Monday, December 24, 2012
Book Review: The Unnaturalists
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 was quite excited to read The Unnaturalists - I was able to meet Tiffany Trent at the Baltimore Book Festival back in September, where I bought a signed copy. The premise sounded sooo good...I mean, an alternate London? Sign me up! I'm happy to say that this was an interesting, engrossing read.
The characters are wonderful. I really like the main character, Vespa Nyx...and not just because she has a cool name. Vespa is spunky, smart, determined, and easy to relate to. The other narrator of the story, Syrus, isn't quite as interesting to me. He never captured my interest as a character, maybe because he is a thirteen-year-old boy. But I think other readers will probably like him - it is refreshing to have a young main character like him.
The romance is sweet, yet it doesn't overpower the main storyline, which I admire. I like the love interest too; he has an interesting background and I loved finding out more about him. The plot itself is so magical and creative. Tiffany Trent skillfully combines steampunk, sci-fi, alternate history, and even some bits of mythology, and the end result is a fascinating book.
My only complaint is that it was slightly confusing at times. We are thrust into this alternate London, and many creatures are introduced without much explanation and the reader is left to figure out some things on their own. Yet at the same time, I do like this method because it feels more realistic and definitely makes you feel involved in the story. The setting was so atmospheric and thrilling.
And I do have to say that I love the alternate London. It reminds me a little of Doctor Who, so imagine my excitement when in the acknowledgements, Tiffany Trent mentions Doctor Who as a source of inspiration! I thought that was awesome. =D
If you're a fan of steampunk, cool sci-fi elements, and exciting historical fiction, then I would definitely recommend giving The Unnaturalists a try! It's a very unique and fun read!
My rating: 8 out of 10 (4 stars)
~ The Bookworm