One Sentence Synopsis
Young Alex is trying to find his place at his new school, but when he learns about a kidnapping plot and the fact he has superpowers on the same day, his world gets turned upside down.
“So, don’t ever think that because you mess up, you’re worthless. Everyone has a purpose.”
I want to start this review by saying thank you to the author, Z.T. Soyoye, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
We all know how much I love fantasy, yes? One branch of fantasy that I honestly haven’t explored enough is superhero fiction. So, when a bookish friend told me the author of a young adult series featuring kids with superpowers, I was instantly intrigued. I’m glad I gave this book a chance because I ended up having a good time!
The story follows a young man named Alex. Alex is a scholarship student at an elite school who is trying his best to find his place. He’s smart and kind, but is still finding it hard to fit in. One day, as he is participating in a volleyball challenge to secure his place at school, he discovers that he has the power to slow down time. That same day, he is a witness to a kidnapping that changes his entire world. Now, Alex must fight to save his friends and figure out how to control this new power surging within him.
This book was a lot of fun! I will say that it took me a moment to really get into it. It took me some time to get into the flow of the writing style, but, once I did, this was a quick read. It’s got a little bit of everything you could want from a fantasy: action, friendship, and a collection of wonderful characters. Alex is such a strong main character, even when he’s going through things no one should have to go through, especially not a teenage boy. He fights for what he believes in and loves with all his heart. He has a lot of complex layers and I really enjoyed getting to know him throughout the story and watching him grow.
I will say that I would have loved a little bit more world-building in this. It’s set in our world, but there are a lot of spectacular things going on that left me kind of confused. Where did these powers come from? Who is the mastermind behind all the nefarious happenings? I wanted a little bit more information, not everything mind because I know this is just the first book in a series, but just a teensy bit more to truly ground me in the story. Still, the info we did get was interesting and definitely had me curious!
This is also a story with a very strong message about friendship and resilience. It could get a little heavy-handed at times, but it’s still a great lesson told in a fun and intriguing way. I will say that this story can get a little dark, too, with bouts of torture and violence that may be a bit much for some. If those are things that might be triggering, maybe steer clear!
Final thoughts: This is a good start to a young adult fantasy series that packs a strong message and wonderful characters. Though I wanted more world-building and it took me a bit to get into the tale, I ended up enjoying my time with Alex and his friends! This story can journey to the darker side, so do be sure to check trigger warnings if that’s something you need! Overall, if you enjoy young adult fantasy that features compelling characters and superpowers, I think you would enjoy The Unwanted!