This middle volume in the Unwanteds series introduces a few more surprises among the never-ceasing rescues and battles.
Picking up soon after the third book (Island of Fire, 2013), this fourth story provides little reorientation to the unusual characters and previously visited islands. Not much has changed, however. Alex continues to develop his mage skills (this time creating his first living creature) and still bumbles his way through his feelings for Sky. The bulk of the narrative, however, revolves around an increasingly tedious rescue of statue Florence from Pirate Island. Their biggest opponent this time around is a giant eel. Alex and his crew do not find their fourth, perhaps most interesting island yet until close to the ending. A related discovery seals their fate: They will visit three more islands (thus, presumably there are three more books in the series). Meanwhile, Alex’s evil nemesis (and twin brother), Aaron, also resumes his quest to take control of Artimé. A discovery of his own—a jungle with Mr. Today’s misfit creations—could eventually give him the advantage he needs in battle—if a growing clandestine faction doesn’t stop him first. A tiny hint of dystopia draws the book back to its roots; otherwise, the story has become full-blown fantasy.
Given its numerous details, this fourth book will only be “wanted” by the series’ fan base. (Fantasy. 10-14)