The Unwanteds – Lisa McMann

Fantasy, Favorites, Safe Bets, Series

The cover proudly quotes Kirkus Reviews describing the book as  “The Hunger Games Meets Harry Potter” and that is a pretty accurate statement.

Children, teens, and adults will all enjoy this 7 (about to be 8) book series where children are determined to be “Wanteds”, “Necessaries”, or “Unwanteds” based on intelligence vs. creativity.  For Alex, an Unwanted, he assumed he’d be executed after the Purge – as that is what has occurred for decades, but instead all of the Unwanteds are rescued each year and live peacefully hidden away in a magical part of the forest run by an elected official, who is supposed to execute the very children he protects.

In Artime, the children are encouraged and taught to express themselves and their creativity.  Those with talent for acting, writing, painting, and drawing being to hone their talents.  As they master basic levels, they then begin their magical training [see how Harry Potter-esque this is.]  After about 6 months, their skills have advanced, but Alex still misses his twin brother (a Wanted) and finds a way to communicate with him.  At the same time Mr. Today informs the student body, professors, and magical creatures and statues that he fears someday in the near future they will be found and will be forced to defend one another and Artime.

In a magical, hidden forest, where creativity is encouraged and slam poetry or splatter painting can be magical defenses, who wouldn’t find enjoyment in this story?

Very enjoyable both for the magic and the politics between Quill and Artime.  Only a few deaths in the battle at the end, but similarly as Harry Potter, I suspect it gets darker as the series continues.




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