Title: The Unnaturalists
Author: Tiffany Trent
Genre: YA Steampunk/Paranormal
Series: The Unnaturalists (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 1442422068 (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN-13: 978-1442422063 (Simon & Schuster)
Reviewed by: Kayla
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.
Quick and Dirty: Two teens fight to save the world from destruction.
Opening Sentence: The sphinx stared at me from her plinth.
Vespa doesn’t want to conform to the usual role of a lady. Syrus has a power that has to be kept secret. Both want to change the current world they live in. Together their fates are cleverly intertwined. The story is told from both Vespa and Syrus’s points of views. For those looking for romance, The Unnaturalists is not where you find it. The Unnaturalists is a steampunk/dystopian/fantasy/mythology filled book that follows Vespa and Syrus in their mission to save the world.
This book has great world-building, and it’s not piled all at the beginning. Throughout the book snippets of details and such are exposed and builds on the setting. This world has a religion based on all of the old scientists like Darwin and Telsa and such. This little tidbit was a turn-off for me because of what I believe and because it was such a major part of the world, but for others it may be of no consequence.
Mythological creatures are a main factor in the story. Vespa and Syrus are trying to save them from captivity, but the actual animals aren’t explained fully, making some parts a bit confusing. But some of this could be because it is an ARC (it’s just tiny mishaps and whatnot — nothing big).
Trent’s writing was great, beautiful and deep descriptive words and an elegant prose that comes with the Victorian era. Action-packed and full to the brim with intrigue, this book was alright. The plot was great. The writing was nice. But the book had so many things going on, it overwhelmed me. It’s like Lia Habel’s Gone With Respiration Series in a way. There are so many character arcs that it gets overwhelming (not necessarily confusing). The ending was satisfying (no huge cliffhangers or big questions up in the air), but there are small strings that need to be answered, leading us to the next book in the series.
“Maybe the Beast ate him,” Syrus said. He wished it were so, despite what the sprites had said about the Law of their kind.
“We can only hope,” Bayne said, trying to hobble faster.
When they finally cleared the temple mouth, Bayne removed his arm from Syrus’s shoulders and draped himself inelegantly over a boulder.
Syrus waited for only a moment, looking back toward the dark entrance. He shifted from foot to foot before he finally opened his mouth.
Bayne held up his hand. “Take my sleeve.”
Syrus grasped his magic-stained lace cuff.
And then everything–heart, breath, blood, thought–was ripped apart.
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Unnaturalists. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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