A riveting middlegrade dystopian novel from New York Times bestselling Wake author Lisa McMann that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret--behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated 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.
In her foray into middle-grade fiction, McMann (Cryer's Cross) delivers a fun mix of magic and science with a retro SF novel whose setting echoes classic artificial dystopias of the 1960s like Logan's Run and Make Room! Make Room! In the city of Quill, all signs of creativity are shunned, and any children who so much as sing or draw are declared "Unwanted" when they turn 13 and sent off to be killed. When Alex is culled from his family and sent to die, he is surprised to discover that the Unwanteds are actually taken to a hidden city called Artim , where they are not only trained in the traditional arts, but also in the magic that these arts unlock. McMann juggles a handful of point-of-view characters nicely (focusing largely on Alex), showing their fear and wonder as they learn more about their world. The subplots including young romance and murderous conspiracies are skillfully interwoven, and if some of Quill's harshness borders on caricature (the city makes Sparta seem decadent), it serves the story well. Ages 8 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It's Hunger Games meets Harry Potter in plots/genres, not necessarily quality, but it was still amazing and a great book.
This book is awesome! I love long series like Harry Potter and the hunger games and the land of stories etc. Mainly I am a fantasy nerd, but I loved the hunger games. This book gave me the best of both worlds! It has magic, friendship, a little death but not so bad that you want to close the book, great characters, a little romance, and in general it’s a world that you feel lucky to in one way or another be apart of. I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy/action and adventure.
I read the book and I am one-hundred percent sure that my head will explode if I keep thinking about it’s amazing story... but I can’t!