The Unquiet revolves around Lirael who has been learning to kill since childhood. She has been training to replace a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. However, she is beginning to suspect that she is not exactly a good person. She obeys orders and kills mercilessly. Furthermore, the two Earths are identical in almost every single way possible: there are two copies of every city, every building and of course, even every person. However, two versions of the same substance cannot exist. The people of the second Earth are aware of something that their duplicates do not know. The people and their planet are slowly disappearing. Lira has always made it her mission to learn everything about her duplicate; she wants to find the duplicate Lirael and take over her life.
The Unquiet is a debut novel with a familiar science fiction concept of parallel Earths. Lirael is a strong heroine who’s been forced into a life she never desired. She was given no choice but to kill and obey orders. The story line is written differently which was a breath of fresh air. The story moves forward with three segments of Lirael’s life, three different times of Lirael. There are also flashbacks that come back to the present.
The writing is rather slow in the beginning – which is typical of most young adult novels – but the pace picks up eventually. There is a hint of romance but it is definitely not the main aspect of the story. I’m glad the romance didn’t dominate the novel and that it was more character driven. The world-building is generic to other sci-fi YA books but still enjoyable enough. The ending is quite sad and I do have to wonder as a reader what might happen next. Unfortunately, there is no information about The Unquiet being turned into a series.
Benish Khan has her B.A in Psychology and Religion from the University of New York. She’s a psychologist and artist by day, and a bookworm by night. She currently blogs at feministreflections.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Greenwillow Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.