Release Date: 04/23/13
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?
My thoughts on the book:
Unbreakable was even better than Unraveling, and I did not think that was possible. Norris amazed me with this sequel. It was action-packed, intense, and emotional. Additionally, this novel was much darker than the first. Norris shows that she doesn't lack grit as an author, and this book secures her spot as one of the best and most unique YA authors. Fans of sci-fi and crime novels will devour the second installment of the Unraveling series.
Janelle was an even more impressive character in this book than she was in Unraveling. She was completely willing to sacrifice everything for the betterment of the world. Furthermore, she was strong and forgiving. She wasn't one who held grudges or got all emo and bitter over every little thing. Also, she was tough yet vulnerable. She was able to open herself up to others while still maintaining her strength. She grew in this novel, and she had a greater sense of responsibility. She was also less self-absorbed. Janelle is turning into a fantastic YA heroine.
Along with Janelle, we got to know other secondary characters better. Barclay played a big part in this novel, and I really grew to love him. He was an excellent agent, selfless, and kind... in his own way. He really fought for what was right, and I admired him for that. We also got to see more of Cecily. She's much stronger than I gave her credit for. She was able to maintain her positive attitude, even after going through hell several times. She's an inspiration to us all. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see as much of Ben and Elijah in this installment.
In addition to the already established characters, Norris introduced new characters. My personal favorite was Hayley. She was another strong female who fought for what was right. We also got to learn more about the doubles that exist in the other worlds, and some of them were okay and others were not. All of the doubles, while believable and complicated in their own ways, still managed to fall short of the "original" characters that I had grown to love in Unraveling.
The plot was intense and not your normal teen fare. Norris created a dark and complicated plot revolving around human trafficking and abuse. There was a ton of mystery and suspense, and I couldn't figure out just how deep the corruption went. Norris kept me guessing throughout the whole novel. Even though the plot was darker, it still read like an action movie. This book, like the last, was fast-paced and action-packed. I wasn't bored for one second, and I couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed Janelle's flashbacks for the memory segments of the book. I much preferred that to Norris simply telling us what Janelle remembered. It's clear that this author excels at showing instead of telling.
Overall, I'd recommend this book, and series, to everyone. Unbreakable is an excellent follow-up to Unraveling, and this series is unique and stands out in a market that's flooded with sci-fi and paranormal teen novels. If you haven't read this series yet, give it a chance. You don't know what you're missing.