled when a copy of Kami Garcia’s new book Unbreakable arrived on my doorstep.
(Okay two arrived on my doorstep, but DON’T tell anyone.)
With my copy I got the cool fun things you can see in the picture including the fun jewelry, creepy pictures and awesome cigar box it all came in, but the most exciting part was definitely the book. I spent a weekend devouring the world of Kennedy and her “friends.”
I call them “friends” because they’re not really loving on each other like the Scooby gang or anything right at the beginning BUT YOU CAN SEE THE FOUNDATION.
Unbreakable doesn’t come out until October, but you should order it now and put it on your “read to get scared” list. There are great characters, scary spirits and some tie-ins to mythology that had me sitting up and going, “Oh my God, I think this is YA Da Vinci Code!” (I loved The Da Vinci Code so that is totally a compliment).
In addition to the fun swag I got with my review copy of Unbreakable, I bring you a fun interview from author Kami Garcia. You may know her from Beautiful Creatures. She’s kind of a big deal. AND she has some book recommendations for you, so read on!
Setting plays such an important role in Unbreakable. How did you pick this particular area of the country for Kennedy?
I grew up in Maryland, and I went to school in Washington, D.C. near the National Zoo, so the setting in the novels feels like my home turf. Growing up, I had friends who lived in Georgetown, in row houses just like Kennedy’s. I intentionally stayed away from the South, since that was the setting of Beautiful Creatures. But I also wanted to write another series where the settings were as distinct and memorable as the characters.
I like the ramp up of the brothers’ relationship and how Kennedy fits into the group. Did you set out thinking paranormal romance or did that come up as you wrote the characters and saw connections?
I’ve never written anything other than paranormal romance, with the exception of a few dystopian short stories. I think it’s in my blood. I’ve always been a dark girl, and I’ve always wanted superpowers. If I had my way, I’d be Magneto from the X-men. I knew the Legion series would deal with the paranormal – it was inspired by a short story called “Red Run,” which included ghosts and ghost hunting. Some writers naturally lean toward a particular genre, and paranormal romance/thrillers are my cup of tea.
I have my gut feelings about what Kennedy’s specific talent is within the group – aside from the clear memorization of things – but I’m curious more about how you chose the specific talents that the others have. Are you working off of a specific type of troop of people or magic-doers for guidance or skills that work together?
When I was choosing the areas of expertise for each of the Legion members, I wanted those skills to work together as a whole. I didn’t base them on a particular group, but I did try to choose modern skills that could be traced back thousands of years to more classic ones.
As I’m sure you can tell by your early readers’ social media excitement, we’re devouring this new book. What kind of books do you dive into with the same kind of relish? Any recommendations for HelloGiggles readers?
Some of my favorite paranormal romances are: any vintage Anne Rice (The Witching Hour and Interview with a Vampire), The Curse Workers Series by Holly Black, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Fire by Kristen Cashore, and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. In terms of fantasy and horror, some of my top picks are: White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Fire-Starter by Stephen King, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters.
What’s next for Kennedy? Any hints on when we’ll see the next chapter in the story (because I really want it soon even if this one isn’t quite out for public consumption yet) or where she’ll be heading in the next installment?
I don’t have a release date for Book 2, but most likely it will come out next October. I’m not sure if I’ll be writing any shorter pieces in the universe in between, but there are a lot of videos on my YouTube channel where I’m talking about the series and places that inspired it. (I can’t believe I’m encouraging anyone to watch me on video. I’m such a dork in them.) The Legion Series Tumblr also has book footnotes and other interesting tidbits that you won’t find in the novel. In terms of Book 2, I’m finishing it up right now, and it’s definitely more intense—more suspense, more romance, new settings. I wish I could tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you. ☺
Okay, yes I did get this book as a review copy. But I don’t write about books I don’t love. SO. That alone should tell you I really liked it.
Feature Image via Kami Garcia; other image…by me and my old sad iPhone