The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
New London’s whole world their mythology is based on science and magic. Tinkers (the outcasts of new london) build the machines and magic-myth (a source of dubious origins) to be more precise powers them. New Londoners worship in the church of science and their saints you may recognize as some history’s most influential and famous scientists. Such as Saint Tesla, Newton and Madame Currie. The setting has a steampunk vibe and its colors are diluted. The smoke colored myth fueling the machines leaves the world overcast. I imagined this world is like peeping through a peep hole in dimly lit alleyway. The Unnaturalists is like nothing I’ve read so far the concept is an original take on steampunk. I’m new to the steampunk genre and so far I haven’t read a book that I didn’t like.
Had a nice pace there was magic fights, a botched love spell, there are some twists and a few turns, some ugly revelations. A world-and a way of life on the brink of destruction. And of course there’s only one person to save it and everyone in it. Good reasons to like The Unnaturalists but there were blemishes as well for instance Vespa (love the name its so unique) was on the positive side brave, smart, independent and took the initiative. I like the the fact that she didn’t wait around pining for Hal to kiss her but instead she took the initiative and kissed him first. For this reason I had a love hate relationship with Vespa on one hand I thought she had a stick up her bum most evident when Syrus comes to warn her she was in danger at great risk to himself. Then she surprises me by kissing Hal instead of waiting for him to make the first move. She is a layered character not one stuck in three gears.
On the negative side Vespa was stubborn to the point it was annoying Syrus risks his own life to warn Vespa that her life was in danger, and what does Vespa do she sounds the alarm on him, thankfully he gets away. His warning turns out to be true and she feel bad he warns again about something else and pays a price for not listening. I think the book could have benefited without the Lucy character she doesn’t do anything really except threaten Vespa to use magic for Lucy’s benefit. Even though she was a plot device a bridge that put Vespa into Upper classes that but Hal back into her life. I think there could have been another way to get the same result. The end felt convoluted. All in all the original concept, the mythology was like nothing I’ve read. So I gave the Naturalists 3.5 / 5. I liked the book for all the reason I mentioned through out the review but not enough to have in my personal library or re-read.
- Title: The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
- Published: August 14, 2012
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
- Rating: 4 / 5
- Source: Library
- Age group: 14+
- Format: Hardcover
- Pages: 305
- Buy: Amazon
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.