________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 39 . . . . June 12, 2015


The Unquiet.

Mikaela Everett.
New York, NY: Greenwillow Books (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada), 2015.
453 pp., trade pbk. & Ebook, $21.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-0-06-238127-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-06-238129-3 (Ebook).

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


We arrive at the cottages in the woods as prisoners. We are six and seven years old and do not know any better than to be afraid of them. So they lock us up inside bunkers underground and train us there until we have learned to like the gray of our uniforms, the brown leather of our shoes. Until we are obedient, compliant. Even the boys, rowdy as they were in the beginning.

Down there in that dark place with no windows we fantasized about the one thing we could do once we were allowed up. It became a movement, passionate and angry, our morbid revolution. Some boy would carry the knife, we said. A butter knife we’d hidden after dinner once and no one had noticed. He would not be afraid to use it.

“Where would the knife go?” someone asked.

“The heart right here, maybe the neck.”

It was hard to know who spoke what words in the dark. It was our bedtime but none of us were sleeping.

“And then we tie her up?”


The Unquiet is an unusual tale, written in the first person and narrated by a young girl who was taken from her parents and placed in a harsh camp for training. There are two mirrored worlds inhabited by identical people. One world is dying, and the people there are fading away and disappearing. They plan to take over the other world by coming through portals, killing their duplicates in that world and replacing them until the time of the final invasion when they will take over the entire planet. They watch their victims on TV screens to learn all about them. When their training is complete, they must murder their duplicates and assume their identities.

     The narrator of the story must kill her opposite at age 14 and insert herself into a family that includes a younger sister and two grandparents on a farm. Once that is accomplished, she must report to her handlers and carry out several clandestine operations, including taking supplies or weapons to other operatives. Some of the children want to resist what they have become. Our protagonist, who takes over and becomes Lirael, is, at once, firm in her resolve and conflicted.

     The end finally comes when the secret of the sleeper-assassins among them comes out and the conflict breaks into the open. The world as described in the book is our own and completely familiar, a parallel of Earth.

     Consisting of more than 400 pages, the book is broken into 51 chapters of varying lengths. The story is divided into three parts. Part Two takes place one year later and Part Three one and a half years after that. It is an interesting concept with a good deal of death and dying. Can the central character take over another person’s life without being noticed? Then there is the question of how she will feel about the people into whose life she has inserted herself Much of the story is told through her innermost thoughts.

     A well-written and an unusual concept.


Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, writes medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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