Monday, November 28, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Unwanteds

definitely left me wondering wThe Unwanteds (The Unwanteds, 1) by Lisa McMann read by Simon Jones, 2011. 7 discs ( ). Published by Simon and Schuster Audio. Source: Publisher for review.
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. 
First Sentence:
There was a hint of wind coming over the top of the stone walls and through the barbed-wire sky on the day Alexander Stowe was to be Purged.
Story:
The Unwanteds is only the second book/audiobook of Lisa McMann's that I have had the pleasure of consuming. And I must say, that I think I enjoyed it more than Cryer's Cross.

One of the things that sticks out most in my mind when I think back on The Unwanteds, is the parallels between certain characters in the story. While some of them I guessed pretty early on in the book, I still found it interesting to see how Ms. McMann would pull those elements into the story...did you really think I was going to elaborate on that (I cannot because it would give away the ending).
As for the characters, there were times when I liked them a lot; and times when a few of them I just wanted to tell them to get over there problems.
For the most part I liked Alex, the main character, except for when he was pouting over being the last of his group to begin learning Battle Magic. While he may have been a bit of a pill at times, I liked that in the end he tried to fix the messes that he created by trying to...
As for the other Unwanteds that befriended ALex, I really liked them all, especially Lani.What really made Lani such an interesting character was that she was emotionally all over the place: seeking revenge against those that deemed her an unwanted, as well as mercilessly teasing Alex, and that she was devious yet brilliant when it came to fighting.
While the ending definitely left room for a sequel, The Unwanteds could very well stand all on its lonesome. What I am looking forward to most if (or when) there is a second book is finding out what happens now that everything has changed, and what is in store for both Alex and Aaron now that they have truly gone there seperate ways.
Hmm, favorite part/thing about The Unwanteds would have to be the final showdown between the Wanteds and Unwanteds. I thought it was interesting to see how things got to the point where the two opposing sides were forced to face off against one another; I also liked the fact that neither side escaped the confrontation unscathed.
    The only thing I did not like about The Unwanteds would have to be the term "Battle Magic" ( I can't remember if that's the right name for it, but I did listen to it while I had a bit of a fever). I am not exactly sure why...maybe because it seemed like a better name/term for magic that the residents of Artime used for fighting could not have been found. Either way, it just kind of made me think of Pokemon (or something like that) every time it was mentioned.

Narration:
One of the things I liked most about The Unwanteds was Simon Jones' narration, it was definitely one of the highlights of listening to rather than reading this book. While this was my first audiobook with Mr. Jones as the read, I thought that he did an excellent job of capturing the essence of The Unwanteds.
I was mildly worried at first thought, my fear was that he would be able to properly portray the characters of this book since most of them would be quite young (like thirteen years old). While I was worried, I am happy to say that he did a right fine job with the young cast of characters in this book.
The only character that I felt could have used a little work was his portrayal of Justine. His reading of her character just didn't strike the right chord of evil disdain that I felt she should have had.
I would definitely listen to another book featuring him as the reader, which in my opinion, is a sure sign that the reader was a good one. 

Final Verdict: The Unwanteds left me wanting know what will/could happen next.

The Unwanteds (audiobook) earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.           

1 comment:

  1. I've never done an audiobook before, but i think it may be fun! i should try it out!!

    here's my review of the alchemy of forever, releasing in january. stop by?!?!

    http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/arc-review-alchemy-of-forever.html

    ReplyDelete

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