The battle is over, and the magical barrier between the land of Quill and Artime is gone. Residences from both sides are allowed to mingle, but it would be more than stretching the truth to say they were getting along. The Unwanteds are having a hard time forgiving their family for giving up on them, and the Wanteds aren’t used to the harsh conditions; working for themselves. As Aaron struggles to regain what he has lost, Alex faces many hardships of his own.
First of all, let me just say, that if you read the first book, and wasn’t sure whether to go on reading the series…READ THIS ONE. JUST DO IT. This series is considered a “middle-grade” series, but to be honest, a lot of fantastic fantasy series are labeled as middle-grade. A couple of examples include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, etc. While the first Unwanteds book was mostly light, and fun, this book definitely turned a bit more darker.
The characters had a lot of growth in this novel. Especially Alex and Aaron, and not always for the better. Compared to the first novel, all the characters became more complex which was great to see. I became more emotionally attached to them as I kept reading; it took me about the halfway point before I actually decided to care for them. But better late them never!
The plot. Oh my god the plot. Lisa McMann, you genius. You learn so much more about the magic and you explore different areas outside of Quill, it’s simply amazing. There are plot twists and turns throughout the book, and what I liked most was how dark the book actually was. Don’t get me wrong, a kid in 5th grade could definitely read this and enjoy it. But so could a 20 year old. The whole book is just insightful and meaningful. My only complaint is that it was a bit slow in the beginning.
Let me just rave about the writing style for a bit. There is just something so calming about McMann’s writing style. I don’t know what it is, it’s just so fluid. I aspire to write like her someday.
Definitely recommend this book if you haven’t read it already!