This book would be a good way for young readers to ease into dystopia reads. The storyline takes place after "green bombs" wipe out much of the world'This book would be a good way for young readers to ease into dystopia reads. The storyline takes place after "green bombs" wipe out much of the world's population. ...more
Think you can stop an attack with a well-timed soliloquy? Can you pin an opponent in place with a paperclip twisted into a scatterclip? Can you paintThink you can stop an attack with a well-timed soliloquy? Can you pin an opponent in place with a paperclip twisted into a scatterclip? Can you paint yourself invisible?
At age thirteen, Alex Stowe would say all such things are impossible. To be creative in Quill, means to be given infractions. Infractions lead to being labeled Unwanted. At the annual Purge, all the young Wanteds are sent off to university for further training. The Necessaries are set aside to perform more menial roles in society. The Unwanteds are sent to the Death Camp by the Lake of Burning Oil.
While his parents are Necessaries, that has little bearing on Alex Stowe's future. He knew he would be Unwanted by the time he was ten years old. While his identical twin Aaron is eager to leave everything he knew behind for his Wanted future, Alex boards a rickety bus, his final words spoken. Death awaits him and the other young teenagers from his area at the end of the ride.
Death Camp isn't anything like Alex expected. It's not just a desolate piece of ground. That's only the cover. Instead, it's a concealed community filled with Unwanteds. For years, the mage Marcus Today has faked the deaths of the Unwanteds and secreted them away in Artime. There they can learn to use the creative talents that sentenced them away from Quillian society in the first place. In Artime, these talents can also be used for magic.
Tubes transport people from place to place in Artime. Living chalkboards spread messages back and forth. Instructors may be other humans or they may be magical creations such as Octavia, the octogator that teaches Alex his art. Living statues protect the grounds, such as grim Simber the flying cheetah. Everyone has a private instructor in addition to the basic group lessons. Artime is a place of wonder and of training.
While there is much about his new home to love, Alex also finds much frustration. When his new friends and other peers move on to magical warrior training, he alone is denied the training. Feeling like a failure and tired of the magical pranks pulled on him by young Lani, Alex withdraws. Miserable, he turns to dreams, dreams of rescuing his twin from Quill because Alex knows something no one else does--Aaron too once drew in the mud and it was Alex who paid for Aaron's 'crime.'
Part dystopia, part fantasy, the Unwanteds is a book I'll want to visit again to see what else Lisa McMann adds to this world. The second book is due out in 2012....more
On the outside, Oscar Banks has the perfect life. He's smart. He's popular. He's got a girlfriend. His dad runs the community of Candor. He's the modeOn the outside, Oscar Banks has the perfect life. He's smart. He's popular. He's got a girlfriend. His dad runs the community of Candor. He's the model child.
Beneath that exterior, Oscar is fighting. Music is everywhere in Candor and with are the Messages. These are meant to keep the kids healthy, safe, and controllable. "Studying is your top priority." "Always make your parents proud." "Respectable space in every place."
Oscar's official job on the weekends is to show people around the model homes in Candor. His unofficial job is sneaking rich kids back to the world outside Candor before the Messages take hold of them completely. He's got to be careful. There's real danger if his dad learns he's not the perfect son.
Except the newest girl in Candor is ruining his ability to be careful. Nia fascinates Oscar. She's a rebel and an artist. Around her, he finds himself daring to do more than before--even to spray a bit of graffiti. Yet as Oscar is discovering himself, Nia is losing herself.
Pam Bachorz's debut novel is a compelling read. The underlying essence of Candor is fascinating and frightening. Characters shift and change, and I was left wondering who any of them truly were underneath, even Oscar. A lot of background went into what Oscar's dad did in creating Candor, but this information was given to the reader in a well paced manner. The ending of the book is intense, and the final chapter is well-written torture, even if I peeked at it ahead of time. I'm interested in seeing what the author's next book will be....more