249 pages | Published June 20 2010 by Spencer Hill Press
Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it’s not exactly a nurturing place.
Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.
A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.
And people’s nightmares don’t always stay in their own heads. But it’s still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams…
Review: 3 stars
I had really high expectations for this one (it has such good reviews!) but it really let me down. I have several problems with the story but I’ll go through the good stuff first…
This is a great light read. It entertained me enough that I got through it in less than a day; it was fun, intriguing and a little mysterious. I really enjoyed the concept for the book; the way Kate Kaynak has set out how these abilities are produced and why they occur is pretty cool and I did find myself saying ‘hey I have pretty good intuition, maybe if I take this super drug I too will have a cool ability!’ *sigh* if only!
I also liked the dynamics at the school. The flames are my favourites, they’re a fun little community that I would defs want to be a part of (and as a redhead I feel I would fit in very well) and the evil charms who ran the school by abusing their power. Drew, one of the flames, is my favourite character – he’s so fun! He’s that crazy optimistic, ball of energy and all-round good guy character; I personally preferred him over the main love interest in the story and was a little disappointed when she started checking out Trevor. I really hope he gets more of a role in the rest of the series.
The not so good:
Ok here’s my main issue: everything happened way too easily and calmly. For example; Maddie kills three teenagers with her brain (this is not a spoiler cuz it basically happens in the first sentence). She gets called into the police station where she sees a strange man and girl hypnotise a police officer who then ask her to come live with them at a special facility in New Hampshire. Pretty much without any questions she jumps straight into their car and moves to this boarding school for kids with abilities…. WHAT?! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t usually run off to strange places with even stranger older men, and I especially wouldn’t do it the day after I was nearly raped! Seriously, what the what?!
This issue continues from there and it really started to bother me!! The ease with which she accepts her ability to read minds – way too easy. Surely if you started hearing other peoples thoughts, you wouldn’t be all ‘hey cool, lets see what he’s thinking’. No one else seemed to care that much either, there was some initial hesitation but then they all seemed to be cool with it. I know it’s not the mind readers issue but I would not at all feel comfortable around someone who is listening to my thoughts! AND If they ever answered my thought I would probably consider that a huge violation of my privacy! I think they should at least have the decency to pretend they can’t read minds but Maddie openly reads everyone’s mind.
Finally, the insta-love with Trevor. Insta-love is a big no-no for me. It’s just annoying and this one is particularly annoying! Two days is all it took for them to “fall in love” and this is pretty much how it went ->
Maddie: ‘I can see in to his mind and he’s sooooo nice! I know everything about him because I read his mind and now I love him.’
Trevor: ‘WOW she’s so pretty and brave. I’m being accepted for the first time in my life so I love her too’
That was actually it.
I feel like this book was really more of a set up for the next book. It spent a lot of time helping the reader get to know the characters, the back story and the situation. There wasn’t a whole lot happening until the very end, but I can see that the next book is probably going to have a lot more ass kicking content. While I did like the book, overall I just don’t think this series is for me.