I finally finished what I have been calling the Unwanteds 2 and only a week late for the Sequels challenge. However my lateness is not because the book was bad, but because of lack of free time.
Unwanteds: Island of Silence picks up after the first book, with Necessaries pouring into the magical Artime after the defeat of High Priest Justine of Quill. Mr. Today assigns last year's Unwanteds including Alex, Lani, Samheed, and Meghan to try to help the Necessaries adjust to life in Artime. In the meantime, the Wanteds of Quill are not adjusting to being without the Necessaries's labor and want to force the group back to Quill. Those formally in charge are upset, but few are willing to challenge High Priest Haluki, Lani's father. The main exception is Aaron Stowe, Alex's twin brother. Alex can not forgive his twin for trying to kill him, but he does not want to fight his brother. When Mr. Today asks Alex to be his successor, Alex rejects him, but continues to train with Mr. Today, so that he can take a vacation. As Alex learns more about the job, he begins to regret his decision, but the idea that he might have to face his brother if he takes charge, keeps him for telling Mr. Today he has changed his mind. Lani is becoming distant with Alex, because she wanted to be chosen, but doesn't share this with Alex, and Meghan feels rejected by her family. Samheed who likes Meghan feels jealous of her work with another Unwanted. With their friendship strained, Samheed, Meghan, and Lani decide to go on an adventure, but Alex cannot join them because of his training duties. The adventure is ill-timed and with a horrible tragedy, Alex may be left to pick up the pieces alone.
The second book in the Unwanteds series is darker than the first and the ending is very bittersweet. Even though things seem bleak, there is hope in the end. I love the world McMann has created and this is another story with very flawed characters, who are still likeable. She broke my heart at the end of the story, but I will not tell how, because it would be really spoilery.
Favorite Character: Alex. He really matured with this book and his hesitancy is what makes him such a great character. He is capable, but lacks confidence. I can't wait to see if he gains this confidence in the next book. He is also very caring and cannot even bring himself to hate his brother.
Favorite Quote: " 'Forgiveness is not a negative trait.' Mr. Today walked to the window and looked out. 'Not if one possesses common sense. Which you do.' 'And it's a priceless gift, too, for common sense is not something one can just acquire at will. You either have it or you don't, as they say.'"
This series does remind me slightly of Harry Potter, but only in the sense that McMann is able to create a believable magical world with likeable flawed characters, just like in HP. 5 cups of cocoa for sure and I really want to read the next book!