400p. Dial. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3373-2. LC 2012050174.
Gr 7 Up—Lucy Scarborough has ended the curse that haunted the women of her family for 400 years and is settling into a happy life after the events of Impossible (Dial, 2008). But Fenella, with whom the curse began, isn't at peace. After being trapped in Faerie for centuries, all she wants is to die, so she strikes a deal with the Faerie queen: if she destroys her family, she can end her own life. She shows up on Lucy's doorstep to begin her three tasks of destruction (the inverse of Lucy's three tasks of creation). However, despite her tortured past, it is difficult to sympathize with Fenella's cruel intentions. Readers who rooted for Lucy's success may struggle with this novel, especially since Lucy's spirit and determination, so much a part of her character in Impossible, are largely absent here so that Fenella can take center stage. They will also have a hard time believing Lucy's family's acceptance of Fenella, even after she begins to destroy their security and love. Mention is made of their suspicions, but Fenella is never asked to leave, and while the ending is somewhat open-ended, it's still more hopeful than seems likely. Even with its flaws and heavy reliance on a suspension of disbelief, Unthinkable may still find an audience among fans of Impossible who liked the blending of real-world and fantasy, the focus on family, and the tale of a young woman overcoming what seem like incredible odds.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
For what price would you bring destruction to your own family? After four hundred years of suffering under a faerie curse, Fenella Scarborough wants nothing but the peace and finality of death. The Faerie Queen offers a bargain: Fenella can win her mortality by completing three acts of destruction, but, as with all faerie bargains, there are conditions -- the destruction must be against her own family. Fenella agrees, convinced she can minimize the damage, until yet another twist further endangers her family, which includes her "many-times-great-granddaughter" Lucy, who broke the family's curse in Impossible (rev. 9/08). Re-entering the human (and contemporary) world as a stunning eighteen-year-old, Fenella is warmly embraced by Lucy's family, her family, who has no idea she has come to destroy the safety Lucy fought for. Fenella's mission is complicated and confused by her own unexpectedly awakened desires -- to learn about fascinating new technologies, to hold Lucy's child, to be with the beautiful, tender Walker Dobrez. The Faerie Queen's brother Ryland, sent in cat form, nudges her to stay her course of destruction, and she begins her terrible tasks. Werlin, a deft storyteller and creative world-builder, weaves a twisting strand of faerie magic through the human realm, smoldering with sparks of romance and danger, just waiting to ignite. lauren adams

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