Think X-Men meets Percy Jackson, only with a female lead. It seems ever since the success of the Harry Potter franchise, the idea of gathering a bunch of superpowered teens together at a special school for the gifted has caught fire. But in truth, this is a venerable and time tested sub-genre that dates back at least to Ursula LeGuin. Provided it’s handled ably enough, as it is here, it continues to delight, surprisingly, as one would think the “same but different” thing might be wearing a bit thin by now.
The target audience is definitely teens and YA, especially female readers. But guys who enjoy plenty of fast-paced action and plot twists will have no reason to feel cheated. Unlike your typical action thriller, where the B-story, or romance, just gives us chance to catch our breath from the A-story, before jumping back in, here the A-story and B-story are fairly well balanced. So folks who like a lot more romance with the chills and thrills this genre typically provides will be quite pleased.
The author does a good job with the world building, and with making clear what rules separates her fantasy world from others of its kind. I found the particulars surrounding the lore and the characters, down to the specific nature of their superpowers, intriguing.
Our heroine, a mind reader, is sent undercover to spy on a suspected mass killer, who she promptly falls in love with and finds her psychic powers useless against. And so it goes throughout the story with the author putting our heroine in one ticklish situation after another, facing one impossible dilemma after another. The pacing never lets up, and the balance between the romantic elements and the action remains good throughout. The intense emotions are palpable and kept close to the surface at all times.
For a debut novel from such a young writer, the book impresses, and I’d say this is definitely an up and coming author to watch. Providing you’re in the right demographic for this subject matter, it gets a strong recommend from me.