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Island of Shipwrecks
Island of Shipwrecks
Island of Shipwrecks
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Island of Shipwrecks

Evaluare: 3.5 din 5 stele



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A risky decision endangers both Artimé and Quill in book five of the New York Times bestselling Unwanteds series, which Kirkus Reviews called “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

Alex and his friends from Artimé are stranded on a newly discovered island after barely surviving a storm that destroys their ship. And it turns out they’re not alone…

Back in Quill, Aaron’s power base grows as he aligns himself with an unlikely ally. Together, the two enact a drastic, risky plan to finally conquer Artimé—a plan that could ultimately leave everyone in both Artimé and Quill in far more danger than Aaron realizes.
Data lansării3 feb. 2015
Island of Shipwrecks
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Lisa McMann

Lisa McMann lives in Arizona. She is married to fellow writer and musician, Matt McMann, and they have two adult children. Her son is an artist named Kilian McMann and her daughter is an actor, Kennedy McMann. Lisa is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen books for young adults and children. So far she has written in genres including paranormal, realistic, dystopian, and fantasy. Some of her most well-known books are The Unwanteds series for middle grade readers and the Wake trilogy for young adults. Check out Lisa's website at LisaMcMann.com, learn more about The Unwanteds Series at UnwantedsSeries.com, and be sure to say hi on Instagram or Twitter (@Lisa_McMann), or Facebook (Facebook.com/McMannFan).

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Recenzii pentru Island of Shipwrecks

Evaluare: 3.372013651877133 din 5 stele

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  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    1st in series. In Quill, the annual Purge sends the Wanted children who obey rules and show intelligence to a military university and the Unwanteds who break the rules and show artistic abilities to their deaths. As soon as the Unwanteds are taken away, their families are expected to forget about them completely and immediately. Unbeknownst to the High Priestess of Quill, the man who is supposed to ensure the demise of the Unwanteds has instead built a magical place where art and imagination are not only valued but turned into weapons for a fight with the Quillary that will inevitably come some day. When twins Aaron and Alex are separated in the purge, they can't stop thinking about each other and Alex becomes determined to "save" Aaron, an action that could have disastrous consequences for the Unwanteds. A solid fantasy for middle school readers with an underlying message that the unusual kids of the world are of great value. Both male and female characters are given equal power and influence. Some parents may feel that kids using art, language, music, and drama as potentially fatal weapons goes too far but there is little actual death in the book, though some parts are quite scary.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    This is a stupendous fantasy, dystopian story that young people will love. Lisa McMann does a first-class job of world building and character development. Alex and his twin brother (Aaron) live in Quill. Every year Quill goes through a "Purge" where all 13-year olds are divided into three categories: Wanted, Necessary, and UnWanted. Any kids that show creative tendencies are labeled UnWanted and destined to be put to death. The Wanteds go to the military academy and the Necessaries move on to menial jobs that keep the city going. But, the UnWanteds are traveling towards a different destination.... I was captivated by this story and as soon as I finished book one, I immediately ordered book two and started reading. The cover claims this is, "the Hunger Games meets Harry Potter." I believe this story is amazing in its own right and deserves a chance to fascinate you... Highly recommended!
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    I found The Unwanteds an entertaining read. I liked how the author, Lisa McMann, showed the Unwanted kids gaining self-esteem and self-respect as the story went along. They learned to depend upon themselves and each other and solve threatening situations. There's no "bad" language or extreme violence. The Unwanteds is a fun fantasy for all ages, though I think will be more enjoyed by the younger ones. *Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Simon and Schuster for review. I was not required to write a positive review.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    A great option for students who are not ready for the Hunger Games quite yet. I very much like this book and thought while reading that this may be a series to hook students on prior to or after Harry Potter. Perhaps this series could get students unstuck from another series and is a great suggestion for a student who likes series. I also like that the main characters were boys. While Tuesdays at the Castle may appeal to female students, this book although suitable for both genders may be a hook for boy readers.
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    A dystopia crossed with Harry Potter means I tagged this book 'dystopia' and 'fantasy'. That's a change, since dystopias are so often science fiction. Anyway, it wasn't bad. It's a middle-grade book, which I don't tend to like as much as YA ones. It has a good ending, in that it feels like it can stand alone as a book just fine, you don't need to keep reading the series. I don't know if I will or not.
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    Every year in Quill, 13-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their graves. On the day of the Purge, identical twins Alex and Aaron Stowe await their fate. While Aaron is hopeful of becoming a Wanted, Alex knows his chances are slim. He's been caught drawing with a stick in the dirt - and in the stark gray land of Quill, being creative is a death sentence. But when Alex and the other Unwanteds face the Eliminators, they discover an eccentric magician named Mr. Today and his hidden world that exists to save the condemned children. Artime is a colorful place of talking statues, uncommon creatures, and artistic magic, where creativity is considered a gift. . .and a weapon.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    Awesome! Enjoyed every second of it. It’s a must read
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    Once I start reading it I can’t put it down, it’s so good
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    3.5, maybe even 4 out of 5. (3.75?)

    I liked it. It wasn't literary genius but it was fun, I liked the world-building and I will read more. (In fact, I have already ordered the rest of the series.)

    I was sort of hoping for it to fill the Harry Potter void. The feel and tone actually reminded me more of the Pendragon books by DJ MacHale than Potter but that's not a bad thing.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    This is a really good book I love how it says all the details
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    This book is the awkward love child of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, with a bit of City of Ember thrown in. It is so very flawed- the writing contradicts itself, the magic is entirely too easy and without any rules, it is all told and rarely shown; I could go on and on. However, the story was compelling enough that I missed my train stop going to work one day. I often find prophecy-driven stories to be a bit problematic. In this book, I like that any set of twins could have set the events of the story in motion, and it just happened to be Alex and Aaron.

    I don't expect the flaws to be a problem for any upper-elementary or middle school readers, and will probably gladly hand it out.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    There are three categories of people in Quill: Wanteds (strong and important), Necessaries (they keep everyone fed and take care of maintenance), and Unwanteds (people who have shown creativity). When the day of the purge comes, Alex Stowe is upset because he has long guessed that he is going to be purged as an Unwanted. His twin brother, Aaron, is a Wanted. Alex can’t believe they will be separated. Unfortunately, all of the Unwanteds are going to be eliminated because of various things they have done wrong in their lives. Alex drew in the sand, another girl strung words together in a way that wasn’t speaking, another girl told stories, and the list goes on and on. Quill is not a place for such behavior! When the bus takes the Unwanteds to the place they will be eliminated, they are introduced to a world unlike any they have ever seen. A world in which creativity, dancing, singing, music and all of the arts are not only expected, but embraced. The amazing Mr. Today is a magician who has created Artime, a vibrant world, where just about anything is possible, unless the people of Quill ever find out about it. But who would tell? Is it possible for a world like this to live and prosper while Quill is so miserable right next door? Would it be better for Alex to have his twin right there with him? Is it possible to sever the ties between twins? What will happen if the head of Quill finds out about this world? Reading this book will make your imagination soar!

    When I read The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann I didn't have any idea what to expect. I really enjoyed the world she created in Artime and think it would be fun to spend some time there. Magical spells and creativity blend some of my favorite things! I liked that the characters all seemed very real, not only did they have things I could connect to, but they also had traits that I might not of liked very much, making them seem all the more realistic. There were parts of this book that I didn't want to continue reading because I was afraid of what was going to happen. I did keep reading of course because I also needed to know what happened. There is definitely a lot of suspense! I would recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who like books about other worlds and fantasy adventures. This is my first book by this author but I did notice this was part of a series, and I'm definitely curious about the rest of them!
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    The Little BookwormIn Quill, people are divided at the age of 13 into three categories, Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds. The Wanteds are sent to university and get the higher level jobs, the Necessaries do the menial labor and the Unwanteds are sent to their death. But all is not what it seems because at the Death Farm, there is a magical world, Artimé, behind the gates that takes in the Unwanteds and grows their artistic talents (the reason they are Unwanted in the first place). Alex is an Unwanted with a drawing ability while his twin brother, Aaron, is deem Wanted. The two brothers are very different and that might cause the biggest problems of all between Quill and Artimé.I really did feel sorry for Alex and all the other Unwanteds. Sentenced to die for having creative ideas is terrible. But the High Priest is determined to keep everyone under her control and forward-thinkers would challenge that so out they go. But luckily for them Mr. Today, the so-called "Death Farmer," has created a magical parallel universe hidden from Quill to save the Unwanteds and not only foster their artistic abilities but to teach them magic based on their abilities. So the drawing students learn to paint themselves invisible and use clay to bind people and many other pretty awesome things. The Unwanteds thrive in this world. But they must say hidden from the land of Quill otherwise the consequences would be dire. It's a pretty neat concept and I liked the magic involved as well as the characterization of Alex and his Wanted twin, Aaron.I was expecting more older middle grade but this was read younger middle grade to me. The story was very simple and everyone was fairly straightforward. Nobody really had gray areas in their personality. But it was cute and I enjoyed it. The cover says The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter and that is far from the truth, having neither the grittiness of The Hunger Games nor the world-building of Harry Potter. It is still charming though. If I compared it to anything it might be Diana Wynne Jone's Chrestomanci series but it still lacks that intangible quality that makes those books great. What I'm getting at is that it is cute and fun and provides a largely one-sided view of creativity and that it is worth reading, but it lacks that something that makes a book a classic. Children will enjoy it, some adults will enjoy it as well. I would recommend it, just don't go looking for greatness.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
     This was very abrupt. Everything happens so fast. There's really no time for processing or world building. Descriptive language is very sparse. Don't get me wrong, it's very enjoyable, I just wish they'd spent more than five seconds on the war the entire book was building towards.
  • Evaluare: 2 din 5 stele
    Ugh. Great for youngsters--there will always be books (movies, tv) that are a thrill to a 10 year old but which don't hold up when returned to as an adult--and, like Gilligan's Island, The Bobbsey Twins, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this will be one of them.

    As a grown-up, substantially so, I spent most of my time wincing. The tone of the story is the Dursley sequences of Harry Potter--people behaving in an extreme, unbelievable manner--like the worst people in Roald Dahl. In Dahl's hands, it's terrific--but this book seems to want us to take it seriously, and it's hard to when Nobody Would Ever Behave Like That.

    Examples: every family member is pleased as punch to be rid of their children, instead of emotionally shattered, people are whisked away to another world (so to speak) and then the whiskerer forgets to explain what's happened (and then explains that he forgets to explain), the entire world is threatened with destruction because people are given the option to shut off the contraption that would warn them, and so on and so forth.

    Painful. And then there's the weirdness. I like weird. But it has to come from a sensible place. In this book, much of the cast is made up of talking statues, or two types of animals somehow combined into one (e.g. a llama and an ocelot would become a llamalot), and can speak (or teach art), for no apparent reason at all.

    I read it by listening to it via Audible--so it's possible that it's more tolerable in print--but I think it's unlikely.

    o {count} persoană a considerat acest lucru util

  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    On the island of Quinn your future is decided at the age of thirteen. Once a year all the youths and their families gather for final judgment. By this point most know what role they will be assigned to. If you have been reported to the council as one who has expressed undesirable qualities, artistically inclined, then you are one of the Unwanteds. Alex had known for three years, his parents kept him informed that he was an Unwanteds. So, as he and his twin brother Aaron sat waiting for their names to be called out, he was reconciled to being sent on the Purge.
    Aaron was a “Wanted,” he had a bright future at the university and probably in the future government. Many of Alex’s friends joined the ranks of the Wanteds and the Necessaries, the rest of them where loaded on to the bus for the drive to The Death Farm.
    Once the Eliminator got their hands on these Unwanteds they would join a succession of generations of poor souls cast into the Great Lake of Boiling Oil. Shaking in their shoes and ready for the worst, they were surprised as their shackles magically fell to the floor and a white-haired, old man strode toward them and delivered the news, that he was Marcus Today the ruler of Artime, and they were all now part of the biggest ruse of all time.
    By the time they met all the other residents however, it did not take long to assimilate into their new life. Now circumstances happen—as they always do with twins—that brings to the attention of the residents of Quinn that something is just not right behind the gate to The Death Farm.
    “The Unwanteds” is the first in a series of a delightful world of young adult stories that feature a young male wizard. For my money this story is actually better than the other wizardry tales that came before and is an absolute gem that should not be missed by adults or teens.
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    In the highly regimented land of Quill, children who exhibit even the slightest leanings toward creativity are Eliminated at the age of 13, sent to the Death Farm. Alex Stowe, who has been known to take a stick and draw in the mud, knew he was going to be Eliminated, but he consoled himself with the thought that his twin brother Aaron would not be. But Alex soon learns that the Death Farm is really the land of Artimé, where creativity is encouraged and magic is possible. Alex embraces his new life, but he wonders: why couldn't his twin have come, too? Will Alex's desire to rescue his brother from his gray, dingy life in Quill precipitate a war between the two lands?I had a really hard time getting into this book. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Simon Jones. I've listened to other books Jones has read and enjoyed them, but even his narration was not enough to save this one for me. I just found the premise too hard to swallow: death for all children caught exhibiting creativity? Really? And everyone just went along with this? I also found the wise old wizard who rules Artimé way too Dumbledore-esque. Maybe that's because the publisher made the mistake of touting this at Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games, a level of hyperbole that's bound to get a mediocre book into trouble when harsh reality meets with high reader expectations. I do think some young readers will enjoy the art-based magic of Artimé and the interactions between the young characters, but it's not one I'd particularly recommend.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    When I got an invitation to review this one a couple of weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. It may very well be the first (and only?) dystopian middle-grade book out there. But wait! It's not just dystopia. It's fantasy as well, which is new to me. The combination, not fantasy itself, just to clarify.

    This one brings the best of both worlds out to play and I loved the way it meshed so nicely. We get a nice taste of what Quill is like (using words like 'quillitary' instead of military, which Ithought was seriously awesome) and an even better taste of Artime. I thought it was very nicely done.

    I've read other things by Lisa McMann, and this is by far my favorite. In fact, it's one that I plan on buying. I can picture reading it aloud with my kids and having them love it like it do. It's very appropriate for middle-grade readers and I can see where it would have classroom use as well as personal.

    The characters are kids that young readers will relate to and see themselves in. Heck, even I could pick out things about them that I related to, and they're only 13 for the most part! They're just really likable overall. The adults too. They're not stuffy, jump in to fix the problem kind of people. They're very much about letting the kids have a stake in their world. I think that's very important. Kids need to feel invested, and this book is a great example of that.

    Because I really loved it and because I think kids will love it too, I'm giving this a 'Pick Me' rating.

    o {count} persoană a considerat acest lucru util

  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    This one didn't quite hook me. Maybe it was the audio reader, or maybe it's this reading slump I'm in where very little is keeping my attention.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    This was a fun book, perfect for young fans of "Harry Potter" style stories. It's a blend of dystopia survival with magical elements and intrigue. While it's action packed and suspenseful, it's not frightening or gruesome, and would be an excellent read-aloud or independent read for grades 4-7.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    When Alex turns 13, he knows that he will be deemed "Unwanted" by his parents and doomed to execution shortly there after. His twin Aaron, however, is a perfect "Wanted." As Alex travels through the gate of the death farm, instead of dying he is welcomed into the hidden community of unwanteds sheltered by magic. All too soon, Alex misses his brother and the connection between the two threatens the secret existence of his new home. Clever idea - definitely a good recommendation for someone who liked both Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. It has the magical quality of Hogwarts with the "fight for your right to live" of Hunger Games...only less violent, but also a bit less captivating.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    Reason for Reading: I am a fan of the author and basically catching up with her books.This was a pleasure to read and a book that every once and a while gave me little ripples of pleasure coursing through me body to read such a fine example of middle grade fantasy. I hate to use this comparison but it highly holds up to the "Harry Potter" model. Here there isn't a boarding school as such, but the children (13yos) are sent to live in a large magical building where they attend school learning magic, have strange instructors, are surrounded by large magical creatures and this is their new home. This live-in school atmosphere has traditionally been a successful formula for books aimed at this age group and with the addition of magic it becomes quite beguiling. I simply adored the set-up for this story. It is being described as dystopian in some circles however that I do disagree with, as there is no evidence this is our world, in fact it quite seems to be an alternate world but as in the dystopia fashion an event has happened to change to structure of society leaving it miserable and under the total control of one self-appointed leader.McMann is a wonderful writer and at this point I just don't think I wouldn't enjoy one of her books, even though they do sometimes rate a 4 with me. The characters are engaging and inviting, leading you to connect with them right away. The magic is fun but must be learnt as it is a skill. The leader of the land of magic, Artime, is charismatic but often shows glimpses of sadness leaving the reader with a sense that he has a secret that will eventually come to life. A pleasure to read, though I will say there were some spots where the plot seemed to drag for a while and as much as I enjoyed it I wouldn't call it a page-turning. However I have book 2 in the tbr pile and will be reading it in the near future, before her new book comes out.
  • Evaluare: 5 din 5 stele
    The Unwanteds is a very creative and entertaining fantasy story that involves magic and an epic battle between the forces of magic and the rulers of Quill that fear the creative people of the Quill.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    Children's LiteratureLife changes forever when you turn 13 in the land called Quill. You are either selected as "Wanted" and go to University, kept around as "Necessaries" to do the menial work of the community, or purged as "Unwanted" and sent for elimination. Identical twins Aaron and Alex may look alike but there the resemblance ends. At "the Purge," Aaron is chosen to go on to University, and he plans to move up in the political hierarchy with no consideration for love or loyalty—except to the supreme ruler, High Priest Justine. Alex, who has been denounced for drawing is sent to the Death Farm, only to find instead a land of magic and refuge for the Unwanteds, Artime, which is kept hidden from the citizens of Quill. Although the revelation of this secret when Alex tries to entice his brother to join him is inevitable, as is the triumph of the magical over the military, this is still an enjoyable ride with fantastical characters and possibilities set in stark contrast to the drab, highly-regimented world of Quill. The ending begs for a sequel that will be an even more dramatic confrontation between the brothers as they gain power in their respective realms. Quill resembles totalitarian governments throughout history that have tried to hold onto power through censorship of thought and action. This story could serve as the impetus for discussions on forms of government, freedoms of speech and assembly, and even the value of the arts in education and society.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    I wasn’t really sure what to expect from The Unwanteds. I had read one of McMann’s older YA novels (part of a series that I need to get back to) and I liked the cover. To be honest, this probably would have stayed on my TBR list if I hadn’t gotten #2 to review. (Nothing against this book, but trying to focus on reviews more than “fun” reading.) But I really enjoyed this one. I can’t say that I was sitting on the edge of my seat with excitement. But, I was definitely into the story and it was a world that I was able to slide into easily. This is mean for children and I can see how they would be drawn to Artime. This was a pretty quick read for me. I loved that this wasn’t necessarily a light and fluffly read. Alex and Aaron’s story had some meat to it, and I am sure that there is stuff that the first book didn’t go into. The characters didn’t seem like they were completely alive, I mean there was enough to picture them but they were missing a little bit of something. Depth! That’s the word I’m looking for. Now I loved the story, and it’s one that I will recommend to people looking for children’s books with substance and fun. I’ll even have this in my library when I start teaching. But it felt like it was an introduction to the characters, it really felt like the beginning. There’s a very good reason for that – it is the first book. I only mention that because the story reads as if it could be a stand –alone and I don’t want readers to expect that whole character arc where the characters have gone from point a to point b and have grown in the process. Don’t get me wrong, all of the characters grow, especially Alex and Aaron. Even though this could be a stand-alone, it leaves you wanting more. You want to know what happens next in their life and you want to know more about the characters (good and bad) because you start caring about them. But all of that is not necessary to enjoy the story –to stay in the here and now. (Sorry for the tangent) There’s an assortment of characters – both good and bad. Alex and Aaron share the magic of being twins. When they end up on opposing sides they discover that they don’t really know each other as well as they thought that they did. This is such a new experience for Samheed, Lani, Meghan and the rest of the newly Unwanteds. But we get to experience it with them and that makes it even more magical. Recommendation: This was a quick and fun read. I think it was an excellent pick for older elementary students, especially those who don’t particularly enjoy reading. What’s Next? Island of Silence4 STARS ****Always Shine, Starr K
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    This was a good book, but it did suffer from an overly hyped tag line. It was described as being a combination of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games but any resemblance to these titles it is purely superficial. At first I was very disappointed as I was expecting a much "heavier" story, but I did grow to like the characters and the clever way "creativity" was used to control magic. I would still recommend this book but would definitely downplay the resemblance to other great series it has been compared to.
  • Evaluare: 2 din 5 stele
    Personally, it's not my genre and I didn't connect with any of the characters. The audiobook narration was fine (although I guess I don't really understand why it was read by a British actor... unless it's to make people compare it to Jim Dale's reading of the Harry Potter audiobooks) and I particularly liked Simon Jones's deep, scratchy voice for the stone cheetah. I just wasn't buying what Lisa McMann was selling, I'm afraid. BUT for kids who can't get enough Harry Potter, for kids who live for that fantasy/adventure stuff, and especially for those kids who are creative types, this book might be just the ticket.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is narrated by Simon Jones. Simon Jones has a very full resume that spans from t.v to stage to the big screen. After reading that he starred in films such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life I had high hopes of being entertained. I was not disappointed. Simon Jones did a great job. He really made this book come to life. His reading was flawless and he really gave each character their own voice. I was highly entertained by this audio book. One of the reasons why I wanted to read this novel is because it's described as 'The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter'. I'm a fan of both series so it definitely peaked my interest. After reading the book I can see why The Unwanteds was compared to those books.The Unwanteds begins in the town of Quill. Think of the most boring, most bland, most beige place you can think of and you've mostly pictured Quill. The town of Quill discourages any form of originality. There's no art, no music, no being creative in any way. The citizens of Quill are split into three categories when they turn 13 years old: The Wanteds, the Necessaries and The Unwanteds. The Unwanteds are sent to their death. However what the people of Quill don't know is that The Unwanteds don't actually die. Instead they enter the hidden world of Artime. Artime is completely different from the world that the children have known. In this new world their creative talents are celebrated and cultivated. It's full of color, magic and mystery. Alex and Arron Stowe are twins. Alex is an Unwanted and sent to his 'death' while Arron is a Wanted and sent to the University. Alex can't really relax in his new life without his twin. He would do anything to see Arron again and try to convince him to come to Artime. However this is a great risk. If anyone were to find out about Artime, it could be disastrous. I really like Alex's character. He has a devotion to his brother that's heartwarming. I also like his curious nature. His journey through this book is not an easy one and he has to overcome many obstacles.The story line to this book was good. It has mystery, intrigue and action. Was it as good as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? For me, it's not. However it does possess some of the magical and dystopian elements of those books. It is a good story especially for the recommended ages 8-12. I think Lisa McMann did a wonderful job creating the magical world of Artime. There are a few action/battle scenes that are violent but it's not over top. The Unwanteds is a magical adventure that kids of all ages will enjoy.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    Hmm... Usually when i finish a book in one day it ends up in my absolute favorites section, but this one didn't quite make it. Perhaps it's the fact that i'm a twenty five year old reading a book made for those half my age. Perhaps i set my hopes too high. I don't know. That is not to say the book is bad per say. It's a pretty solid four. Just not good enough to be a five and absolute favorite.The book is basically the story of Alex stowe who on his thirteenth birthday was deemed "unwanted". See in the world of Quill a person is either Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Those who are deemed "unwanted" are sent to their death. Basically to possess a creative mind is to be unwanted. It would seem that Alex's fate was set except it wasn't really. Marcus Today aka The Death Farmer aka the great mage of Artime saves every being deemed unwanted by transporting him to his made up world of Artime. There all kinds of magically creatures live and the residents learn "Art" based magic. The thing is that Quill doesn't know about Artime and it must stay that way. Otherwise Quill's army would attack. And it does. Take in some evil twins, sometimes eye rolling names, and a kiddier friendly version of Harry Potter and you get this book.In a way i think in some area the author was trying to hard. The cover reads "The Hunger Games met Harry Potter" and it really isn't. It may have some similar features, but it isn't comparable. It's miss-leading and perhaps raised my expectations way! too high. Some of the names are just plain dumb "Claire Morning" and i find myself rolling my eyes a bit. I think take ten years off my age and i would find this book fabulous. It's completely kids friendly and has no "black magic" per say. That is not to say it's Winnie the Pooh magic. More of Classic Disney magic. People die, things happen, but completely kid friendly.Final rating. 3 stars. I was a bit bored with it at some times, but i'll come back for the next book.
  • Evaluare: 3 din 5 stele
    I picked up this book because of the review displayed on its cover: "The Hunger Games Meets Harry Potter".I was prepared to be transported again into a totally unique, fully formed fantasy world, as with those two series.While "The Unwanteds" succeeds in some respects, I felt a bit cheated.The story started off promising for me, with children showing any spark of creativity being sorted into a portion of society called the Unwanteds.I did enjoy how the various creative outlets (art, music, acting, writing) are used as weapons. Interesting characters.But problems seem to resolve too quickly. I would have liked more build-up to resolutions. My public library has this book categorized as YA, but I really felt that it was more of a juvenile fiction book in both language and themes.

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Island of Shipwrecks - Lisa McMann

Prologue: Under the Sea

What did he look like? growled the old pirate captain with hooks for hands. He slammed one of the hooks on the table in front of the slave, and it made a garish clang. Who is responsible?"

Daxel said nothing. He couldn’t speak. None of the slaves that the pirates had bought from their friend Queen Eagala could speak.

But Daxel could write, and the pirates knew it. Still, he stared at the map and the blank pieces of paper in front of him and shook his head.

The captain struck Daxel with one of his hook hands, leaving a ghastly white, jagged cut in the slave’s forehead. Daxel cringed and recoiled. A second or two later, the gash turned red and blood began to drip from it, down his cheek and onto his tattered shirt.

Another pirate, who’d been standing at the glass wall staring out at the broken, now-empty aquarium, turned swiftly and picked up the map. He shook it in the slave’s face and slapped it down on the table. Where did they come from? An island? Or the outside?

Daxel closed his eyes. He could feel his forehead pulsing, and resisted the urge to wipe away the blood—not that he could reach his face, since his wrists were chained to the arms of the chair. There was only enough slack to reach the pen and paper on the table in front of him. The pirates can hurt me all they want, he vowed. He would never betray his friend Copper.

Out of nowhere came a blunt slam above his ear. Daxel gripped the arms of the chair and wished for enough slack in the chains to strangle all the pirates.

He tried to block out their growly noises, and fielded blows for a very long time, until he was faint with pain and loss of blood. But he wouldn’t give the pirates what they wanted.

It was only when the hook-handed captain bent down near Daxel’s face, close enough for the slave to smell his rancid breath and hear his wicked, whispered threat, that Daxel’s orange eyes opened and pooled with fear.

The captain straightened and barked out an order: Bring the others in here!

Daxel’s breathing grew shallow as all but the captain and one other pirate stormed out of the room. He watched them go, his hands shaking, chains rattling. Agonizing minutes passed until the pirates returned, each gripping two Warbler slaves by the arms. The pirates lined up the silent workers shoulder to shoulder in front of Daxel, and they held daggers to their hearts and cutlasses to their necks. The faces of the youngest slaves showed the most fear as they stared with pleading eyes at the man who held their fate in his hands.

Determination drained from Daxel’s fighting spirit. The captain returned to his side and tapped the map and the papers in front of him. This is your last chance to answer our questions, he said. Or do you want us to hurt your friends?

Some of the Warblerans stood stoically, but others couldn’t mask their terror.

Daxel struggled to breathe. Sweat mingled with the blood on his forehead. I’m so sorry, he said in his mind, like a prayer. He was left with no choice.

The rattle of the chain when he reached for the pen was startling in the silent room. Stalling for time, even though he knew no one could or would save him and the other slaves, he studied the map. Seven small islands in a slightly inverted V-shape, and a large hunk of land to the west of them.

The captain poked his hook into the slave’s back. You have five seconds before one of them becomes food for the eels, he said. He pointed to the youngest slave, whose eyes widened in terror.

Daxel’s heart pounded and his head swam. When he leaned forward, a drop of blood splattered on the table. He could hardly hear the captain’s countdown for the rushing sound in his ears. There was a shuffle of feet across the room as a pirate prepared to take the first victim.

Daxel gripped the pen in his sweaty hand, touched it to the map, and slowly drew a circle around the middle island, which the strangers who rescued Copper had spoken about.

The captain spoke softly in the slave’s ear. There, he crooned. That wasn’t so hard, now was it?

Daxel refused to react.

The captain straightened up. He strolled to the glass wall and gazed out. "Now all we need in order to let your friends go back to work is a little description of the leader responsible for this disaster. He pointed a hook at the empty aquarium, and his face took on a horrible, pained expression. Years and years of searching and collecting . . . and so. Much. Money, he said, tapping the glass with each word. All of it, gone. He shook his head. We might not be able to afford to feed the slaves anymore. If they live, that is."

Daxel stared at the blank paper.

The captain sighed loudly. Come on now, Daxel. Do we really have to go through the countdown again? He moved lithely to the slave’s side once more. I’m so impatient. It’s not likely I’ll give you any warning this time.

The slave sucked in a breath. Sweat and blood stung his eyes. He gripped the pen and began to draw. A jawline. A swath of hair. A face.

That’s more like it, said the captain, leaning over the slave, watching intently as features began to emerge. You have such talent, he said in mock praise.

Daxel drew and drew, knowing his life, and the lives of the slaves before him, depended on it. Forgive me, friend.

When he finished, he set the pen down, his gaze never straying from the drawing. Two fresh, innocent eyes bore into his soul.

The captain deftly slid the paper between his hooks and studied it. And then he began to chuckle. Softly at first, and then the chuckle rolled and crescendoed into a deep, hearty, sinister belt of laughter. He showed the drawing to his pirate companions and they began to laugh too.

When the captain could breathe, he hooked a handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped his face with it. As he put it away, he declared, This will most certainly be the easiest attack in our thousand-year history, comrades. For the dreaded man we seek? He’s nothing but a boy!

In Tatters

When Alex opened his eyes, he saw a blurry image of Fox standing before him on the deck of the Unwanteds’ pirate ship. Kitten stood on Fox’s head, mewing at the top of her voice. The sound grew distant and then faded altogether, and the young mage’s lids drooped once more.

Fox stepped on Alex’s thigh and licked his face, trying to get the boy’s eyes to stay open. Kitten pointed over the bow with one tiny paw, still mewing.

Alex groaned. He was soaking wet and his entire body ached. His arms were tangled in rope, and he couldn’t pull free. And Fox’s driftwood tongue was harsh on his skin. He lifted his head to move away from it and squinted in the sunlight. The world swam before his eyes.

Mewmewmew! cried the tiny porcelain kitten. Alex didn’t have a clue what she was saying.

Fox began loosening the knots that held Alex to the ship’s bow. He paused to translate, Kitten is wondering if you are okay. She considers you to be one of her very, very special friends, and—

I’m okay, Alex interrupted. He coughed. Salt water burned his throat and nose. Fox worked at the knots with his teeth, and soon one of Alex’s arms was free. Fox moved to the next, and when that one came loose, Alex plunged forward and put his hands out to catch himself.

Thanks, Fox. You’re a good, um, cat, he said, which pleased Fox immensely. Alex’s arms wobbled. He pushed himself up and locked his elbows, then turned gingerly to a sitting position. He coughed again and winced. And speaking of cats, please tell me the big one is around here somewhere.

Simber flew over from a short distance away when he heard Alex’s voice. The enormous stone cheetah glanced out over the water and narrowed his eyes. I am. But we’rrre missing someone else.

Alex struggled to his feet, alarmed. Who’s missing?


Alex’s breath caught. He scanned the waves. At least she can swim.

Yes. But I’m not surrre wherrre we lost herrr. If it was back at the beginning . . . Simber trailed off.

Alex wasn’t at all sure how far they had traveled since their ship began the insane journey down a thunderous waterfall. When they’d reached the bottom, they’d gone screaming around a forward turn so that they were sailing upside down, and then another forward turn, climbing straight up a different waterfall, and around one final forward turn, bringing them upright again, depositing them here—wherever here was. It was the most frightening ride Alex had ever been on, and he wasn’t sure how he’d survived it.

Oh no, he said softly, thinking about the highly regarded octogator being battered about in the surf. Especially since she hadn’t fully recovered from her ordeal with the eel in the aquarium under the volcanic pirate island. How will we find her? He rose on shaky legs and rubbed the rope burns on his wrists.

Spike is out therrre calling forrr herrr. Hopefully she’ll shoot up the waterrrfall like the ship did. Simber was silent as his gaze swept the surface of the water, looking for the blue whale’s sparkly horn, but he didn’t see it. The sea grew calm, almost glassy, and the ship inexplicably moved away from the up-waterfall from whence they’d come, into the open water.

Ah, wait a moment, the giant stone cheetah said. His regal neck stretched upward, and his eyes narrowed. He flew higher and sampled the air with a delicate sniff. After a moment, he nodded. Yes. Herrre comes Spike now with Octavia. She’s the last one. The frown on his face softened, and he let out a sigh of relief, which almost never happened unless things had been very, very serious.

Alex, his brain still fuzzy, wondered how long he’d been unconscious, and what else he’d missed. He strained to see the two creatures, but they were too far away for his eyes to detect. Instead he looked around as the fog in his head began to clear. The ship was in tatters. Ropes and nets still held various humans, creatures, and statues who had tied themselves down to keep from flying about. And some members of their party were definitely broken. Captain Ahab’s hand held on to the ship’s wheel, but the rest of him was nowhere to be seen.

Captain? Alex called out.

Aye, came the gargly reply from the deck behind the ship’s wheel, where the captain lay in six or seven pieces. I live. My wretched existence shall waste away another day.

He sounds about normal, Alex muttered, and mentally checked Captain Ahab’s well-being off his list of concerns. He caught Samheed’s eye. You okay?

Samheed was easing his way to his feet nearby as Fox chomped at the ropes around his wrists. Ugh. Major headache. Once freed, he staggered and grabbed the railing for support. Where’s Lani?

Alex looked up at Simber for the answer. And Sky? His pulse raced when he remembered that sometime during the horrible ride he’d been holding on to her. The fear cleared his head.

They’rrre both fine. Helping the injurrred. Everrryone is batterrred but alive thanks to Spike. The cheetah swooped down to the water to pick up Ms. Octavia from Spike’s broad back.

Mewmewmew! cried Kitten.

Fox began to interpret, but then glanced at Simber and closed his mouth.

Alex shook his head. I don’t know how any of us lived through that, whatever it was. He stepped carefully to the railing and used it to steady himself. The water sparkled with the sun hanging low over it, making a pale yellow path in front of them. Are you sure you’re okay, Sam?

Samheed nodded and limped over. I think so.

We’re still heading west, Alex mused. Unless it’s morning now. He narrowed his eyes and wished for a better sense of direction. Where are we? How do we get home? Do we have to go through that thing again to get back?

I doubt we’ll have to go through it again, Samheed said. I’m pretty sure that was a scroll feature. We’re on the other end now. He rubbed the back of his throbbing head. His fingers came away sticky with blood. Ick.

Kitten hopped and mewed again.

Alex ignored her, completely puzzled by Samheed’s words. What do you mean, scroll feature? Other end of what?

Samheed wiped his fingers on his shirt. I mean it’s like the scroll feature Mr. Today turned on in Artimé whenever new Unwanteds arrived to keep them from getting lost or eaten in the jungle. I rode on it our first day, remember?

Alex frowned. He remembered Samheed getting mad and stomping off, away from the group, but he’d never asked what had happened to him. I didn’t care much for you back then, you know.

Likewise, Samheed said with a smirk. I don’t think I actually told you guys what happened. But it was sort of like what we just went through, only on a much smaller scale.

You mean you scrolled on a waterfall and didn’t tell anybody about it? Are you joking?

Not a waterfall—I wasn’t on water in Artimé, I was on land. It was like . . . like I got sucked down a hill that rotated, and my feet were stuck to it, so even when I was upside down, I didn’t fall anywhere. He pursed his lips. Picture Kitten with her feet glued to the ship’s wheel. If we turned it, she’d stay stuck to the wheel all the way around. It’s kind of like that—I just went around, and it brought me to the other side of Artimé.

"So . . . you’re saying that we went around the world? And now we’re . . . where exactly?" Alex looked left and right at the vast, open sea.

Samheed shrugged. My guess is that since we began scrolling when we were as far west as we could be, beyond the Island of Legends, we’re now as far away from the Island of Legends as we possibly can be. We’re . . . we’re . . . east.


Everyone turned to look at Kitten, whose tiny face was furious. She pointed with her porcelain toes toward the bow of the ship.

She says— Fox said.

She says, Simber interrupted, that Ms. Morning’s seek spell came frrrom the west. Arrrtimé is that way.

East of the Sun

Alex cringed. The seek spell from Claire Morning—it had come just as the ship plunged over the waterfall. He’d forgotten all about it. It could mean only one thing: Something was wrong in Artimé.

And here they were, in a broken-down ship with a broken-down captain somewhere far from home, in a part of the sea they’d never traversed before. No one knew exactly how far away they were. All they knew was that there were three islands on this side of Quill and Artimé, just like there were three on the other side. If these islands were spaced out similarly to the ones on the west side of Quill, it could take many days for the battered ship to limp home.

As Alex contemplated, Lani’s head appeared in the stairwell. Alex, she said, her face full of concern. Glad you’re finally awake. Got a big problem. There’s a hole in the ship. We’re taking on water fast. Sky suggested we try a glass spell to cover the hole. She paused for breath. I think it might work, but I don’t know how to cast that one.

Alex looked at Sam. Can you do it?

Samheed nodded. I’ll go. You figure out what to do from here.

A moment later, Carina Holiday approached. Alex, she said urgently. Her pixie hair was wild, sticking up in all directions. Sean’s not doing very well.

Alex’s face lit up with concern. Where is he?

Still tied to the ropes. Follow me.

Alex hurried after Carina. When they reached Sean, whose leg had been badly broken by a giant eel on the living-crab island called Karkinos, they knelt at his side. Lani’s younger brother, Henry Haluki, was there already, measuring a small amount of liquid from a vial and pouring it carefully into Sean’s mouth. Sean’s face twisted in pain. Sweat dotted his upper lip and forehead.

What happened? Alex said.

Bumpy ride, Sean said between short gasps of pain.

Carina reached for Sean’s hand, and he gripped it tightly. It’s his leg, obviously, she said. He’s having almost as much pain now as when he broke it.

Alex pressed his lips together. What do we do? he asked Henry.

Henry held the bottle of medicine to the light, frowned, and put it into his pocket. He moved to examine the makeshift splint the Unwanteds had made for Sean’s leg. Every move this ship makes, Henry said with grave authority, feels like a knife stabbing his leg. We have to set it again.

No, Sean whispered. His eyelids fluttered, but the medicine was beginning to work. Hurts . . . so much . . . He closed his eyes.

Henry looked at Alex. And then we have to get him home.

Alex nodded. As soon as we can figure out how to do that, we’ll be on our way.

No, Carina said. He needs to go right away.

Alex frowned. Look, I know he’s in pain, but there’s no way to turn this ship into a speedboat. We have a leak, Captain Ahab is in pieces, and Ms. Octavia is—

Alex, Henry interrupted. You don’t understand. We’re almost out of medicine.

Alex sat back. What? How could that be? I thought you brought a lot.

We had plenty for a trip to rescue Sky’s mother, Henry said, sounding a little defensive. But then we kept going, and we used two whole bottles on Lhasa before Kitten brought her back to life. And Sean’s been taking it regularly for days. Even after all of that, we would have been fine, except we lost the medical bag when we went over the waterfall. So all I have left is what was in my pocket. Henry, who was quite young for having such excellent healing abilities, blinked hard, as if he were trying not to cry. I should have hung on to the bag better.

Carina patted his shoulder. You did just fine.

Yes, and you saved one bottle, which Sean desperately needed, Alex reassured him. I understand—I’m not blaming you for anything. I was just surprised. He sucked in a breath and blew it out, thinking hard about how to handle things. How long do we have?

I’ve got a few drops left in this bottle, said Henry. Not enough for a full dose when this wears off, but it’ll help him get through the rest of today.

Oh boy, Alex muttered. He doubted there was a way they could get home in several days, much less by nightfall.

And we need to set his leg now, while he won’t feel it as much.

Alex blew out a heavy, frustrated breath. Setting Sean’s leg had been bad enough the first time. He looked around and saw a slightly bedraggled Ms. Octavia coming toward them, almost appearing to float through the air on her many tentacles. Alex waved her over.

Henry filled her in on the plan and explained how they were going to do it. Ms. Octavia wound two tentacles around Sean’s leg and Alex held Sean’s upper body steady. At Henry’s command, Ms. Octavia pulled while Henry and Carina set the leg. Sean cried out in his sleep. Once the leg was set, Alex rushed over to help Carina replace the splint and secure it.

When Henry and Carina no longer needed him, Alex slipped away to assess their situation, beckoning Ms. Octavia to join him. I need you to fix Captain Ahab as soon as possible, he said. We’re out of medicine. We need to get Sean home.

Do we know where we are? she asked. How far is home?

Alex shook his head. I don’t know for sure. We think we’re at the easternmost end of the world. But all we know for sure is the direction that Ms. Morning’s seek spell came from.

So the seek spell doesn’t require us to go back the way we came, around the world? asked Ms. Octavia.

Thankfully, no, Alex replied. It must have rerouted once we made it through the waterfalls. It was gone when I woke up, but Kitten saw it before it faded away.

Well that’s good, but we’re still a long way from Artimé, and the ship is barely moving. What will we do with Sean in the meantime? He’ll need something for the pain.

Alex looked up at the top of the battered mast, where six squirrelicorns rested. I was thinking maybe the squirrelicorns could . . . you know, take him. Back home.

The two looked at each other—once teacher and student, now peers solving a dilemma. After a moment Ms. Octavia shook her alligator head. The squirrelicorns aren’t like Simber—they can’t fly indefinitely. We don’t know what’s out there or if there’s any place for them to land if they need to rest.

Oh, Alex said, his thoughts whirling. Right. Of course you’re right. He pushed back a lock of tangled hair that had fallen over his eyes and sighed, defeated. Then I guess there’s no other choice, he said, turning to gaze at Artimé’s grand protector who circled the ship above. But it worries me. I just wish it wouldn’t leave us so vulnerable.

You mean Simber? Ms. Octavia said, her voice grave.

Losing Simber was the last thing Alex wanted to do. He had no idea what dangers awaited them. But it was the only way to save Sean. He nodded slowly, even as his gut twisted. We’ll have to make our way home without him.

Aaron Loses Someone Important

As he ran away from Artimé through the jungle, the High Priest Aaron Stowe tripped over a root and fell hard to the ground. He lay there for a minute, panting, trying to get the horrible image of Secretary being attacked by the panther out of his mind, but he couldn’t.

He touched the pocket where the heart attack spell components had been. The fabric lay flat against his leg now. Had he killed Panther? He wasn’t sure. All he knew was that after that attack, there was no way Secretary was still alive. And it was his fault.

It was almost like he’d murdered the woman himself.

His chest tightened. He sucked in a breath and choked on it. He tried to tell himself that she’d have died eventually anyway since he’d sent her to the Ancients Sector. But it wasn’t the same—because he’d actually seen her die, which somehow made it more real. Besides, his plan had been to get her out of there again. To scare her into being more obedient. The plan had backfired.

"It’s her fault, he said weakly. He pressed his elbow into the moist jungle floor and sat up. What was she doing in Artimé, of all places? If she’d gone to the Ancients Sector right away like she was supposed to, she’d still be alive. Probably, anyway." He couldn’t catch his breath, and his chest wouldn’t stop hurting. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. Only that he wanted Secretary back.

He got to his feet, eyes stinging, and stumbled toward the clearing where the tube was, hoping beyond hope that the rock was nowhere in sight. He had to get out of there. He had to go home.

Finally he reached the clearing and saw the little dog swinging by his teeth from tree branch to tree branch. There was no one else there. Aaron hid behind a tree and waited for the dog to move out of sight, and then he ran for the tube and stepped inside. When he turned to push the button, he caught

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