Reviewed for Free Book Dude for Aug. 27 2012
I totally enjoyed this book and plan to immediately move on to the other books in the series. Author Tamara Rose Blodgett constructs an intricate framework in which her characters interact. Attuned to the adolescent patois, attitudes, and emotions, she skillfully draws both her young characters (most in eight grade and at or near puberty-a crucial factor in the plot) and the adults: parents, educators, school administrators, law enforcement personnel, and government bureaucrats). Each is well-tuned and comprehensible-many are likeable. Even the “villains” are well-rounded.
In this milieu, the Human Genome was successfully mapped in 2010, and not just the predilections for cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s were discovered. Paranormal talents also seem to be genetically-based, and beginning in 2015, a government-mandated program inoculated every child entering kindergarten. At or near puberty, these talents become apparent, and adolescents are tested in their 13th year, then shuffled into different high school according to their talents. The rare talents, such as pyrokinesis and “Affinity for the Dead,” are especially singled out, because of their potential for military activation.
Caleb Hart is the only child of the scientist who mapped the Human Genome-and his talent is off-scale for “AFTD.” He knows he has to modulate it, if possible to conceal it, or the secret government agencies will step in and hide him. But it’s hard to hide, when the bullies are everywhere he goes, he’s just got a new girlfriend to whom he’s devoted, and he has to protect friends, old and new. Come along for a roller-coaster ride in “Death Whispers”-I guarantee you’re gonna love it.