Reviews for Island of Silence

Booklist Reviews 2012 September #1
Book two of the Unwanteds fantasy series explores the aftermath of war and the uneasy peace that has settled over militaristic Quill and magical Artimé. Alex finds himself the unexpected heir to magician Mr. Today, while his twin brother, Aaron, plots revenge and a return to his former status within Quill. Also of interest to Alex and his friends are the mysterious islands that surround their own--especially after two silent castaways drift into Artimé. The development--or rather, stagnation--of Quill continues to be the least compelling story line. Aaron often sounds more like a petulant teenager than a savvy instigator of political machinations, and it's difficult to believe anyone would accept him as a leader. But the titular island holds potential for a truly engaging plot twist, and it will hopefully feature more prominently as the story continues. After a devastating cliff-hanger where all that was won is seemingly lost, and the fate of several central characters is uncertain at best, it is clear that there are many scores still to settle and secrets yet to be revealed. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
The first fight between the cold land of Quill and creative Artimi is over, an uneasy peace established between the two worlds. Alex begins training to be the next leader of Artimi, while his conniving twin Aaron plots to seize control of Quill. Plenty of action will satisfy readers of The Unwanteds; this second book is clearly setting up the next installment.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
This Unwanteds (2011) sequel lacks the magic of the first book in more ways than one. Now that both Artimé and Quill are free states and their rulers continue to work toward mutual peace, Artimé's leader, mage Marcus Today, who's worked every day for the last 50 years, wants to take a holiday. He taps former Unwanted Alex to train to serve in his place. Instead of focusing on the students' creativity and burgeoning magical abilities, this second novel delves into leadership and gives readers plenty to think about concerning qualities and motivation. The third-person narration alternates between Alex and his doubts in his ability to lead and his vengeful twin brother, Aaron, who, after getting kicked out of Quill's university and losing his Wanted status, plots to become the new high priest of Quill. With the help of secret agents, Aaron hopes to start another war with Artimé and take over their land as well--even if it means defeating his brother. Aaron's schemes take so long to materialize, however, that there's little action for stretches of the story. Despite the occasional slow pacing, the discovery of surrounding islands, including one that renders its captives mute in a horrific manner, lends enough adventure to keep fans satisfied. A cliffhanger ending with plenty of unsolved mysteries ensures the return of readers in the next installment. (Fantasy. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

Gr 4-7--This sequel to McMann's Unwanteds (S & S, 2011) begins in a much happier place than its predecessor. The dictatorial leader of the regimented land of Quill is dead, and its citizens are now free to travel or relocate to the magical land of Artimé. Mister Today, Artimé's leader, is grooming Alex Stowe for leadership, and Alex and his friends Meghan, Lani, and Samheed continue to be some of the most creative and talented magicians of Artimé. In Quill, Alex's power-hungry twin, Aaron, gathers support to attack Artimé and rule Quill. As Quillens begin sporadic raids into Artimé, two children wash up on Artimé's beach, their necks pierced with iron thorns. In the space of a single, horrible day, Alex's friends vanish, Quillen forces attack, and Mister Today disappears. It is up to Alex to don the mantle of leadership and save the day. This work does not stand on its own but it does serve nicely as a continuation of the series. McMann allows her characters to grow as, indeed, does her world. The situations follow logically, and the author gives readers some hope for the future, despite the dire circumstances at the conclusion.--Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

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