Thursday, August 2, 2012
ARC Review: "The Unnaturalists" by Tiffany Trent
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
From Goodreads: "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. Syrus 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."
When I first got my hands on an early copy of this book I was ecstatic- it sounded like something right up my alley, an however, as I delved deeper and deeper into this book my excitement started to wane until it almost completely fizzled out.
There were a number of reasons why I had difficulties getting through this book, one being that I just found that there was too much stuff going on- from a Victorian revival-ish era, to a dystopian/ post- apocalyptic ruling body, to witchcraft, to fantastical beings, to a gypsy-like community and throw in a lot of steampunk (I personally believe that Lia Habel's "Dearly, Departed" is a good example of how to do this right- how to write a complex story without overwhelming the reader).
Furthermore, I felt that there was a bit of lack of context when it came to the fantastical beings that they referred on numerous occasions- I believe myself to be fairly knowledgeable about said beings, but I had no idea what half of them were in this book, especially those who played an instrumental role in the storyline.
That being said, I think that author Tiffany Trent should be applauded for her creativity- because, this book, being a dystopian/ post-apocalyptic book that is set in a steampunkish revival of the Victorian-era where fantastical creatures run rampant and one girl holds the key to saving life as she knows it, is quite literally unlike any other book I have ever happened across before.
All in all, while I was personally not totally satisfied with this book I would still recommend it to fans of the aforementioned "Dearly, Departed" by Lia Habel. Furthermore, I believe that fans of Lauren DeStefano's "Chemical Garden" series would enjoy this book as would fans of Bethany Griffin's "Masque of Red Death".
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.