Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Unnaturalists

Author: Tiffany Trent
Info: Simon & Schuster, copyright 2012, 308 pages

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.  Cyrus 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.

~Goodreads Description

I was in a steampunk kind of mood so I went on a hunt in the Teen Room for something whimsical and fun.  Enter the The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent.  Not quite as whimsical as I had hoped, but still chalked full of un.

Vespa works at the museum with her father, cataloging ancient artifacts and rummaging through old relics with a history of magic and power.  One day, after almost losing her life to a Sphinx, Vespa meets the mysterious Hal who wields a magic all his own and holds a secret that could very well save her life.

The story jumps between Vespa and Syrus, a young boy who is at one with "nature" (a.k.a. magic) and who has been given the task of finding Vespa to save all creation.  The problem is that the different perspectives have different persons.  It becomes a little jarring switching between I and he over and over again.  Then there's the story which is a little overwhelming.  I like to use my imagination, but there was so much going on in this story, so much story left untold an atmosphere missing that it was difficult to picture anything in my head.

Not sure if I'll read the sequel.  There's a promising love story building, but at the same time, Vespa's a little whiney, so I just don't know. Not a bad read though.  I can definitely see it appealing to folks who love steampunk and a magical adventure.


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