Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys - The Search for Artemis by P D Griffith

Published: March/June 2011
Publisher: Gryff Publishing
Pages: 404
e-copy: from publisher for review
Summary: Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Landon Wicker is psychokinetic, but the tragic unleashing of his abilities forces him to run from everything he knows. Alone, terrified and unable to remember the events that compelled him to flee, Landon fights to survive and understand what’s happening to him. He finds solace, however, in the company of hundreds of psychokinetics like him when he’s brought to the Gymnasium.

Forced into a life where people don’t just see — but control — the world around them and teenagers lift city buses with a thought, Landon struggles to accept his new reality and the guilt over his painful secret. But everything changes when a chance encounter with a mysterious girl propels him on a hunt for answers. Uncovering dark truths the Gymnasium would do anything to keep hidden, Landon must choose where his loyalties lie.

Will Landon accept his past—and his future? Will he discover the truth? What’s hidden in the Restricted Tower, and who is Artemis?

First off, I just have to say I LOVED 'The Search for Artemis' the first book in the 'Chronicles of Landon Wicker'.  It was such a wonderful surprise.  I had received a copy from the publisher and thought it sounded OK for our Let's Hear It For the Boys post, but I was not expecting to completely fall into Landon's life at the Gymnasium.  The book starts with a rather heartwrenching bang and really did not let go of me until the end.  In the final 100 pages or so the suspense became almost palpable and I could feel myself reading faster and faster so that I could find out what was going to happen sooner.

The characters were very easy to become attached to - Landon is so lost and despairing I just wanted to give him a big hug.  The development of his powers happened slowly and seemed more realistic for that.  In many novels powers are instantly understood, but not so in this case.  Landon struggles to access his potential and is frightened about what may happen when he does, which I liked.  Riley was a wonderful best friend - obsessed with how to climb the social ladder, but with a kind heart non-the-less.  His strategies for the First Frost Frenzy were superb, if ultimately flawed! 

Katie Leigh was fun. Much younger than the others and therefore over-compensating all the time. Celia too, although we don't learn quite so much about her in the beginning. Oh, and Brock was well done - a typical jock, drunk on privilege and entitlement.  He was very easy to dislike.  There were several adult figures, Dr Brighton, Doctor Wells, Serena, to name a few, who seemed to offer a positive influence - but not everything is always as straightforward as it seems.
At times I was reminded of Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series, or Horowitz' Alex Rider, but also the GI Joe movie - that scene where Landon puts on his suit was great - and a little bit of X-men at Xaviers school.  I was also reminded of Percy Jackson a little bit, but I'm not sure why - perhaps it was just the names of heroes.  Altogether it  was really a complex group of disparate characters, melding together to form a cohesive and believable story. Exciting, tense, mysterious and just plain fun.  The ending was amazing - very nicely wrapped up, but with so much left unresolved that I just can't wait for number 2. 

'The Search for Artemis' should appeal to anyone who enjoyed any of the above mentioned books, but also if you enjoy adventure, suspense or just great storytelling. and please, if there is anyone out there looking for an idea for new movie or TV show,  option this book.  I can already see it in my minds eye.

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