Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gift of the Unmage by Alma Alexander (Worldweavers: Book 1) | Science Fantasy YA Review

Mulluane | 11:20 PM | 3 Comments so far

Who knew you'd be a true weaver?

Great things have been expected of Thea, the seventh child of two seventh children. Sent back in time to learn from Cheveyo, an Anasazi mage, Thea begins to weave herself a new magical identity, infused with elements of the original worlds.

But back home, Thea keeps her abilities hidden and is sent to the Wandless Academy, the one school on Earth for those who have no apparent magical talent. It is there that Thea realizes that her enemies are hungrier and more dangerous than she knew. What’s more, her greatest strength may be the powerlessness she has resisted for so long.

It will be needed to save her world.

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Gift of the Unmage by Alma Alexander (Worldweavers: Book 1) | Science Fantasy YA Review

| Source: Author
| Author: Alma Alexander
| Genre: Young Adult, Science Fantasy, 12+
| Content: Unique Magic Systems
| Series: Worldweavers: Book 1
| ISBN-10: 0060839554
| ISBN-13: 9780060839574
| Publisher: HarperTeen (March 13, 2007)
| Mass Market Paperback: 389 pages
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
Book Depository
Gift of the Unmage (Worldweavers, #1)

♦ Mini Review ♦
Alma Alexander has woven a richly invented fantasy out of elements from many cultures, both real and imagined, and a memorable cast of characters.

Science Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

I had some reservations when Alma Alexander asked if I would look at her Worldweavers series. A quick glance told me it contained computers, which gave me pause. I much prefer alternate realities that take place in historical or original settings. THEN, I noticed that it had aliens. I am not fond of reading Science Fiction either. I do not mind watching it on TV but reading about warp drives and space travel makes my eyes go crossed. However, I did not give up, I keep reading and I ran across references to ancestral Indian spirituality and a Federal Bureau of Magic and I realized that this was a completely new situation. I mean how can you resist a book that contains alien races, computers, and ancestral magic. For that matter, almost everybody in this world has magical abilities! Suddenly I could not wait to see where all this was going.

I was not disappointed. The world that Alma Alexander created is uniquely her own. Computers and cars aside, it bears alot and yet very little resemblance to our own. This world literally has everything you could imagine. Time travel, portals, alternate realities, other dimensions, aliens from other worlds, ancestral spiritual beings, and almost everybody has some type of magical ability. Even better then that, all these divergent elements feel natural. If I could open a door and step into this world, I believe I could live happily there without too much of an adjustment and never look back. Does worldbuilding get any better then that?

Oh but it gets better. This book not only fired my imagination, it has great characters too. This is the type of YA fantasy that even an old fart like me can really enjoy. Thea, the main protagonist, is so identifiable. If you were, or knew that teenager who never fit in, you will connect with Thea. Poor girl was supposed to be the next great mage. As the seventh child of two seventh parents, she was expected to possess an amazing magical talent. All of the Double Sevens, as the ones who had been born before her were called, exhibited some type of exceptional magic. That is until Thea came along. Instead of being exceptional, it appears that she has no magical talent at all! This teenager, at an age where just being a teenager is bad enough, has to deal with not only being a disappointment to the world (actually, several worlds) but to her family as well.

Alma Alexander does an excellent job of showing the angst, self-doubt, hurt, and the defiant self defense mechanisms that somebody in Thea's position might struggle with. You understand her anger mixed with sadness, her fear of that look of disappointment in her father's eyes as she fails in magic school, the one he tries to hide. You sympathize with her jealousy of her six older and magically talented brothers (well, there is Frankie but atleast he has some magic, even if he never quite gets things right.) Plus, she is not the only great character in the book, just the main one. (Warning, bad pun incoming...) It was love at first read! (Feel free to groan now, I did....)

It gets even better, no seriously, it does. The pacing was perfect and exactly what I would hope for in a YA book. Information was evenly paced, not coming at you too slow or too fast. And yet, alot happens in just 400 pages. So much that I was frankly amazed at how much activity the story covered and how smoothly it all progressed. Life long friendships are formed, characters develop, the main conflict is resolved, the mystery is solved, or most of it anyway. It had a very satisfying ending but not so much that you do not want to immediately move on to book two and experience more of the adventures of Thea and her friends. If there are any faults in this book, I am unaware of them. Likely, they got lost in my delight in both the story and the characters. YA it might be but I feel like I have made some new friends and now, if you do not mind, I think I will go spend some more time with them. I will be back at the conclusion of book two!

Highly, highly recommended for both YA and adults who love an imaginative world peopled with very real human beings.

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything 3.76/5

Amazon: 3.9/5
(12 customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage

Audible: No

Buy Book: Books A Million ~

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Science Fantasy Young Adult Review of Gift of the Unmage:(Worldweavers: Book 1) by Alma Alexander
Reviewed by Mulluane on May 13 2009
Rating: 4 of 5

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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  1. I am convinced. Sounds so good!

  2. This is one of those series that I keep thinking I should read, and then never get motivated to read it. You make it sound really good, so maybe I'll give it a try!

  3. I put it on my list of books to read! Thanks for the great review. :-)


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