Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Unwanteds by Lisa Mcmann

The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.
It's been a while since I posted anything on this blog, and I apologise to my followers but school hasn't been a walk in the park for me. Anyways, I hope to put up interesting and informative posts regularly from now on, and also post reviews.
I had read a few pages of the book on a website even before I saw the caption above so, I wasn't the least bit skeptical about this book. Yeah my expectations for the book were a little higher than what was given, but I loved the book all the same.

Yeah it's meant for middle grade readers, but it was not as simplistic as you'd expect.
The Unwanteds is the story of twins Alex and Aaron living in a land called Quill. Each year thirteen-year-olds are sorted into two groups. Either the Wanted group where they are sent to the university or the Unwanted group where they are sent to their death.

Aaron is determined to be Wanted but Alex is Unwanted because of his artistic ability. To be artistic shows a tendency to be a free-thinker, and the government believes that free thinkers pose a threat to them.

Alex discovers though that the Unwanteds are not actually killed but are secretly sent to a new land called Artime, a place created by magic where the Unwanteds learn to master their creative abilities and learn magic that will help them fight Quill.

Naturally Alex is excited to have found a place where he can be himself, but he misses his brother Aaron, and wishes he could bring Aaron to join him in Artime.

Aaron on the other hand is perfectly okay with his new position. He is ambitious, and  dreams of becoming the ruler of Quill. When the existence of Artime is threatened, the new citizens must fight to keep their freedom, and much to Alex’s disappointment, this fight will pit him against his twin brother.

I loved the idea of the pitting of twins against each other, it is a classic book of good against evil. We have a high priestess called Justine who decides those who will act as soldiers that is the wanteds and obedient ones who follow rules, and then those that are really creative and might be a little too carefree are sent to their deaths at a place called DEATH FARM, and guess what the farmers name is, yes Marcus today.

Mr. Death farmer however is not exactly as bad as he is made out, in fact he has been hiding the fact that he has not been killing off the so called unwanteds, and that he has been training them in their arts for he knows that eventually Quill will find out about the Unwanteds, and a fight must ensue to keep it safe.

The book was definitely a good read, but a couple of things irked me.
  1. The characters especially the major ones at Artime sounded a lot alike, and the change in the point of view did a lot of distraction for me than clarification.
  2. There was a little inconsistency in the timing. And I had a problem with some of the names like Mr. Today.
  3. The dialogues at times sounded immature, but hey that's just me saying, and I'm an adult, so what do I know about the way MG talk.

A couple of things I loved, and made me just want to peek into Lisa Mcmann's brains to see if I could grab a few ideas

  1. The plot was amazing, and like I said before, the idea of identical twins having to battle against each other was just genius.
  2. The fight sequences, the paper models of dragons that breathe fire, and other unique powers of the children was just amazing.

I have not read the Hunger games yet, but I think those who compared it to Harry Potter were not too far off the mark. I shamelessly await the next installment. I have heard about her other books, Wake, Fade and Cryer's cross, and after reading this I am definitely going to pick them up and read. I give this book four stars, and I definitely recommend it to adults who are not ashamed to devour middle grade books, and for kids all over.


  1. welcome baack

  2. I have not read this book- nor heard of it. I LOVE Harry Potter and The Hunger Games- so the fact that it is compared to both of them really has me interested. I love MG and YA books- so I put this on my list. It sounds like you really liked the book, although there were a few little issues. Great review!

    Hope school is better!



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