Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.
Hmm... Usually when i finish a book in one day it ends up in my absolute favorites section, but this one didn't quite make it. Perhaps it's the fact that i'm a twenty five year old reading a book made for those half my age. Perhaps i set my hopes too high. I don't know. That is not to say the book is bad per say. It's a pretty solid four. Just not good enough to be a five and absolute favorite.
The book is basically the story of Alex stowe who on his thirteenth birthday was deemed "unwanted". See in the world of Quill a person is either Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Those who are deemed "unwanted" are sent to their death. Basically to possess a creative mind is to be unwanted. It would seem that Alex's fate was set except it wasn't really. Marcus Today aka The Death Farmer aka the great mage of Artime saves every being deemed unwanted by transporting him to his made up world of Artime. There all kinds of magically creatures live and the residents learn "Art" based magic. The thing is that Quill doesn't know about Artime and it must stay that way. Otherwise Quill's army would attack. And it does. Take in some evil twins, sometimes eye rolling names, and a kiddier friendly version of Harry Potter and you get this book.
In a way i think in some area the author was trying to hard. The cover reads "The Hunger Games met Harry Potter" and it really isn't. It may have some similar features, but it isn't comparable. It's miss-leading and perhaps raised my expectations way! too high. Some of the names are just plain dumb "Claire Morning" and i find myself rolling my eyes a bit. I think take ten years off my age and i would find this book fabulous. It's completely kids friendly and has no "black magic" per say. That is not to say it's Winnie the Pooh magic. More of Classic Disney magic. People die, things happen, but completely kid friendly.
Final rating. 4/5 stars. I was a bit bored with it at some times, but i'll come back for the next book.