Series: Unraveling #2
Published by Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins UK on June 6th 2013 (UK)
24 meets the X Files in the amazing follow up to Unravelling.
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 civilisation is slowly rebuilding, and life is finally starting to resume some kind of normality. Until Interverse agent Taylor Barclay shows up. He’s got a problem, and he needs Janelle’s help. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring – kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths. And Ben, with his unique abilities, is the prime suspect. To make things worse, Janelle learns that someone she cares about – someone from her own world – has become one of the missing.
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. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?
In this heart-pounding sequel to Unravelling, author Elizabeth Norris explores the sacrifices we make to save the people we love and the worlds we’ll travel to find them.
UNRAVELING was nothing less than a thrill-ride so you can bet I had my helmet and crash pads ready when I cracked open UNBREAKABLE! Not to mention a pint of chocolate chip ice-cream for the wallowing bits because let me tell you…Elizabeth Norris? She likes to gut-punch! I have visions of her laughing maniacally as I wail when she delivers that blow and I gotta admit…I ADORE her for it! She takes risks, doesn’t pander to readers and serves up amazing characters and storylines.
When we catch up with Janelle, her world has literally been turned upside down! Millions are dead, infrastructure destroyed, loved ones departed and oh so dearly missed and Ben…Ben is gone back to his own dimension. Struggling to keep it all together for Jared, Janelle has had to grow up even faster than she did in UNRAVELING. Graduating early from High School, she now works alongside her guardian Struz investigating the disappearance of several refugees scrambling to find normalcy in the centre run by Janelle’s friend and personal cheerleader Cecily. When Cecily disappears and Barclay, antagonist from Unraveling shows up with some shocking information about the disappearances and the involvement of Ben, Janelle teams up with Barclay to prove her boyfriend’s innocence, get her friend back and try and find her way back to normal.
Janelle was just as likeable in this instalment and just as admirable. Despite clearly feeling low about all that happened in the tumultuous months leading up to UNBREAKABLE, she ensures that her priorities are sound. Jared, her little brother is top of the list and making sure he has a stable home in a world of instability is her goal. With the help of her father’s colleagues and friends Struz and Deirdre she is determined to rebuild.
When Barclay showed up I was a little unsure how I would feel about him and Janelle interacting. I wasn’t his biggest fan in UNRAVELING but I have to admit he definitely proved to have more than one layer and it wasn’t just prickly! I liked how he was a strong support for Janelle however I did find their changing dynamic odd. At one point I was torn whether I should be ‘shipping them and had to repeat Ben’s name as a mantra in my head 😉
Aside from the death (yes that’s not a spoiler, you’re reading a Liz Norris book you need to know this) there were plenty of emotionally charged scenes particularly when Janelle finally catches up with Ben. The tension and hurt seared through the pages and I felt like I had to catch my breath.
The pacing is again stellar and you can’t help but get caught up in the story and race through the pages as the tension builds to one amazing climax. I didn’t think it was possible for the themes of the book to get any darker but the story behind the disappearances was chilling. I love how visual Norris’s writing in, reading her books is really the literary equivalent to a movie playing out between the pages. The characters are so realistic and well developed, apart from Barclay the biggest surprise of the series for me was Elijah and how much I grew to love him plus E + C = True Love!
Sacrifice, Truth and Honour play just as big apart in UNBREAKABLE as they did in its predecessor and you cannot help but root for Janelle as fights for what she loves. I’m in two minds about the fact that it’s a duology but I did love how Norris delivered a satisfying conclusion to an awesome and original story! Highly recommend!