The Unwanteds series is a fantasy audiobook series, written by Lisa McMann – who is known particularly for her works in the fantasy genre.
There is a total of 7 audiobooks published in the series between the years 2011 and 2015. All the audios of the series are recommended for the readers between the ages of 8 and 15.
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories. The strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, while the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their graves. On the day of the purge, identical twins Alex and Aaron Stowe await their fate.
While Aaron is hopeful of becoming a Wanted, Alex knows his chances are slim. He’s been caught drawing with a stick in the dirt- and in the stark gray land of Quill, being creative is a death sentence. But when Alex and the other Unwanteds face the Eliminators, they discover an eccentric magician named Mr. Today and his hidden world that exists to save the condemned children. Artimé is a colorful place of talking statues, uncommon creatures, and artistic magic, where creativity is considered a gift … and a weapon.
Aaron Stowe has been kicked out of the University of Quill. But, he is power-hungry. Gathering a group of sympathizers named The Restorers, he plots his rise to power, and the demise of Artimé.
Meanwhile, two silent, orange-eyed children, named Sky and Crow, have arrived on a raft. While Artimé seems to continue along normally, Eva Fathom, a supposed Restorer, is spying on Quill, and passing along information to Sean Ranger, an unwanted teenager. Plus, Mr. Today starts to teach Alex how to be a head mage, and devises a plan to trick Aaron. But, the plan backfires. Aaron confronts Mr. Today, and kills him using five heart-attack spells that Alex invented, thus depriving Artimé of its magic and leaving all magical components useless. Meanwhile, Alex and Simber, one of Mr. Today’s statues, go out on a search for three of Alex’s missing friends, Meghan Ranger, Samheed Burkesh, and Lani Haluki.
They rescue Meghan and discover that Samheed and Lani have been captured by a neighboring, silent island, called Warbler. On the way back, Simber freezes, and crashes into the sea, because of Mr. Today’s death. Alex and Meghan barely avoid death. At the same time, the Restorers attack Artimé, and causing mass hysteria.
Appointed Head Mage by the late Mr. Today, Alex Stowe is left with the task of trying to bring back Artime, the magical land that disappeared upon Mr. Today’s death. If he can’t, he and his friends are doomed.
With the help of Sky, he succeeds in restoring Artime and its magical creatures through clues Mr. Today left him, but his troubles are only beginning. Now, he must find a way to rescue his friends Lani and Samheed from Warbler Island. He rescues them, but Warbler’s queen, Eagela, is planning an attack on them for stealing Sky, Crow, Lani, Samheed, and Meghan.
During Artime’s first annual masquerade ball, hundreds of lights appear across the sea. Artime is under attack from Warbler, and with difficulty Alex and his friends drive them back. Meanwhile, Aaron discovers the existence of a magical jungle in Mr. Today’s tube and starts training the creatures in there for an attack on Artime. They trust him after he tells them he is Alex.
Even during the battle Alex hasn’t forgotten his promise to rescue Sky’s mother from Pirate Island. Once they set out, however, some of their friends are taken to the island’s underwater holding cell by a huge eel. When they rescue all of them, they proceed onto the next islands, but find out not all of them are friendly.
In this book Alex and his friends end up getting stuck on an island that has a constant storm after they fell off the waterfall in the Island of Legends. There they meet three scientists, who help them survive. While there they fix their boat and are able to escape. When they get back they find that Artime went through a battle, and Meghan fought in it because she volunteered to stay behind. Samheed comes to help Meghan fight. Meghan then saved Samheed from General Blair when he miraculously survived from the first one, and you find out that he joined forces with High Priest Aaron Stowe. Meghan dies in the process.
In the book, there are a few chapters that are about the pirates from the Island of Legends. They have the one slave who was good friends with Copper, Sky and Crow’s mom, draw a picture of the person that helped Copper escape. He does, and they recognize him as Alex, so they raid the palace, and accidentally capture Aaron, and they then send him off to the island of shipwrecks. And they learn that they have sisters.
In this book, Aaron is kidnapped by the pirates from the Island of Fire. The pirates think that Aaron is Alex. After weeks in a small fishing boat tied to the back of the pirate’s ship, they untie the rope and send him in the direction of the island of shipwrecks. Fortunately, he arrives in the hour of calm but has fainted from the near-death experience. He is then rescued by Ishibashi-san, Ito-san and Sato-san. Ishibashi thinks he is Alex because Alex and Aaron are identical twins. He saves Aaron’s life by giving him a piece of seaweed to eat that gives him his eternal life. Aaron slowly matures and becomes less evil and greedy over the course of his predicament.
While Aaron is kidnapped, Gondoleery takes charge of Quill and sends general Liam and Alex’s twin sisters to their deaths in the Ancient Sector. But Liam escapes and brings the twins to Artime. Lani then has the idea to rally up the necessaries against the new high priest, as she has started to kill necessaries and unwanteds that went to Quill in the last book. But the only way that they can carry out the plan is to bring back Aaron The only clue to where the pirates have gone is that Matilda had seen their boat go towards the east. As Alex and Sky use the Claire to go to each of the islands that Aaron could be in, they meet the queen of the ocean, a water dragon named Pan who asks them for wings but does not tell why. She says that there is no human on her island.
They then reach the island that Alex had seen the help sign and the saber-toothed gorilla eat the pig, only now the sign has changed to “COME BACK” so they wait for the night and they hear a girl singing, telling them her story. But Alex does not have time to save her on the way but promises to save her on their way back. They find Aaron, rescue the girl and go back home. After rescuing her, they find Gondoleery Rattrap to be more tyrannical and cruel than they thought. The Artimeans prepare for war with the Quillens who fight for Gondoleery.
In this book, Warbler (The Island of Silence) and The Island of Fire forge an alliance in order to destroy Artime. Meanwhile, on Artime/Quill, Quill has been obliterated by the fireballsฝ that Gondoleery Rattrap created. Artime expands its magical boundaries to encompass the rest of the island in order to restore Quill. A traveller from the Island of Legends informs Artime that the island crab Karkinos, who is the Island of Legends, is on the verge of death and is drifting towards the waterfall. Henry Haluki takes the seaweed from the Island of Shipwrecks, which if consumed grants immortality, to the giant crab. Karkinos regains his strength and is able to muster the strength to back up to his original position.
Meanwhile, Alex visits the Island of Dragons with the dragon Pan. Pan flies him over the colossal crystal wall surrounding the island and Alex discovers that behind the crystal wall is Pan’s five children. Pan hid her children to protect them from the pirates, who capture sea creatures and cage them. Alex returns to Artime to craft wings for the five dragons and he returns to the island to attach them to their intended hosts. Sometime later, Warbler and the pirates launch their attack on Artime. At the end of the war, Alex’s left arm is damaged beyond repair (and since he is left-handed) he cannot do magic anymore.
However, he remains Head Mage of Artime. Lani’s legs become immobile, and so Aaron designs her a machine to help her walk and she quickly gets used to it.
The novel went on to become very successful and helped author Lisa McMann to become the New York Times Bestselling author. It also proved to be an intriguing page-turner as the readers from all over the world appreciated and liked the interesting story of the novel very much.
The fat that the stories of Aaron and Alex run parallel and give an ultimate account of a shocking climax. In the end, the readers were left desperate for the continuation of the novel, which forced author Lisa McMann to write a few more novels in the series.
Because of her unique style of writing and narrating the plot of the novel, she was praised by a number of critics as well as prominent authors and reviewers.
Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle-grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and several other books for kids and teens. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area.
Check out Lisa’s website at LisaMcMann.com, learn more about The Unwanteds Series at UnwantedsSeries.com, and be sure to say hi on Instagram or Twitter (@Lisa_McMann), or Facebook (Facebook.com/McMannFan).