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The Unwanted

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Jamie Thomas has enough trouble on his hands trying to get through junior year of high school without being pulverized by Billy Stratton, his bully and tormentor. But the mother he was always told was dead is actually alive—and she’s an Amazon! Sixteen years after she left him on his father’s doorstep, she’s back… and needs Jamie’s help. A curse has caused the ancient trib ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Bold Strokes Books (first published March 16th 2014)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  101 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
5 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Jamie has enough on his plate with Billy, the jock, bullying him at every turn, but now he has to deal with the mother he thought was dead turning up claiming she needs his help. Jamie isn’t sure what to believe… that his father has lied to him for sixteen years, that his mother really is an Amazon, that a prophecy says he will save his mother’s people or that there really is a winged horse eating the grass in the back yard!!! With strange things ha
'Nathan Burgoine
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
Jeffrey Ricker is like my "writing big brother." My first publication was in the same book as his second, and we've often been in the same anthologies. When I find one of his stories in a collection, I can't help but smile, and I know I'm in for something as different as it is good. He's chilled me to the bone with a horror story from Night Shadows: Queer Horror. He's left me sniffly with a bittersweet romance in Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction. He made me laugh out loud more than once with his ...more
Don Bradshaw
This was a well written adventure story they played heavily on the mythological. The three main characters, Jamie, Billy and Sarah were well developed average teens dealing with the pressures of growing up. The story starts moving when Jamie's mother comes on the scene. Jamie has to cope with meeting this woman he believed to be dead and learning that she is an amazon. Billy's step-mother is also an amazon. The story boils down to a battle of good vs. evil in the amazon's mythical city. The ora ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I expected to like this book because I have the pleasure of knowing the author, and it's always fun to read the writing of one's friends. What I didn't expect, however, was a conclusion that left me breathless. Overall the novel read, for me at least (and this is high praise), like a greatest hits of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the best of high-school angst, myth-come-to-life, adventure, and an adept balance between character cheek and sincerity. That all would have been enough for me to give ...more
Jess Faraday
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though written with a snappy, sarcastic, witty voice, there's a lot of hidden depth to this story. A lot of convention-breaking--and I love that in a book. For a bully and his victim, the resolution comes from understanding, not revenge. A war requires unforeseen sacrifices. Sometimes one's best isn't enough--and sometimes "good enough" is the best you can do. I don't mean to be cryptic, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers. The ending is shocking and unexpected--and yet, it was a powerful ch ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt, ya-teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathan Sims
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for some time now. Despite my forty some years, I still love YA fantasy and haven’t seen that many quality LGBT YA fantasies come out that captured my attention. I’ve liked Jeffrey Ricker’s short fiction for a while now and was excited to see what he would do with the genre, so when Bold Strokes Books made this available on Net Galley for early review, I gobbled it up, and I wasn't disappointed.

Jamie is a short, physically-underdeveloped teenager who h
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
I stayed up way too late into the night to finish this book. I like YA for the need to stay on plot and out of the bedroom, and this story delivered. Jamie is given a hero’s quest with a great ensemble cast to back him up, with the hint of romance.

We meet our first person POV character after he’s just gotten punched in the nose by the guy who’s made his life difficult for years. There’s a reason for that, but it serves as a great introduction to Jamie, Billy, and best friend Sarah. The introduc
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker in two sittings, the pacing and adventure are that good! The story begins in a mythology-based contemporary setting that surprisingly ends in the mythological world with a bang and a surprise.

The three main characters in this book were introduced in the short story "The Trouble with Billy," which first appeared in the Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up anthology. There, we met short, skinny Jamie, the only out gay kid in his high school as he was relentles
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I went into this story expecting something short and adventurous, and for the most part, that's what I got. But, at times there was so much more than that.

The Unwanted deals with Greek mythology. And we all know how much I love me some Greek mythology, right? Well, now we do. I've also been loving LGBT literature lately, so getting my hands on a review copy of this was totally wicked. LGBT is something that needs to be in YA a lot more than it currently is. Sure there are contemporary stories a
Jeanne 'Divinae'
This is the first time I have read a story by this author. I had signed up for the GR giveaway and was the lucky winner. I am always a bit skittish when I read a book by a new author(at least to me). But I ended really like this story. There were a few things that I was confused about(I'll get to them later) but it didn't take away from the plot. The plot was very good and the story flowed well.

We have Jamie, an everyday normal type of guy. Ever since he had come out, he acquired a bully in the
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 14 and up
I don't read YA novels. My teenage children keep pushing them on me, and I keep trying to stir up an interest in them, but they just fall flat for me. When I was their age, I read the Dragonriders of Pern, the Dune saga, the Chronicles of Amber, and the like. I still love those stories, and they're hard to live up to, I'll admit. So when I realized that the book I'd agreed to read and review was a YA urban fantasy, it took me a while to summon the will to read it.

To think of those wasted weeks I
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker. Not only was I treated to an imaginative, well-written story, but I was spared the chore of cleverly sidestepping my true opinion had I not enjoyed, seeing that Jeff is a personal friend. But there's a lot to enjoy here. It took a lot of talent to make the story of a scrawny gay teenager whose assumed-dead mother shows up to inform him that he's the savior of the entire tribe of Amazon women. Let's see John Grisham pull that one off.

He makes the story wor
Indie Reviews
My Review Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Unwanted, Jeffrey Ricker’s second novel, is an extremely well written, action-packed gay young adult fantasy set against the backdrop of the ancient Greek mythological world. In it, the author unfolds the story of Jamie Thomas a sixteen-year-old high school junior whose life is turned upside down by the return of a mother he thought was dead, and who is now seeking his help to save her tribe – The Amazons. Mixing action, danger and romance, Mr. Ricker chronicles Ja
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Unwanted is a wonderful book. Jeffrey Ricker develops characters and draws you into a connection with them with far more skill than many better-known authors. Normally, a book that includes characters out of mythology wouldn't be likely to grab my attention. However, I am very happy that this one did.

The characters are smart, funny and believable. We come to care about them, and I found myself getting pulled deeper into the story. While the ending was a bit of a surprise, I must say that the
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable YA novel, particularly if you're tired of vampires and werewolves. This is an engaging, well-told and funny story about a young man who finds out that his mom is an Amazon and he has an important role to play in keeping the tribe of warrior women safe from god(s)-related doom. What struck me most was how front-and-centre the protagonist's family is: unlike most YA novels, in which parents and family members hardly seem to exist, in The Unwanted, Jamie's family surrounds an ...more
David R. Slayton
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, young-adult
Loved it. It's the sort of book I look for: gay YA fantasy. My only real complaint was the shortness. I wanted more, more time with several characters, especially Sarah and Billy. A few more adventures would have made the ending less bittersweet. I read it almost in an unbroken sitting. I loved how the author blended mythology and technology without going overboard in one direction. There's a lot more I could say, but I refuse to spoil it. Instead I'll just hold out hope for a sequel. ...more
Joshua Brazzle
This was one of those books that just grabbed me and sat me down and said "devour me". The story, the Greek mythology, the romance... just blended together perfectly.

Also, being from St. Louis, was fun to read some home town lingo in the story.

I look forward to reading more of Jeffrey Ricker's work!
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
While I am always drawn to Ricker's books by his characters, the story the story here is just as compelling. I read the last quarter of the book in one sitting. He avoids many of the tropes that have made YA adventures so predictable these days. ...more
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A really fun read. Highly recommended.
Nicole M. Hewitt
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review and many others can be found on my blog - Feed Your Fiction Addiction

The Unwanted is a fun YA fantasy novel that features mythology with a twist!

The negatives:

A few clichés.
There were a few things about this book that were a bit of a cliché. The one that struck me the most was the bully who turns into a possible love interest. This seems to be the gay equivalent to the bad boy with a heart of gold that we see in so many mainstream YA books - saw it coming from a million miles away a
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
While the pacing was off throughout the book, I kept at it. I enjoyed the story and was surprised by the ending. That's where the fourth star was justified. ...more
Jessica Jett
Review to come :)
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down, but it also made me cry

This book has been on my list for a long time, but I put it off because the price is higher then I normally go for
I did get it and it is as interesting as I thought it would be;
To sum up, the main character slowly developed a romance his bully, there are some minor scrapes in the beginning gradually ramping up to a major event at the end, but I am giving this a 4 of 5 stars because the ending was far more bitter then sweet.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best YA Fantasy books I have ever read!!! The protagonists are well thought out and brought to life! Hated to see the story come to a close. Left with tears trailing down my face
Jan 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
For a book that had such great reviews and high rating, I was underwhelmed. I didn't enjoy the voice, pacing, or the characters and worst of all, it felt like nothing much happened. It felt like I wanted to put the book on fast forward, until I couldn't take it anymore and skipped to the end, and still didn't find anything interesting. Disappointing. ...more
Juliann Rich
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2013
Ragna Reynisdóttir
rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2017
David Green
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2014
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Jeffrey Ricker is the author of the novels Detours and the YA fantasy The Unwanted. His short fiction has been published by Phoebe, The Citron Review, Foglifter and Little Fiction.

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