Reading Level: Middle Grade
Size: 416 pages
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Unwanteds series
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Unwanted series by McMann. The third book in the series will be titled Island of Fire and is scheduled for a September 2013 release. This was an excellent book in this series, but I didn’t like it quite as much as the first book in this series.
Alex, Lani, Samheed, and Megan are recovering from the epic battle against Quill that happened at the end of book one. With High Priest Justine overthrown tensions are building between Quill and Artime. Marcus Today and High Priest Haluki are working hard to make the two communities get along, but the Wanteds are angry at having to do their own work and Alex’s brother Aaron is there to stoke their anger. Things get more complicated when two strange orange eyed kids show up on the shore of Artime.
This book starts a bit slowly. Much of the book deals with the growing tensions between Quill and Artime. This made it so that this book didn’t have the magic that the first book did. It was a lot of politics and a lot of trying to work to get the Necessaries that wanted to live in Artime merged in with that society. To be honest these parts of the book were a bit of a drag to read.
What was more interesting was when Alex’s friends start exploring other islands outside of Artime. I really enjoyed this part of the story.
A lot happens towards the end of the book, so the pacing could have been more consistent. The first portion moves slowly, while the last portion moves at a breakneck pace. There are some very heartbreaking things that happen towards the end of the story.
This book mainly features Alex. Whereas the first book talked some about all of the characters, this book spends most of the time dealing with Alex and his struggles to take on some leadership in Artime.
All of the characters grow quite a bit and it was nice to see them becoming more comfortable in their roles in Artime. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed that this book creates a lot of huge new problems but none of them are resolved by the end of the book. The book pretty much leaves the reader at a total cliffhanger and I hate it when authors do that.
This is still a very creative series and is very well written. But I didn’t think it was as good as the first book in this series.
Overall a decent continuation of the series. I continue to enjoy this creative world and the engaging characters. I did not enjoy the slow pace of the first half of the book and thought that the way things were left was awful. Luckily I have Island of Fire to review, so I don’t have to wait too long to read how things resolve. I would recommend this to fans of middle grade fantasy/dystopia.