Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMannus

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.

In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.

But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

The UnwantedsThe Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

My Take: This is a little bit of Hunger Games and a little bit of Harry Potter, both series I liked more than just a little bit. I thought the warfare was creative and appropriate for the target audience and particularly enjoyed the pitting of twins against each other.

Good vs. Evil, Justine is the high priestess who gets to decide who will be a good little soldier and who will at least follow the rules and not cause problems. Those who might be too free thinking, however, are the ones that are sent to their deaths at the Death Farm. Don't cry about it. Don't talk about it. They're gone. Sent to the Death Farmer, Marcus Today.

Marcus Today is not what he seems, however. Eventually, the history of Quill is told to Alex, the Unwanted twin. Marcus has been hiding the fact that he hasn't been eliminating the Unwanteds for thirty years. He's been training them in their arts and developing lethal arts as well. Marcus knows that eventually Quill will find out about the Unwanteds. I don't think it will come as a big surprise that the first battle will be fought in this book.

This is the first book in a trilogy. As with many trilogies, settings are developed and characters are introduced. Some character development is provided but more will be given in the following books. I'm looking forward with anticipation for the next books.

Very well written. Fun to read. Excellent conflict.

Contest Info: 
Are you Unwanted? Provide the link to a picture or video of you explaining which camp you’d be in, Wanted or Unwanted, and be entered to win the grand prize book club class pack. Link can be provided in the comments of this post, on the Kismet Book Touring Facebook page or on Lisa's Facebook page. Open US/Canada. Contestants under 18 years of age must have parental consent to enter.

Monday August 29th - Danny and Pushy, Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, August 30th (The Unwanted's Book Birthday!) - Katie, The Mundie Moms
Wednesday, August 31st - Alyssa, Teens Read and Write
Thursday, September 1st - Heidi, YA Bibliophile
Friday, September 2nd - Becky, Stories & Sweeties

Monday September 5th - Jill, The O.W.L
Tuesday, September 6th - Mary, Book Swarm
Wednesday, September 7th - Reading Teen
Thursday, September 8th - Melissa, I Swim For Oceans
Friday, September 9th - Sab, YA Bliss

Monday September 12th - Cynthia, A Blog About Nothing
Tuesday, September 13th - Nancy, Amusing Reviews
Wednesday, September 14th - Michelle and Leslie, Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks
Thursday, September 15th - Darkfallen and Greta, Paranormal Wastelands
Friday, September 16th - Alice, Alice Marvels

Tuesday, September 20th -Grand prize announcement on Lisa McMann's blog!


Vivien said...

I would have to be unwanted. My mind is always daydreaming.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Anna said...

I would probably be unwanted. Worry too much