1. First off, it has two fine as hell demon-hunting brothers.
Jared and Lukas Lockhart — here represented by stand-ins Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles — are twin teens on a mission to kill a demon for family reasons. Part of an ancient order called the Legion, they kick paranormal ass, take names, and don’t get along due to conflicting personalities even though they love each other. If this sounds familiar just roll with it because there’s a 97% chance Lockhart boys are at least tangentially related to the Winchester clan.
2. But hold on because the main character is a girl, Kennedy Waters.
If you love Supernatural but feel your eyes are about to roll out of your head due to the disposable nature of their female characters, worry not. Kennedy might dip a toe into Mary Sue territory with the love triangle but she’s a girl with agency, personality, and a bone to pick with the creatures of the night. Even if she isn’t queen of the badasses. That title goes to Alara, the fourth Legion member and voodoo priestess extraordinaire.
3. Kennedy is special. Unless she’s not. Okay she is but is it the right kind of special?
The five members of the Legion are passed down through family and each comes with a special power and with that power, of course, great responsibility. Each kid is born with an ability — in Kennedy’s case a photographic memory — but until the mark appears on their wrist, the child is not chosen. So, similar to Sam Winchesters’s story arc, the theme of is she the chosen one or not is a huge plot thread.
5. But then they take it to the next level.
It there’s one thing Supernatural is missing, it’s a James Bond Q character. Enter Priest, the fifth and final member of the Legion. Also the youngest. Also a terrifying weapons expert. From paintball guns that can be fitted to shoot everything from holy water to salt water to makeshift flamethrowers created from cans of Aquanet, Priest gets the team around that pesky age limit on firearms.
6. Which they need for investigating spooky locales.
The book’s mantra might as well be, “Why don’t we ever get to go someplace nice?” A demon that controls ghosts never seems to take up residence on a sunny South Pacific Island but instead calls places like the Waverly Hills Sanatorium home. The kids bounce from one creepy locale to another to the point if you’re a wimp — like me — reading the the lights on is mandatory.
7. There’s a dilemma about the nature of killing said ghosts.
Unlike Supernatural which took some time to muddy the waters, Unbreakable jumps right in about the ethics of killing paranormal creatures willy-nilly. Are they bad guys? Good guys being coerced? Non-guys with no concept they are dead and therefore to be pitied? Trapped here? Here of there own free will? Should they be killed or ignored or helped or ahhhhhh too many existential questions about fictional beings.
9. And of course angst, so much angst.
These teens have more issues than a bag of Shakespeare plays. Whether you like your characters beating themselves up over past mistakes, blaming themselves for deaths they couldn’t have prevented anyway, accidentally making things worse by trying to make them better, or just having standard issue abandonment issues, there’s something here for everyone.
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