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EVERYTHING TOLD ABOUT UNTOLD!

unspoken k

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

FIRSTLY, Untold is out in the world! I am super excited to talk about it! So I designate this the Untold spoiler post, and if you guys would like to talk about in the comments I am here to talk about it with you. If you’d like. ;)

I start off discussions by sharing some reviews with you all. I always knew that writing a series very firmly centred on one girl and analysing and interrogating romance was going to be tricky critically (because our world’s stance is: books about girls are Not Literature, and books about romance are trashy trash). I did it anyway because–I do what I want, and what I want is to do interesting stuff! I drive my career wildly about as if playing bumper cars off a cliff!

So I was super pleased to see this review from the Horn Book:

‘Horn Book (Sept/Oct)
In Unspoken (rev. 9/12), Kami Glass faced down malevolent magic-user Rob Lynburn and broke her lifelong telepathic bond with his nephew Jared. Kami’s investigative journalism skills again prove invaluable as she and her allies (including the few members of the magical Lynburn family Kami trusts, albeit reluctantly) race to identify the rest of Rob’s faction of corrupt sorcerers and stop them before they attempt to gain more power through horrifying means. Meanwhile, Jared is furious with Kami for breaking their psychic bond, and her confusing attraction to his less-troubled cousin Ash only widens the rift between them. Although the first installment’s witty banter is also present here, this sequel is darker, with higher stakes and more suspense. Brennan continues to explore the complexities of Kami and Jared’s turbulent relationship; even without the telepathic connection, the two struggle to reconcile their longing for closeness and the need for privacy and independence. Heroine Kami’s competence and outspokenness—she’s also not afraid to make difficult choices—and a whopping dose of girl detective–style sleuthing make this series a refreshing take on the paranormal romance genre.’

And also, since blog reviews are awesome:

http://exlibriskate.com/untold-by-sarah-rees-brennan/

http://www.yabibliophile.com/2013/09/untold.html

http://solittletimeforbooks.blogspot.fr/2013/09/untold-sarah-rees-brennan.html

http://www.pageturnersblog.com/2013/09/untold-review.html

I also did an interview with one of said lovely reviewers: http://solittletimeforbooks.blogspot.fr/2013/09/author-interview-sarah-rees-brennan.html

SECONDLY, I promised you guys an Untold music mix to go with the Unspoken music mix. http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/196692.html
I hope none of you were hoping that I would repent and abandon my country music loving ways, because I will never repent and abandon my country music loving ways. I decided it would be too spoilery to talk about which characters or couples fit which songs, though I have left CLUES so you may GUESS, but I talk a lot about moods and themes I was going for…

UNTOLD from SRB on 8tracks Radio.

Echo, by Jason Walker

my echo, echo
Is the only voice coming back
Shadow, shadow
Is the only friend that I have
Listen, listen
I would take a whisper if that’s all you had to give
But it isn’t, is it?

–Untold is a lot about loneliness, about the fear of loss of friendship and love, about the sometimes unfair demands we place on other people, about codependence and not being able to be codependent anymore.

Kiss Me Slowly, by Parachute

She shows me everything she used to know,
Picture frames and country roads,
When the days were long and the world was small.
She stood by as it fell apart,
Separate rooms and broken hearts

–Broken homes in Untold! Also kissing, but there is a lot of lost innocence. There is a time when your home seems like your whole world, and so the whole world can be broken. (Also I can’t buy the Parachute song due, I suspect, to evil sorcery.)

Feel It In My Bones, Tiesto featuring Tegan and Sara

I feel you in my bones.
You’re knocking at my window.
You’re slow to letting me go.

–It’s interesting, the feeling that someone isn’t letting you go, when in fact it’s the thought of them, the memory of them, that you can’t let go.

Not Your Cinderella, by Payton Rae

Oh, I’m no Sleeping Beauty
One kiss alone won’t do it to me
I hate to be the one to tell ya
Oh, but I’m not your Cinderella

–These books are analysing romance and that means there is a lot of girls asserting themselves against false romantic ideals, that a kiss means anything but what both the people involved want it to mean, discovering that love is different for different people.

Just A Kiss, by Lady Antebellum

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch of the fire burning so bright
No I don’t want to mess this thing up
I don’t want to push too far
Just a shot in the dark that you just might
Be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life

–BOOK TWO, MAKE OUT! I like the song because it conveys both the desperate uncertainties and wild hopes of love–how impossibly intertwined they are.

Lost and Found, Katie Herzig

I know you left me standing there
Out of the calm of the coldest air
I don’t believe the words you said
But I can’t find the words I want

–Kami is a writer: the first writer protagonist I’ve ever written, and it is always fun and interesting to write about how she feels about writing, to find where I think we would agree and where diverge. Searching for the words in life and love and literature is so very difficult. This quote of Jeanette Winterson’s always deeply affected me: ‘Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? “I love you” is always a quotation.…It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. A precise emotion seeks a precise expression. If what I feel is not precise then would I call it love?’ Talking about writing and talking about love is the same thing.

Have You Ever, Brandi Carlisle

Have you ever been out walking in the snow
Tried to get back to where you were before
You always end up not knowing where to go

–Nature, and how it intersects with life. The outside of the world in Untold reflects the inside of the characters a lot. Which leads to…

Lake of Silver Bells, Carbon Leaf

Looking past the love you face, you miss the place you never had
What you need’s not just the dream, but something on the other end
Wake up, wake up, wake up, you’re much too fast asleep
And we dance across ’til we drop, the bells keep time and never stop

–Nature, and loneliness, and the mystery of the lost bells, and love, and loneliness, and danger, and the sense there is something to reach for: there is a home to be found.

Howl, Florence and the Machine

Now there’s no holding back, I’m making to attack
My blood is singing with your voice, I want to pour it out
The saints can’t help me now, the ropes have been unbound
I hunt for you with bloody feet across the hallow’d ground

–Another aspect of love I wanted to look at was the nature of love in Gothic novels and other novels like it: how love, or the desire to possess, can lead to pain and horror.

Rotten Town, Ludo

And all the streets burned with gold,
But all my bones were so cold

–The transformation of Sorry-in-the-Vale. I feel strongly that book two should CHANGE IT UP, so from subtly-sinister-secrets home to a nightmare cage in which all is known and everyone is trapped seemed… a change… ;)

Sparks Fly, Taylor Swift

you stood there in front of me
Just close enough to touch
Close enough to hope you couldn’t
See what I was thinking of

–WE ALL KNEW WE WEREN’T DOING THIS WITHOUT TAYLOR.

No More Wishing, Hayley Taylor

you mean more than you should mean
but I’m willing to be
the one that you put on a pedestal
the one that you see in your dreams
the one that you hide your true self from
the one you want to please

–What compromises do we make for love that we should not make? Something every one of the main characters have to consider: whether they can pretend to be different than they are, feel differently from how they feel, and whether they can be loved if they cannot pretend. False ideals, and false idols.

How Far We’ve Come, Matchbox Twenty

I started running but there’s nowhere to run to
I sat down on the street and took a look at myself
said where you going man you know the world is headed for hell
say your goodbyes if you’ve got someone you can say goodbye to
I believe the world is burning to the ground
oh well i guess we’re gonna find out

–Overwhelming fear, and facing yourself. Nothing but good times ahead!

Eric’s Song, Vienna Teng

And of course I forgive
I’ve seen how you live
Like a phoenix you rise from the ashes
You pick up the pieces
And the ghosts in the attic
They never quite leave
…And how I am sure
Like never before
Of my reasons for defying reason
Embracing the seasons
We dance through the colors
Both followed and led
Strange how we fit each other

–I do see narratives where I think ‘yikes, these two should break up and move to different countries.’ But I also see a lot of, if a character does something wrong, that’s it for them: ‘if someone who loves hurts you, they are BAD’–that leads to a world without love. Whether you are better with someone, worse without them, is something you decide for yourself. Sometimes you love someone and they love you, and they’re still toxic. Sometimes you love someone and they hurt you, and you can forgive. It’s a scary decision to make: relationships are so complicated. To quote Jeanette Winterson again, it is so terrifying, love.

THIRDLY, cool news: there is a map of Sorry-in-the-Vale, drawn by fabulous artist Theo Black and supervised by me. It is EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: it is printed in both the first edition paperback Unspoken and the first edition hardback Untold. I don’t know if it will be printed in the second printings! (If there is a second printing I do not wish to assume!) My point is, FANCY MAPS, GET YOUR FANCY MAPS WHILE YOU CAN.

(Also, I remind you if you send me (sarahreesbrennan@gmail.com) a picture of yourself with Untold and tell me your address, I will send you a signed bookplate.)

FOURTHLY, there is another Untold surprise. But it is not yet… you must wait. But not long. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
renesears
Sep. 26th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh man. I finished Untold this morning, and...YOU ARE AWESOMEORRIBLE AND WHY CAN'T I READ BOOK THREE NOW. I have feels. JARED.

I had to literally set my kindle aside for a minute when SPOILER</p>

Kami let Ash source her.


FEELS.

Also, Montgomerys. You are all awesome.

In conclusion, book three can't come soon enough for me.

martinemonster
Sep. 26th, 2013 10:07 am (UTC)
Not done with the book yet, so I probably shouldn't look at the spoilers, but hey, that's just the way I roll.

Must say: this did not disappoint. I was waiting for the painly pain moment when the unfortunate source related incident would happen, and I loved how much it hurt and how little it did to change the tide.

Can't wait for book three!

Also, good social commentary on the two girls kissing is hot-thing ref. Angela and Holly. Kudos!

Bookplate, you say? Will you even ship to Norway?
sarahtales
Sep. 26th, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, as an Irish lassie, I know the pain of not shipping, I will ship to eeeeeverywhere!

I am so glad you are enjoying, and that my little extra bits about SOCIETY are also enjoyabibble!
miladygrey
Sep. 26th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
My mental song for Unspoken is "Little Talks" by Monsters and Men. Although I find myself thinking of the female vocal line as Jared, and the male vocal line (italicized) as Kami.

I don't like walking around this old and empty house
So hold my hand, I'll walk with you, my dear
The stairs creak as I sleep, it's keeping me awake
It's the house telling you to close your eyes

(BOTH) And some days I can't even trust myself
It's killing me to see you this way

There's an old voice in my head that's holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks
Soon it will be over and buried with our past
We used to play outside when we were young
And full of life and full of love...


(BOTH) You're gone, gone, gone away
I watched you disappear
All that's left is the ghost of you.
Now we're torn, torn, torn apart,
There's nothing we can do
Just let me go we'll meet again soon
Now wait, wait, wait for me
Please hang around
I'll see you when I fall asleep...

I imagine my mental song for Untold will be my own bitter sobbing. Guess I'll find out tomorrow, when my copy arrives!

Edited at 2013-09-26 01:52 pm (UTC)
marici
Sep. 26th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
I like this idea, thanks!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 26th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
I loved this book SO MUCH, I cannot thank you enough for writing it. What really touched me was Kami and her family - her relationship with her brothers and her parents and all their relationships with each other and how they change throughout the book. Kami huddled with her brothers while her parents yelled is sadly very relatable, and when Kami and Jon thought that Tomo and Ten were gone, I was crying. Again, thank you for portraying someone with a mostly functioning, quite accurate family. I love my little brothers more than anything, and it's nice to see Kami does too.
spunspider
Sep. 26th, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
i really really enjoy the scoobs but i don't know if i would've loved the books without the parental generation; i LOVE the parental generation. it's a thing i have really strong feelings about, teen fiction, both televisual and lit, and the way it portrays parents. I AM JUST SO INTO YOUR PARENTAL GEN.

rusty is toootally fan fave and i am so there with them, i love him a whole whole lot. all the romantic configurations are so fun, it's basically everyone x everyone. GREAT TIMES ARE HAD BY ALL.
sarahtales
Oct. 1st, 2013 01:04 pm (UTC)
I like a lot of romantical configurations lots too. ;) and I have always received a lot of love for Jon Glass, but with Untold I see a rise in love for Lillian Lynburn, which surprises me as a) she is a complicated lady who does many bad things and b) she is a parent and they often do not get attention. It makes me very happy.

... Makes my friend Holly happy too. They're her ship.

Edited at 2013-10-01 01:05 pm (UTC)
Maria Phillis
Sep. 27th, 2013 10:46 am (UTC)
I loved it! I agree with the commentator above I loved all of the social commentary. I love the bit about all of the ways to say that Kami was "precious" implied that she belonged to him and he knowing that she didn't. I love the - of course I'm not going to stop you going into danger bit (Gaudy Night reference? :)) I loved how Kami and Jared had a tiny bit of happiness in this whole mess finally and how painfully that was snatched away - and I hated/loved how quick Jared was to assume he was replaceable and credit everything to the link. And I loved the humor of it all. I giggled like a crazy person reading it and had to keep reading bits to my husband who smiled and shook his head in amusement at me because he knows you are one of my favorites and he knows I will always be giggling like a madwoman while reading your stuff.

Loved it; heartbroken and desperate for book three. :)

jezebelz
Oct. 2nd, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
So we didn't find out what Rusty's Super Seekrit Sorcerer-Romancing Plan is yet, correct? (I have a newborn & am v. sleep deprived so my reading comprehension levels may be somewhat lower than usual.)

I am so glad this was the makeout book in the trilogy. I loves me some makeouts. Er...I mean societal commentary. Yes, that. (I did laugh out loud at the Honey Badger bit. Jared is not on Tumblr, obvs.)

I am sad that I do not have the map. All my books lately are on my iPad (see above re: newborn, which makes page-turning difficult). I may have to slurk down to Powells to see if they have any map-containing copies. Also this will give me another excuse to foist the book upon my friends, since I will have an extra!
sarahtales
Oct. 2nd, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
Not yet, but soon!

I enjoy your Powells plan, and I am glad you enjoyed the makeouts! Not that book three will be entirely makeout deprived...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:32 am (UTC)
Finished Untold at an unspeakable hour last night. Like many other people it seems I have growing Rusty feels. Maybe it is because of all the secret Kami longing he seems to be throwing off? I do love the hopeless pining characters. I am terrible at guessing so this probably means that his secrets/hidden depths are evil or leukemia etc except less cliche. I love all of the characters though! It is causing me terrible shipping pains, this would be an excellent place for that One True Village icon that I have seen. I love how how squishy Jared and Angela are becoming, and Kami is amazing as always. I am looking forward as well to learning more about the context of Holly's powers and her relationship with Angela. Somewhat saddened that the trend of dead parents continues.
sarahtales
Oct. 3rd, 2013 10:25 am (UTC)
I spared all parents in Unspoken, I really cannot promise safety for everybodys' parents for three whole books--any more than I can promise safety for non-parents. ;) A ton of people died in Untold... and more will die!

I am glad that you like Rusty and continue to like Kami.
fierian
Oct. 4th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
I finished it at 2:30 last night. Begin random reaction spiel (SPOILERS ABOUND!!!!!!!!):

At the beginning I was like waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Jared stop running away, come back and face Kami so that we can see the DYNAMIC now that everything has CHANGED. But then he did and that was awesome. Well I mean it was painful. But in an awesome way. Also I did not like Kami doubting herself in the beginning without that constant assurance from him ('did not like' in the sense that it was also painful to read, not that it was not accurate and insightful, it was and that made it more painful). But then she had her cathartic moment of self-assurance which was so wonderful and proved that the high emotional and power-in-the-midst-of-war cost of cutting the link really did gain something essential - her proving to herself she could stand on her own. And then Rusty and Jared fought and then there was the hilarious role reversal social commentary and then after that the STAKES KEPT RAISING as more and more STUFF WENT DOWN and I can't wait for the next book.

Things I am hoping for in the next book:
1) Explanation for why Jared flinches so hard when people touch him and has to steel himself to touch other people. Is this just that he was raised by cold parents who clearly did nothing to instill comfort with affectionate touching in their son considering one wanted nothing to do with him and the other only touched him to hit him (*SOB*, by the way), combined specifically in Kami's case with not yet having gotten over the weirdness of her existing on the physical plane at all, or is there perhaps some kind of magic involved that makes it literally painful for him?? (I may be reaching here. >.< It was just an idea that popped in my head, especially in the scenes where he hovers just-almost-but-not-actually touching Kami, like he wants to but knows it will hurt if he does.)

2) SERIOUS repercussions for Lillian and major guilt on her part for what she did. I mean I get she is a complicated lady and she had a lot of pressure on her and felt she had to lead alone, and was desperate at the time and trying to take a risk that might have a high payoff that could turn the tide of a war she was losing - but she kinda got ALL OF HER FOLLOWERS KILLED. That deserves serious fallout. (Also it puzzled me that Ten would go to her after Jared freed him - she was the one who kidnapped him and got him trapped in the first place, wouldn't he be afraid of her and not trust her? But I guess Jared told him to and he didn't know what else to do, and he knew he couldn't get through the fire on his own, so he didn't have much choice.)

3) Holly coming into her own as a sorcerer, gaining confidence and wielding power and basically being badass.


Extra bonus random thought:
I loved the first Unspoken cover so much, but I actually really like the new covers as well. Especially the Untold one, the color is an awesome choice, lucky you were wearing that dress that inspired it that day. :) And the new covers capture the gothic spooky feel, which is cool.


I will be taking a pic of me with Untold today so I can get my bookplate! I will try to think of something creative. ;)
sarahtales
Oct. 4th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
I look forward to the picture. ;)

1) You get one. And that is all I can say about that!

2) I will say I don't want to pile too much on Lillian--the most important person in her life just got murdered (and we know, though she doesn't yet, that one of the other handful of people she loves was previously murdered too). Her followers getting killed is already an awful consequence for her (not as bad as for them, of course), as is losing her home--and Jon holds her very much accountable for taking Ten at the end of Untold, and I think the text makes clear she is making grave mistakes throughout. Basically I am wary of punishing a lady too much and I don't see how she can face any more hideous repercussions--her life is already an absolute parade of horrors. But she certainly needs to learn to do things differently. And of course, she may not survive!

3) Mmmhmm. *looks innocent* Maybe she will. If she lives. (Maybe she will and then die. WHO CAN SAY WHAT I'LL DO?)

I am glad to hear of your sufferings. And that the cathartic moment worked for you--fire tests gold, but fire's pretty terrifying just the same. And I am super glad that the stuff going down and stakes raising worked for you and that you want the next book. I always think of the second book as the test of the series (can the author sustain this? can the stakes be raised?) and so I am much pleased to see this second book worked for you.

I too thought the turquoise font turned out very well and very pretty. The previous was a kind of lime green I had no time for, none at all, and I was so happy they changed it!
fierian
Oct. 4th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
2) I am wary of punishing a lady too much...her life is already an absolute parade of horrors.

Point taken, and this may sound horrible...but I am glad of these bad things happening to her if it makes her suffer and she then grows from that? Specifically I want her to feel the full weight and horror of her leading those people, who trusted her, to their deaths, and for that to help her realize that she needs to start weighing the lives of other people, not just her "royal" family, as worth more.

I believe my visceral desire to see her punished is not because she is a lady and ladies deserve harsher punishment than men who mess up (far from it!!!!), but rather that her mistake was really, really bad and although you say "Her followers getting killed is already an awful consequence for her," I guess I want to see in the text that she feels that way (and not just because it means a huge loss of power for her side in the war, but because of the loss of those people).

Er, not to be making demands on what 'the text' should do - you are a masterful author, I would never presume!!! I am just working through my personal feels regarding Lillian, I suppose. :)

Oh by the way....I laughed so hard at the part when Jon kept calling her by a different "L" name every time he addressed her, and she finally broke down and reacted to "Lulubelle." :D

And oh no.....so basically you are saying no character is safe from the threat of the authorial axe in the next book.... *whimpers*

I STILL CAN'T WAIT. ;)

p.s. I love how this series makes the reader think deeply about so many things and is also funny and entertaining and full of emotional payout at the same time. :)
cachinna
Oct. 7th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
Finally got my copy of Untold and thought "I will read some of this over lunch" and then somehow migrated from the table to the couch and looked up baffled a few hours later to discover I had read the whole thing.

In no particular order: I am so glad Jared and Kami got things a little bit sorted out in this book, even though their mutual low self-esteem is agonizing to read, oh, sweethearts, be kind to yourselves!

Angela and Holly! Angela. and. Holly. I just. I love them so much, I want them to fall in love and have a wonderful happy ending full of sunshine and rainbows and epic sorcery. Accept no substitutes.

And Angela and Kami! I love the conversations they have in this book about how hard it is to have conversations, essentially. Having experienced coming out from both sides many times over, this really rang true to me, especially given their particular characters. I love how careful Kami is being at the beginning, and how clearly you show Angela's reluctance to talk about no matter how much faith she had in Kami, and the way they know they have each other's backs no matter what, and the way they are both difficult to deal with in their own ways but totally click, and just. Everything I want in a female friendship. I was so relieved because -- well, in the last book, the whole Angela-Holly thing seemed really distancing for Kami and Angela, and I was like "Obviously I trust Sarah Rees Brennan, but I really don't want this to destroy their friendship!" and then it didn't and it was one of the rock-solid mainstay relationships of this book and I was so pleased.

And just Holly! Gosh, everyone in this book is suffering from the very human assumption that they are not good enough, it is so painful to read and I want to hug all of them. I cannot wait to see how her discovery of her own sorcery goes.

And Rusty! What a darling, I love how much he loves Kami, I don't know if I ship them or not with Jared there (they seem like an odd group for an ot3, so I do not quite ship that, even though that is usually my solution to shipping dilemmas, but I just... Rusty! I love him). And I love their conversation about how he has 'deeps' and how loyal he is to her, in a healthier way than Jared.

And... Oh, gosh, I have not even mentioned the adults yet! Lillian, I adore her so much, she is so wonderfully brutal and having to suffer for it; she has gone through so much and even though it has not made her the nicest person, she is still so strong and so committed to her family. And while her idea of the right thing may not, you know, always agree with any reasonable person's, I love that she is still totally committed to doing it.

And Kami's family! I love them so much, I love her taking care of her brothers and how deeply real that is, I love her father and her silently cleaning the blood off the gate, I even quite get her mother's frantic determination to take care of them even if she is deeply problematic about it.

This has gotten very long, I apologize, so I will just say -- you always portray relationships in such a complex, thoughtful, funny, brutal way, and I love it. Thanks for writing this book!
(Anonymous)
Oct. 8th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
Dear Sarah Rees Brennan,

I made the brutal mistake of buying Untold on Kindle yesterday evening, thinking I'd just take a peek before heading to bed. I finished it around 4 AM, which meant spending today wondering (1) what on earth possessed me to do this to myself, (2) how, after reading your Demon's Lexicon trilogy, I failed to see NO SLEEP AT ALL as a likely consequence of starting one of your books at bedtime, and (3) what kind of sadist would end her novel and leave poor you-know-who in such dire circumstances for upwards of a year. I can chalk 1 and 2 up to my own poor choices, but given that not even Robert Lynburn (I imagine) intends number 3, it's my considered opinion that you are even meaner than he is.

Also, I love the book.

I like the growing promiscuity of the story's PoV, which manages to broaden our window on the conflict in Sorry-In-The-Vale without losing Kami and Jared as its center*. I hope that in the third book we'll get at least a glimpse through the eyes of someone in Robert's camp. I'll bet Amber's head is an interesting place.

*Speaking of which, I also appreciated that while teenagers are at the story's narrative and emotional center, the adults in Untold manage to actually be adults, and aren't handwaved as powerless or clueless or useless in order to make way for the kids to take over the battlefield. That's a hard thing to do in a YA novel, I think, and you manage it very deftly.

So I second the love for the parents' generation in all of their screwed-up (vain)glory, particularly the Lynburn sisters and John Glass. My particular literary obsession is historiography and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and I like that the aptly-named Lynburn Legacy is in some small part a story about the discovery of the past, both distant and recent, and that the choices and mistakes of your characters' parents and ancestors are echoing down into their present. Since the story is told exclusively from several teenage PoVs and teenagerhood is a condition more or less inimical to the understanding of one's parents, I suppose it would be unrealistic if Kami or Jared or Ash were to achieve more than superficial insight into what happened to make Robert and Rosalind (for example, though I'm particularly curious about Rosalind!) into the persons that they are. But I hope we as readers come away from the third book with a glimmer of that understanding.

Most of all, by the way, I love that you write YA novels with a bit of a queer sensibility. Because you include queer characters, of course, but also because your story is about a girl detective getting together with a gothic heroine who is a teenage boy who has apparently read Middlemarch. (And how awesome to read a YA fantasy that is allusive without being all "English major introduces Norton Anthology to food processor, turns confetti into thirty-six epigraphs"!)

On a solitary crank-ish note, I don't feel the general love for the Montgomerys, who remain a bit flat for me as characters. Angela especially. Perhaps it's partly that a couple of the other characters have a tendency to proclaim her awesomeness at the drop of a hat, which is charming and not implausible coming from her friends, but has the side effect, for this reader, of giving her kickassness the feeling of an informed quality. Which is probably an unfair reaction, given that she's pretty frequently depicted being tough, and loyal, and brave, and clear-eyed. And karate-chopping people. Possibly, come to think of it, I just feel Angela and her brother are a couple of secondary characters in want of some foibles that aren't explicitly endearing. In any case, Holly, who's gotten less in the way of wordcount, feels more fleshed out as a personality to me.

But yes, quibbles aside, I'm really here to thank you for the book. I look forward to the next one. And then to the next series. I will always be on board!

PS, I've been enjoying the Turn of the Story. Thank you.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 14th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
Loved it!

In an (excellent, by the way!) interview with Rich in Color last month, you said your editor talked you into softening the ending of Untold. Seeing as how this is the designated spoiler post, any chance you can be prevailed upon to tell us what exactly you changed?
sarahtales
Oct. 14th, 2013 10:51 am (UTC)
I added the last Kami-PoV scene. Originally we ended with the Jared PoV. I still don't know if that was a mistake or not...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 17th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. While there's something to be said for the drama of dropping the curtain on Jared, I think the final Kami POV is the perfect grace note to the events of the final few chapters.

And it's truer from a thematic standpoint, as well: gothic trappings aside, the books read more like a story about a girl reporter and her Scoobs rallying a reluctant town against the evil in their midst than one about an isolated boy trapped in a big scary house up on a hill. Not that Jared's detour into full-on Radcliffe territory isn't awesome, of course!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 17th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
Hi Sarah! Sorry to bother you but, I sent a picture of me and my friend with our Untold books, but we haven't got a reply, are we supposed to?
(Anonymous)
Jan. 17th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, I forgot to say I sent it in November.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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