Books Young Adult Fiction The Unnaturalists

The Unnaturalists

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/80/6e/28/_theunnaturalists-1346369182.jpg
 
5.0
 
3.3 (2)
645   0
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 14, 2012
ISBN
978-1442422063
Buy This Book
      
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.

Editor reviews

I'm a huge Tiffany Trent fan. When I was a Cybils panelist for the Sci-Fi/fantasy category I was able to read one of her nominated HALLOWMERE books. I was hooked. I was bummed when the last book in that series wasn't published after her then publisher folded. Then I heard her book THE UNNATURALISTS was picked up by Simon and Schuster. I was very excited to be able to read another one of her stories.

Let's just say the wait was worth it! Once again Trent delivers! Unique and totally engaging we are swept away to the alternative world of New London where magic is forbidden and punished by death. Vespa Nyx works in her father's museum of Unnatural History. There she studies creatures of magic that are hidden for display. Then her life turns topsy turvy with a chance encounter and a revelation that puts her life in danger.

I totally loved this fascinating world that Trent has created. What's unique is how magic is handled in New London. Here it's outlawed. Being a witch is punishable by death. The Unnatural creatures such as fairies and others are used to run New London in gruesome ways.

We also see New London through the eyes of a Tinker, someone who is in tune with the Unnatural creatures that live in the wild places. I usually don't care for two different points of view in a novel but Trent nails this. I love seeing this spellbounding world through both of the protagonist's eyes while experiencing the terror of witnessing their world being destroyed.

Vespa is a strong protagonist who doesn't swoon around a hawt guy. No she demands to do her own part to help after she finds out terrible revelations that affect not only her but New London too. Syrus is also strong especially after he witnesses the horror afflicted on his Tinker clan. He's not willing to back down even if this means he puts his own life in danger.

There's twists and turns throughout this story. More than once I cried out, "No way, I can't believe you did that!"

Trent creates a unique world that takes steampunk to a whole new level. She combines Sci-fi with fantasy and develops a rich alternative world readers will want to visit. I know I did!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer Reviewed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer August 30, 2012
Last updated: August 30, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (398)

Unique Steampunk Tale

I'm a huge Tiffany Trent fan. When I was a Cybils panelist for the Sci-Fi/fantasy category I was able to read one of her nominated HALLOWMERE books. I was hooked. I was bummed when the last book in that series wasn't published after her then publisher folded. Then I heard her book THE UNNATURALISTS was picked up by Simon and Schuster. I was very excited to be able to read another one of her stories.

Let's just say the wait was worth it! Once again Trent delivers! Unique and totally engaging we are swept away to the alternative world of New London where magic is forbidden and punished by death. Vespa Nyx works in her father's museum of Unnatural History. There she studies creatures of magic that are hidden for display. Then her life turns topsy turvy with a chance encounter and a revelation that puts her life in danger.

I totally loved this fascinating world that Trent has created. What's unique is how magic is handled in New London. Here it's outlawed. Being a witch is punishable by death. The Unnatural creatures such as fairies and others are used to run New London in gruesome ways.

We also see New London through the eyes of a Tinker, someone who is in tune with the Unnatural creatures that live in the wild places. I usually don't care for two different points of view in a novel but Trent nails this. I love seeing this spellbounding world through both of the protagonist's eyes while experiencing the terror of witnessing their world being destroyed.

Vespa is a strong protagonist who doesn't swoon around a hawt guy. No she demands to do her own part to help after she finds out terrible revelations that affect not only her but New London too. Syrus is also strong especially after he witnesses the horror afflicted on his Tinker clan. He's not willing to back down even if this means he puts his own life in danger.

There's twists and turns throughout this story. More than once I cried out, "No way, I can't believe you did that!"

Trent creates a unique world that takes steampunk to a whole new level. She combines Sci-fi with fantasy and develops a rich alternative world readers will want to visit. I know I did!

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
3.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (2)
The Unnaturalists wasn't as good as I expected it to be. When I first read the blurb, I was like "Oh, endangered magical creatures captured in museums and a guy whose family is captured? Bring it on!" But then I was reading it and it was like.... meh.

Characters first.

Let's start with the names. I'm sorry, did you say Vespa? Isn't that a kind of Italian motorbike thingy? And isn't Nyx the goddess of night? So you mean to say that we've got a protagonist whose first name is a motorbike and whose second name is a goddess?? I'm sorry, but these kinds of names are just one of my pet peeves.

While I know that lots of people will feel differently, but I actually didn't have all that much of a problem with the first and third person switching. I mean, at least this avoided us having two voices that sounded basically the same.

I didn't like the character's personalities much either. Aside from her name, Vespa just seemed stuck up, a bit mean and not very smart either. I didn't have a big problem with Syrus, except for the fact that he wasn't very easy to connect to and sometimes he was not-so-bright either.

Now onto the plot.

I liked the plot, much more than the characters. It was fast enough to keep me interested, yet not so fast I didn't get what was happening. It also had a few twists, so it was interesting enough that I overcame my general annoyance with the characters.

The setting didn't have enough explanation. So, we knew that it was set in "New London", which became New London after the original London went through a magic portal and got transported to a world where there are things like Sphinxes and stuff like that. I have a few problems/questions with this setting. Question number one: how did this magic portal come into existence? Question number two: How the heck do you get all of London through a magic portal? Question number three: Is New London the only civilisation on the whole world? If it is, why are they all crowded into a tiny city when they have the whole planet?

My only hope is that my questions will be answered in the books to come.

Despite all my problems with Unnaturalists, the world was quite a well constructed one, and I would recommend it if you tend not to be bothered by the problems I have with this book.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Louisa Reviewed by Louisa January 17, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (119)

Not as good as my expectations

The Unnaturalists wasn't as good as I expected it to be. When I first read the blurb, I was like "Oh, endangered magical creatures captured in museums and a guy whose family is captured? Bring it on!" But then I was reading it and it was like.... meh.

Characters first.

Let's start with the names. I'm sorry, did you say Vespa? Isn't that a kind of Italian motorbike thingy? And isn't Nyx the goddess of night? So you mean to say that we've got a protagonist whose first name is a motorbike and whose second name is a goddess?? I'm sorry, but these kinds of names are just one of my pet peeves.

While I know that lots of people will feel differently, but I actually didn't have all that much of a problem with the first and third person switching. I mean, at least this avoided us having two voices that sounded basically the same.

I didn't like the character's personalities much either. Aside from her name, Vespa just seemed stuck up, a bit mean and not very smart either. I didn't have a big problem with Syrus, except for the fact that he wasn't very easy to connect to and sometimes he was not-so-bright either.

Now onto the plot.

I liked the plot, much more than the characters. It was fast enough to keep me interested, yet not so fast I didn't get what was happening. It also had a few twists, so it was interesting enough that I overcame my general annoyance with the characters.

The setting didn't have enough explanation. So, we knew that it was set in "New London", which became New London after the original London went through a magic portal and got transported to a world where there are things like Sphinxes and stuff like that. I have a few problems/questions with this setting. Question number one: how did this magic portal come into existence? Question number two: How the heck do you get all of London through a magic portal? Question number three: Is New London the only civilisation on the whole world? If it is, why are they all crowded into a tiny city when they have the whole planet?

My only hope is that my questions will be answered in the books to come.

Despite all my problems with Unnaturalists, the world was quite a well constructed one, and I would recommend it if you tend not to be bothered by the problems I have with this book.

Was this review helpful to you? 
The Unnaturalists is a different type of steampunk to your usual type. It is set in a different world, where the original London was magically transported to a new world, full of magical creatures like Sphinxes and Manticores. This book has a combination of magic and science, which allows it to extend it's marketing, as the characters try to classify magic through science. This is a combination that I have never really seen before, especially with these types of creatures.

The main characters in The Unnaturalists are Vespa and Syrus, with the book being told in Vespa's POV, but with alternating chapters to show what us what Syrus was doing in 3rd person. I think that this was confusing, as it was hard to tell the different between them, especially when they were doing things together. I reckon that it should of both been in 1st person or 3rd person, not two different POV.

It was also strange as Syrus was younger than Vespa, and his part of the story was told in 3rd person, basically trying to hint that Syrus isn't that important, but he is just as important. It is also very hard to sympathize with Syrus, as I just wasn't able to connect with him. Even though many tragedies befell him, I just couldn't feel the grief I was meant to. And the tragedies also gave the impression that Vespa is a stuck up snob, and not a very likeable person, she is also that that bright.

The Unnaturalists is a good steampunk to read, and has a fantastic world built inside it's pages. It is worth reading if you enjoy these types of books.

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Casog Reviewed by Casog January 16, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (261)

The Unnaturalists

The Unnaturalists is a different type of steampunk to your usual type. It is set in a different world, where the original London was magically transported to a new world, full of magical creatures like Sphinxes and Manticores. This book has a combination of magic and science, which allows it to extend it's marketing, as the characters try to classify magic through science. This is a combination that I have never really seen before, especially with these types of creatures.

The main characters in The Unnaturalists are Vespa and Syrus, with the book being told in Vespa's POV, but with alternating chapters to show what us what Syrus was doing in 3rd person. I think that this was confusing, as it was hard to tell the different between them, especially when they were doing things together. I reckon that it should of both been in 1st person or 3rd person, not two different POV.

It was also strange as Syrus was younger than Vespa, and his part of the story was told in 3rd person, basically trying to hint that Syrus isn't that important, but he is just as important. It is also very hard to sympathize with Syrus, as I just wasn't able to connect with him. Even though many tragedies befell him, I just couldn't feel the grief I was meant to. And the tragedies also gave the impression that Vespa is a stuck up snob, and not a very likeable person, she is also that that bright.

The Unnaturalists is a good steampunk to read, and has a fantastic world built inside it's pages. It is worth reading if you enjoy these types of books.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • The Librarian's Corner

        I am happy to share with the YABC community the brand new Librarian's Corner column! This column features three themed book recommendations from a Teen Librarian each month. My name is Eden Grey, and I'll be doing the column each month. I am a Teen Librarian, and I absolutel ...

  • Chapter Reveal: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

    Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca Release Date: June 9, 2015 Before we get to the chapter, here's a note from Gina:   I’m so excited to share the first chapter of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE with all of you! I’ve written this opening many different ways, and I lov ...

  • Giveaway: The Ark by Laura Liddell (International)

    The Ark By Laura Liddell Nolen    Release Date: March 26, 2015   About the Book It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five ...

  • Giveaway: 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger (US & Canada Only)

    5 to1 By Holly Bodger Release Date: 5/12/15   About the Book Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and p ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED by Liz Coley, releasing May 1, 2015 from LCTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Liz:   Hi YABC! I’m thrilled to int ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!   The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, ...

  • YABC Superstar of the Month: Ellie Gehman!

    YABC is a big site with a lot of moving pieces. We wouldn't exist without the tireless efforts of our incredible staff of volunteers. Our volunteers read and review books, post giveaways and cover reveals, format book graphics for our social media sites, and much more. YABC is a fabulous communit ...

  • MTV Movie Awards Recap

    Last night was a big night for YA book-to-movie adaptations at the MTV Movie Awards! Check out how many categories we won: MOVIE OF THE YEAR:    BEST KISS:   BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Dylan O'Brien The Maze Runner BEST FEMALE PERFORMAN ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen + Giveaway (US Only)

      Hello, YABC! We've got a special reveal for you today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE by M.G. Buehrlen, releasing April 14, 2015 from Diversion Books. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from M.G.:   ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Starflight by Melissa Landers + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to the second cover reveal of the week! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers, releasing February 2, 2016 from Disney Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Melissa:   Hey, YAB ...

  • Trailer Reveal: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby + Giveaway (US Only)

    Hello, YABCers! We're bringing you a different kind of reveal today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the trailer reveal for THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby, releasing April 21, 2015 from HarperTeen. Before we get to the trailer, here's a note from Jessi:   ...

  • Author Top 5 with Fonda Lee

    Today we welcome Fonda Lee to YABC! Fonda’s newly released book ZEROBOXER (Flux/Llewellyn) is high-action science fiction novel that releases this week. Since all authors want their books to find the right readers, Fonda has compiled this handy quiz to help you determine if you are the sort ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

how to win at high school.jpg
Adam Higgs is a loser, and he's not okay with it. But starting as a junior in a new high...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sure, Arielle won't deny that she has a vivid, even wild, imagination. Sure, it sometimes runs away with her. And...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Until the Beginning.jpg
Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a heart-pounding adventure perfect for fans of Michael...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love. Kalah knew better than to fall for Beth Taylor...but that didn’t stop her from falling hard...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Angels of Moirai (Book One)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Since man first walked the earth, the Angels of Moirai have watched over them. Born human, they are taught never...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets,...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The-Girl-Who-Ignored-Ghosts.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nerdy Dozen 2.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In this exciting sequel to The Nerdy Dozen, Neil Andertol and his gang of dorky gamers are once again called...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
les miserables.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Travel back to nineteenth-century France with ex-convict Jean Valjean as he tries to put his criminal past behind him and...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Wishing doesn't make it so, Azra does. Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started-under Dr. Jacobs's cruel control. Now she must...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons...
 
0.0
 
3.3 (1)
Acclaimed author Anne Blankman returns to the shadowy and dangerous world of 1930s Germany in this thrilling sequel to Prisoner...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Can one girl take on so many identities without losing her own? Find out in this riveting companion to The...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Three different teenage girls learn how to navigate their hearts and NYC. City Love is the start of a romantic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen. Molly...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Cassie and Caitlyn Waters may be identical twins, but everything else about them is completely different. The only thing they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)