Review – The Unnaturalists August 31, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Steampunk.
Tags: "book review", books, fantasy, reading, steampunk, the unnaturalists, tiffany trent
Title: The Unnaturalists
Author: Tiffany Trent
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: August 14, 2012
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.
The Unnaturalists is a steampunk novel contains so much more then magical creatures. With the Unnaturals there are wielders of magic, like a witch and Architects as they’re called. They added an extra dose of excitement to the story. There was also one particularly violent scene. It took me by surprise because I didn’t expect to find it it in a young adult book, but maybe I’m being over-sensitive.
I liked Vespa for the most part. She had an eagerness about her that was very refreshing. My problem with her was her unshaking confidence in people that became rather naive truth be told. For a scientific mind, you would think she’d look at the cold hard facts and discern what was in front of her rather then what was in her heart. Instead she was swayed by emotion rather then by logic.
Syrus was resourceful and resilient. He had a way about him that never ceased to give up in despite the odds. I really liked him. He’d fight and fight, no matter what. He was pretty good at it too!
I also really liked Pedant Lumin. He always managed to keep his cool and be in the right place at the right time. Lumin was all at once the dashing hero and the resourceful sidekick. The intriguing mix of roles kept me interested and I was entranced by his character the most.
One of the things I enjoyed most was their religion. Trent made science itself a religion. Scientists became patron saints. Darwin and Newton became patron saints. It was also a goddess based religion. I have to admit I’m pretty partial to goddess based religions.
Basically, the Unnaturals are being used for a hideous purpose and it’s up to the three to stop it. I was interested enough in the plot to keep reading. It was fresh enough for me to be intrigued even if it’s been recycled in one form or another. I feel like Vespa could have stood to become more fully developed to have let the story become fuller. Although the book fell on more of the supporting cast to pull it through as far as likability, it’s still a strong one. As far as likability goes, that could be a matter of preference.