Friday, December 12, 2008


THE UNNAMEABLES, by Ellen Booraem (Harcourt 2008). On the strangely (and secularly) puritanical Island, everything is named after its purpose and everyone is named after his occupation, except for Medford Runyuin, a former mainlander, who was saved from a shipwreck by his parents (who themselves didn't survive).

On the Island, everything impractical is deemed "unnameable," and can get you exiled. So Medford knows he must keep secret and hide the wood carvings he feels compelled to make. This becomes immeasurably more difficult when the Goatman, who has strange wind powers, appears and wreaks havoc on both the physical and cultural structure of Island.

THE UNNAMEABLES offers a fascinating and creepy, yet believable culture; a well-drawn world with compelling and likeable heroes; and intriguing conflicts.

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