August 22, 2012
The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Series: The Unnaturalists #1
Review Source: ARC from S&S Canada
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.
Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.
As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
- I loved the idea of the museum of Unnaturals (mythical creatures), and I actually wish more time had been spent in that location
- There’s something very imaginative about the whole concept, with all of “Old” London having been sucked into this parallel faery world
- The differences between our history and the world of the book really interested me; I loved how the religious zeal of the past was reformed into this scientific fervour where everything was based on science and logic
- The style of narrative interested me: it was a dual narrative with first person, present tense from Vespa and third person, past tense from Syrus; it actually worked quite well in keeping the voices separate, and yet they complimented each other as well: it wasn’t jarring to go between chapters
Not so much:
- I would have liked to have known Vespa better as a character; we get her inner thoughts, and yet I don’t feel like her showed herself that much; I would have expected more emotional reactions in certain situations (e.g. more of a struggle in her as she discovers things about magic, considering she was supposed to be very scientific and entrenched in that world)
- The bit of romance was pretty stale; I like the idea of those characters together, but the depth of Vespa’s feelings came about rather suddenly, and it almost wasn’t necessary for the book
- While I was intrigued by the world building, it almost felt too busy; there was information overload at times, and yet also a lot of potential for ideas and plots that didn’t get fleshed out
I definitely recommend that you check this one out for yourself because I liked it, I just found it a bit slow and hard to get into in certain places.
Super pretty! Love the lettering and the whole feel of the cover.
Find The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.