Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Five Books Worth Reading: Characters with Special Abilities

I read a lot of fantasy, so I've seen many characters with special abilities: the good and the bad. This list is some of the best examples I've read, and they all happen to be YA novels, meaning these characters are all teenagers. Enjoy!


When by Victoria Laurie  – What would you do if someone could tell you the exact date you were scheduled to die? Would you want to know? Be angry? Be happy? Prepare? Maddie deals with this every day because she sees the death dates on the forehead of everyone she meets. When is a very entertaining, suspenseful, and well written story about growing up, bullying, high school, a serial killer, and Maddie’s strange ability. Very enjoyable read. Highly recommended. 

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – What would happen if people in the world suddenly had superpowers? How would they react? Would they be superheroes or would they become super-villains? Well, they say that absolute power corrupts absolutely. David wants to kill the “Epic” Steelheart because he killed David’s father on the day Steelheart announced his powers to the world. This is an entertaining, funny, geektastic ride through a world filled with supervillains, the Everyman, and the danger and mania that comes with the desire for revenge. (Book 1 of the Reckoners trilogy.)

Wake by Lisa McMann – When other people fall asleep, Janie sees their dreams. Which would be cool, except Janie can’t control when it happens and it is starting to interfere in her everyday life. Then one day someone dreams of fire, burning, and torture and Janie is pulled into a nightmare – both waking and sleeping. This is an engaging, character driven teen, urban fantasy story with a romantic twist. Wake is the first book of the Wake Trilogy. I recommend all of them.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid – In the middle of WWIII, wars are fought in outer space by drones flown by teens. Tom Raines is a down-on-his-luck teenager whose only talent is playing video games. When the military comes and wants to put a super computer in his brain to make him the best drone pilot on Earth, how can he say “No”? But nothing is what it seems and computers can be reprogrammed, even if they are inside your brain. (Book 1 of the Insignia trilogy.) A fun, well-written dystopia with a little mind-control and hopeless romance thrown in. 

Transparent by Natalie Whipple– If no one could see you, what would you do? Fiona was born Transparent. (The doctor dropped her because he couldn’t see her.) Fiona’s father, the head of the local mafia, wants to use her talent for thievery and assassinations. Can Fiona and her mother find a way to make Fiona’s transparency a gift rather than a curse? Well written, good characters, interesting story… with a believable ethical struggle thrown in. A really good read.  (Book 1 of the Transparent duology.)

~Mary P.

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