#BookReview : The Unwanted by Z.T. Soyoye #TheUnwanted @TomiZT_ / / impressive, action-packed debut novel
The Unwanted by Z.T. Soyoye
Publication Date : February 24th 2020
Genre : YA / Urban Fantasy / Supernatural
Pages : 260
“Let the Lightning Engulf you”
15-year-old Alexander Charon embarks on his journey at a new school as he struggles to form bonds and relationships with those around him. He begins to unravel his hidden talents, forcing his life to take an unexpected turn as he witnesses the murder and kidnapping of his friends. He must use his newly found skills to solve mysteries and protect those he cares for before it’s too late.
Can Alex rise up as he attempts to persevere against adversities? Or will he fall into despair as hope dwindles with each new obstacle?
*** Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. ***
The Unwanted was interesting YA fantasy that revolved around 15 yrs. old Alex who discovered his supernatural ability and was trying to use it in saving his friends.
Theme and layers The Unwanted covered were, teenage angst, personal growth, self-esteem, courage, friendship, family, team work, and overcoming problems physically and mentally.
Writing was easy to follow, vivid, and engaging. Short chapters made it faster to read. It was first person narrative from Alex’s POV that made it easy to understand his feelings and dilemma. Plot was action packed and mysterious.
It started with Alex finding his mind drifting and distracted from reality that put him into lot of trouble. First with chemistry teacher, then failing the race, fainting by exhaustion, weird nightmare, and then volleyball trial match against the bully. Things weren’t looking positive on that day except he discovered his new power of slowing the time and using it to his advantage, but he still needed to master his skills and things even became worst when he lost someone he cared and loved. Luckily, he was given a second chance by new friend who also had supernatural power to reset things. It was interesting to find out how he would save his friends, master his skill, figure out who was the attacker, whether he will overcome his weakness and turn it into strength or will fall into despair and self-pity and lose everything he worked for.
Characters were realistic and believable. Alex was smart, creative and genius scholarship student but he lacked self-esteem and confidence. He believed he was underdog and stayed in shadow of his best friend Anthony. When he couldn’t save his friends, he kept beating himself, kept overthinking things than find solution and moving forward. His dilemma and doubts were realistic. I admired how he faced bullies and problems in his life with smile on face, owned his mistakes and learned from it, learned to turn his fear and weakness into strength, and listened to advice adults and his friends gave. His determination and will to turn his skill into talent was amazing. His gift of slowing the time was interesting.
Anthony was amazing throughout the book. I loved the way he supported Alex and followed him into danger, never leaving his side. It was surprising to see his life problems. It was shocking to see this strong boy hidden his vulnerability so well. His concentration and gift of seeing the trajectory of things that made him amazing volleyball player was brilliant.
Friendship between Anthony and Alex was lovely to read. Their different nature, skill and talent balanced their friendship and what was lacked in other so well. Even though they didn’t know Emma well, the bond all three of them made was great.
There wasn’t much to world in this book. I hope there is more about world in next books. Message in the book was good. There was whole chapter on reflection and so many philosophies. First half of the book was fast paced but then pace became bumpy and it was slow in last 30% of the book. Most twist and turns were predictable but there were enough surprises that made the story interesting. End was good. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen next.
Why 3.5 stars-
I didn’t like the way adult characters were narrated through Alex POV. It felt like Alex was meeting them for the first time, even his mom. I would have liked to see some explanation or detail about their gifts. I like reading philosophies and messages but here it was bit overdone. Last 30% of the book was slow and a bit dragging.
Overall, The Unwanted was impressive and interesting debut novel. I recommend it to YA readers who enjoy lot of action and fighting scenes and characters with supernatural abilities.
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Lashaan Balasingam @ Bookidote
Hahaha it must be so weird to have protagonist speak of their mom as if they met them for the first time! That is indeed unnatural. Awesome honest review, Yesha! 😀
It was so weird and all adults were narrated like that. Thank you, Lashaan! 😀
Good review, Yesha. 🙂 Despite its slow pace, I’m glad you still liked the book.
Thank you, Debjani! It was good debut novel.
Supernatural abilities? I’m intrigued. Glad you still enjoyed this one, Yesha. Great review!
Thank you, Teri!
Glad you still liked it, Yesha. I’ve been seeing the book around, but I’m not sure it’s my kind of book. Excellent, thorough review as usual! ❤️
I guess teens or preteens can relate to this but then again there was so much fighting and violence so it’s better for YA.
Sounds like Alex did go through a lot of character development in the book. His and Alex’s gifts are so intriguing. Shame about the adult characters… Great review, Yesha!
Thank you, Toni! yes, characters went through great development and it was well written. It’s not adult characters themselves but the narration style for adult character that felt weird.