Mindscape: The Ability, Book 2
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mindscape, the sequel to The Ability, brings more thrills, suspense, danger -- and surprises -- as 12-year-old protagonist Chris Lane and his classmates continue to cultivate their ability to explore and manipulate other people's minds. Some parts of the story may be too scary or intense for younger readers: Chris' mother is constantly depressed because his father was killed in the war; Chris is haunted by guilt over the death of a boy he was forced to kill to protect others, and the boy's brother is bent on avenging his twin's death. A villain kidnaps people and tries to kill them. The ethical and emotional implications of mind control -- and specifically the ability to erase unwanted memories -- are important themes. One of the adult characters gets a comic transformation when the villain bribes a man to pretend he's in love with her.
What's the story?
Twelve-year-old Chris Lane can't wait to get back to Myers-Holt Academy, where he and his classmates, in the last months of their stay, are perfecting their various mind-reading and mind-over-matter skills as part of a secret government project. After the events of Book 1, they're mostly putting their talents to work solving relatively mundane problems, such as art heists. But Ernest Genever, whose twin brother was killed by Chris in The Ability, has vowed revenge, and Chris sees him everywhere. The trouble is, all his friends and teachers think he's hallucinating.
Is it any good?
Although it takes a bit longer than The Ability to get going and probably spends a bit too much time dwelling on Chris' internal confusion (maybe he really IS imagining it all? Wouldn't his friends believe him if they were really his friends?), MINDSCAPE ultimately offers engaging characters and heartwarming moments along with scary scenes and quite a few surprises -- including a cliffhanger ending that potentially changes everything.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why stories about mind reading and mind control are so popular. What's the appeal?
If you could read people's minds without their knowing about it, would you? What about their email?
Would you like to go to a school like Myers-Holt? What would you want to study if you went there?
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publisher:||Margaret K. McElderry|
|Publication date:||March 11, 2014|
|Number of pages:||320|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||8 - 12|
|Available on:||Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle|