Unbreakable - Elizabeth Norris

Wow. Unbreakable pulls you in from the very first word and doesn't let go until the nail-biting ending. I really liked the first book Unraveling but Unbreakable was even more enjoyable for me.

The book picks up about four months after the devastating conclusion of Unraveling. After the cataclysmic events of the first book, Janelle is trying to pick up the pieces in a world that has gone to chaos. Still reeling after losing her father and best friend, Janelle is also pining for the boy who changed her world forever, Ben Michaels, who stepped through a portal to his own universe at the end of the first book. Janelle understood that she could not expect him to stay in a world where he did not belong but that doesn't stop her from missing him like crazy. 

Janelle tries to keep busy and there is plenty going on to divert her attention. San Diego is falling apart. So many people have died and those who survived find themselves with nowhere to live. Janelle is now staying with her father's former FBI partner Struz and her younger brother Jared in a small apartment. She also spends a lot of her time helping her friend Cecily at the shelter that has been set up for people who have been left homeless. However, it is soon brought to Janelle's attention that people have been disappearing. Fearing something more nefarious is going on Janelle's suspicions are confirmed when Taylor Barclay, the brash and over-confident Interverse Agent from the first book, comes to Janelle for help. People have been disappearing across the various universes and Barclay believes that there may be an inter-universe human-trafficking ring at play. Even worse, Ben may be involved...

Holy hell, this book was a thrilling ride from start to finish. The stakes were just as high as the first book and I really loved getting to see a bit more of the alternate universes. The plot was so fast paced that at times it got a little confusing but I loved every minute of it and was glad to be swept back up into this crazy, crazy world(s).

I had some difficulty relating to the main character Janelle in Unraveling but I was pleased to find out that she did not irritate me quite as much as she did previously. I feel that the arrogance she had in the first book was now tempered with a little more humility (understandable after all the losses she suffered in the first book). I liked the fact that she was a take-charge kind of character who didn't just passively sit and allow others to figure things out in book one but she was a bit too full of her own self-worth at times. I actually quite liked her in this book and could relate to her more than before. 

I was also taken by surprise by Taylor Barclay. He was a bit of an irritation inUnraveling but I just adored him in this book. Although still as cocky and supremely confident, he showed a lot of new depths in Unbreakable and quickly became my favourite character ****spoiler begins****so I was of course devastated when he was killed off - it's always my favourite characters.****spoiler ends*** I really like the rapport Barclay and Janelle had with each other and dare I say it I think they had much more chemistry than Janelle and Ben and this is coming from a Ben fan! Barclay definitely stole the book for me and I was glad to see him taking such a central role.

I really loved Ben in the first book but he kind of disappointed me in this one. ***spoiler begins****I really do not understood how he could have mistaken Janelle's double for her - they were absolutely nothing alike! It was also made doubly bitter by the fact that Janelle almost instantly realized when she met Ben's doppelganger that he was not 'her' Ben. I thought Janelle was too quick to forgive him and it soured their love story a little for me.****spoiler ends*** Ben did not come into the book until about half-way through and I feel his character suffered a bit as a result especially with Barclay taking over the role of 'hero' to a significant degree. Ben certainly did not have as strong a presence as he did in the first book and I found I did not miss him as much as I thought I would.

I did really love seeing some of the colourful supporting characters back fromUnraveling such as Struz, Eli (I love him and his potty mouth!), Jared and Cecily. I also detected a little bit of 'something' perhaps growing between Eli and Cecily - maybe Elizabeth Norris may return to this world at some point and explore this a little more (hint, hint!). 

Overall, Unbreakable a worthy follow-up to Unraveling and a blinding end to the series (though like I said above I wouldn't mind returning to this world again). I really couldn't put this book down.