Thoughts on The Unwanteds series

WARNING: This blog post will contain spoilers. If you have not read books 1-6 of the series, I would advise skipping this post.

This series is starting to seriously disappoint me. They’re good books. They’re part of the rare species of books that get me thinking for a long time. But they’re unlogical, and inconsistent. And unfortunately, since my brain tries to find logic in everything, I can spend days puzzling over these books. (Oh, and getting mad at the inconsistencies.) Even the first book had inconsistencies in itself. Or that may just be my brain overthinking as usual.

The thing that usually gets me thinking the most is the issue of who is more powerful than who, and why Alex was even chosen to be the next head mage. And about Artimé, and what goes on there, and why there is a relationship between if the head mage is alive and the existence / disappearance of it. Sometimes I think Samheed is more powerful than Alex. But they are both more powerful than Lani or Meghan. Well, Meghan before she died.  First of all, Samheed could see the secret hallway from the very beginning, when Alex didn’t even start seeing it until a few weeks later. And since you need to have a certain amount of power (magical ability) to even see the hallway, either Sam is just simply more powerful or Alex’s powers simply took a while to develop. Also, I think you have to be pretty powerful to be able to cast the glass spell, because Alex and Sam can both do it, but as Lani mentioned, she can’t. And Aaron has to be more powerful than all of them because first of all, he is able to bring stuff to life just by thinking about it (which, as far as I’m concerned, no one else can do), and he was able to ressuscitate Simber. Not to mention that Aaron has no training. He discovered his magic entirely by accident.

I still don’t understand why Alex was picked to be the next mage. Okay, I get that he was brilliant and creative and whatnot. But seriously, Alex was fourteen. Even if it is an alternate reality, you can’t write books so that fourteen year olds run islands. Or magical worlds. Or whatever. So why did Mr. Today pick him? I get that he showed promise. But Alex is a very flawed person. Yes, he knew Aaron better than anybody. But the link between them stopped him, for a long time, from realizing that his brother couldn’t be trusted. And when his twin turned evil, for a while he failed to realize that too. How did it make sense for Aaron to become the high priest of Quill? First of all, back when he exposed Artimé, Justine began to hate him so I imagine that that was when he was stripped of his title. (Oh, that reminds me. The book fails to mention how he got the title.) Second of all, Gunnar cut off his access to the palace so I have no clue how he got past the guards on the way to his takeover of the palace. So it would make no sense for Aaron to be made associate high priest.

The books are so inconsistent with the spells! In the first book, freezing doesn’t require a component. Neither does the invisible horse spell.  By the sixth book, they both do. It thoroughly bugs me that the author can’t keep track of the spells she created. Gosh. Especially since in book four,when Alex ran out of components, he tried to freeze someone and missed.

McMann also made a choice that I don’t particularly like when choosing how Alex was going to deal with his fear of failure.  In my opinion, the best way to get rid of a fear like that is to keep failing. So it would have been nice to see the weather spell fail. But NO! I guess not, so not Sky has to keep bugging him. Also, why did did Aaron have to change? It was kind of interesting to have the whole evil twin story, although those are kind of offensive to twins. Aaron changed way too quickly to be believable.

The random girl who showed up from Earth is a plot twist we really didn’t need.  She was just another confusing, disappointing addition to the story. When it has been established that magic is commonplace, there are strange creatures lying around, and there is no technology, you should think twice about adding a character who doesn’t know this halfway through the second last book. How the hell is she going to tie up the parallel universe thing,plus Queen Eagala planning an attack, Aaron’s new allegiance to Artimé, Quill burning down, and the dragon in the last book? Plus half a dozen other thoughts I didn’t bother to mention. This better be a good last book, or else!