The Unwanteds : The Unwanteds

  • by Lisa McMann
  • Narrated by Simon Jones
  • Series: The Unwanteds
  • 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of the Wake trilogy makes her middle-grade dystopian fantasy debut!
When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill: Each year all the 13-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the army. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.
It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate - until he discovers that instead of a “death farm”, what awaits him is a magical place called Artime. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.
But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A pleasant surprise...

The characters were well thought out, and the dialogue engaging. The main theme of the story certainly was serious, but the book didn't have any graphic content that I wouldn't allow a 4th grader or up to hear. I was pleasantly surprised because I don't usually enjoy futuristic, fantastical stories.
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- Laurie "mom of 2 in az"

Perhaps, the Undecided?

If this book is supposed to be Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games as some commentators suggest, then it never quite succeeds at being either. Lisa McMann???s the Unwanteds is a bazaar blend of fantasy and dystopian writing. The book opens with the Purge, a separation of thirteen-year-olds into wanteds, necessaries, and unwanteds. And yes, it is entirely reminiscent of the reaping that begins The Hunger Games. As Alex leaves behind his twin Aaron, who has been designated a Wanted, he boards an ancient bus with the other Unwanteds to be transported to the Death Camp and thrown into a lake of burning oil. But instead of being cast into the lake, the group of Unwanteds watch a large flying tortoise descend from the sky, and their lives change.
The land of Artime, the magical world, exists parallel to Quill, the dystopian world, and is protected and maintained by Marcus Today, a Dumbledore-like character who has his own office with a magical window on the land of Quill. Alex and his friends spend their time learning magic, which for each is an extension of their natural, creative abilities.
I would never call Alex a new harry Potter, and there???s little besides the opening sequence to suggest this book is anything like The Hunger Games. With the suppression of emotion in Quill, the book is if anything more like Lois Lowry???s The Giver, another dystopian and rather problematic novel for young adults. In The Unwanteds, kids learn defensive magic???those magical talents standing for creativity???while the emotionally suppressed of Quill invade the magical land of artime. Just like The Giver, The Unwanteds moves from dystopia to allegory: the freedom of creativity set against the negativity and oppression of emotional suppression.
The upshot???Ms. McMann, don???t mix your genres, and don???t try creating another Dumbledore, who, by the way, is still very much alive in the hearts of harry Potter fans. Three stars for this one. However, five stars for the audio version of this rather odd and mediocre book. Simon Jones, the fabulous reader of the Bartimaeus series, makes this book worth listening to.
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- William Thompson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio