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)
413   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, Editor Reviewed by Kim Baccellia, Editor August 30, 2012
Last updated: August 30, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (357)

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 10 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

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In the first book of this new chapter book series about mystery, travel, and adventure, twins Ethan and Ella must...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The heroine of Where I Belong is back in The Art of Goodbye, a romantic digital original novella about...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom...
 
3.3
 
3.7 (1)
Lucian "Lucky" Spark leads a double life. By day, he trains to become one of the Establishment elite. At...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can't-miss read... Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish's small town of...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK. A...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything. She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Forbidden Library.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Road Roash.jpg
A teenage drummer finds out what life is really like on tour with a rock band in this funny,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
A voyage through Jewish history from Biblical times to today, helping the reader explore Jewish identity and traditions of social...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life's What You Make It
Category: Young Adult Indie
“She’s everything I’m not and everything I want to be.” Sebastian Iron’s life is spiraling out of control. Over...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
When her younger brother becomes victim to Ridgeview High’s worst group of bullies, Peyton Greene sets out to hire the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this sophisticated adventure series by the cocreator...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Meet Layla McKelland: Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair), Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
The skinny on itty bitty kitties, from a real-life Kitten Wrangler! What do kittens eat? Why do they love to...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A gritty, urban New Adult Cinderella story where the princess can do her own rescuing — she just needs someone...
 
4.0
 
3.3 (1)
Sometimes finding love means taking the scenic route ... Living with her faultfinding mother has taught Leslie not to ask...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)