September 22, 2015
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For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.How do you live when your whole life, your whole existence has been about death?
The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.
An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.
The Unquiet was so much more than I expected. More intense, more complex, more epic, more thought provoking. It is deeper and darker, for sure, but most of all, it is so very memorable. This is one story whose character, world, revelations, and questions you are not going to forget.
It is a bit of:
but still wholly and completely original. The author has done a fantastic job imagining this world, with two Earths, where everyone on the first Earth has a duplicate on the second Earth, but they've figured out that only one version can exist. Can survive.
Lirael knows it's the only way to survive, to kill the girl that looks like her, to live her life.
The Unquiet does not try to make things nice and neat or shiny and happy. We don't get the sanitized version of what Lirael is to do, of how it all affects her. One of the reasons I loved her character so much is that we get the gritty, dark, violent, so-far-from-PC thoughts and feelings she has. We see the horrible, bad things she does.
But we also get the human side of her; Lirael's guilt, her questions, her uncertainty and insecurity.
The book summary is incredibly on point with this one: "The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut."
There is so much I want to say, so many things I want to single out and tell everyone about, but, most of all, I want to avoid any and all spoilers. The Unquiet will leave you unsure of the characters' and the book's limits, of where that line is drawn. If there even is a line. Yet, the characters are sympathetic and, . . I love them and wanted to just take them all out of there at multiple points.
This is one novel I recommend not only to YA readers, but to adult readers, as well. (Whether or not they otherwise read young adult books.)
Read this book!
(with a few more stars stuck on the end, too)
You Might Also Enjoy: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, Seeker by Arwa Elys Dayton, and Another Earth
review copy received from publisher