Book Review: Untitled Won by Eugene Tan

Untitled Won (The Entitled Series #1) by Eugene Tan
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Expected Publication: September 2016

Synopsis: Terry Everhart is your average teenager who may or may not have failed his mathematics exams. During the summer of 2015, he was thrown into a prison island on a distant planet called Aalvark. Not only that, he was kept on the planet of Aalvark by powerful beings known as Omnescients as they protected him from a terrorist group led by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Attending Jone's Academy of Immortales, Terry and his new Aalvarkian friends trained to survive, honed their abilities, and learn more about the world of Aalvark. However, outside the eccentric academy campus and underwater neighbourhoods, the stakes draw higher as The Apocalypsies spread fear into the world through each their own tactics. 
Untitled Won is the first installment of The Entitled Series. Follow Terry and his new friends on their journey through life, love, and death.*

Before I get into my review, I wanted to say a quick thanks to Eugene Tan for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the thrilling adventure he has created for us. Eugene Tan is a talented new writer, and I am extremely excited too see where his skills take him. I am also very anxious to know what is to come in the remainder of The Entitled Series.

Untitled Won not-so-subtly captured my attention right from the prologue--it was basically a deliciously decorated fish hook waiting to catch it's starving prey. After the cliff hanger prologue, we are introduced to the main character, Terry Everhart, a lonely, curious, and witty teenager. While the novel spends a lot of time with Terry, I still wish we knew him even more, had more insights into his personality than is told. Tan later introduces the well developed supporting characters, each having a detailed, intriguing, and unique personality. The dialog throughout the book is clever and entertaining, making it an easy and fun read. I think one of my favorite characters in Untitled Won was Pestilence. Pestilence is one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and one of the main antagonists of the novel. Tan did a phenomenal job of portraying Pestilence as a smart, cunning, and malicious character.

Untitled Won introduces us to a new world, Aalvark, and I absolutely loved Tan's detailed and engaging descriptions of it. Our first introduction to this new planet is a place called Somerryl, and reading it's brilliant description makes me giddy, so I must share: "I could not decide what was worse, the smell or the scenery. There was nothing for miles apart from the barren fields underfoot, which housed a plethora of creature carcasses, and the blue skies overhead which was flooded with red clouds. They mashed together over the horizon, creating a bittersweet nightmare," (Chapter Two, Untitled Won). Tan has a brilliant, detailed, and engaging writing style, and while these brilliant descriptions pepper the novel, I do wish there had been more of these detailed descriptions directed towards getting us acquainted with the setting more fully. We are told late in the book that there are various countries and districts on Aalvark, but I would have like to have that background information sooner, to get a more solid feel for where the story takes place and how the geography influences the story. While I enjoyed what Tan gave us of Aalvark, I was thirsty for more of those delicious details! 

What worked really well for me, is the witty voice Tan kept throughout the novel. There are numerous amusing plugs to various books, movies, and comics throughout Untitled Won.  Tan gave Twilight a nice poke, "Who would've known that vampires were the hotties in our world and on earth. Then again, you don't have the sparkle," (Chapter 9, Untitled Won), as well as had references to Star Wars, The Fault in our Stars, and Batman. Not to mention the adorable, clever, and hilarious Eltos's (llama-like creatures) Terry meets along his dance with Fate. Without spoiling the book, I think my favorite part of Untitled Won is the trials of Fate. Here Tan introduces the characters to Fate, and really shows each character's unique personality. It was thrilling and emotionally engaging to get to know the characters more intimately. The ending of Untitled Won is abrupt and left me feeling lost and wanting for more details. As Tan quotes in the book, "The end of one task always gives way to new uncertainties," (Chapter 14) and Tan brutally, but brilliantly, left us with some major uncertainties at the end of this book. When this book is released in September (of 2016), I recommend fans of fantasy and science fiction to check this new adventure out. Untitled Won is clever, suspenseful, and beautifully humorous. 

Check out Eugene Tan's website for The Entitled Series here!


*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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