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Author: M.M. Vaughan
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books (2013)
Synopsis: No one has any confidence in twelve-year-old Christopher Lane. His teachers discount him as a liar and a thief, and his mom doesn’t have the energy to deal with him. But a mysterious visit from the Ministry of Education indicates that Chris might have some potential after all: He is invited to attend the prestigious Myers Holt Academy.
When Christopher begins at his new school, he is astounded at what he can do. It seems that age twelve is a special time for the human brain, which is capable of remarkable feats—as also evidenced by Chris’s peers Ernest and Mortimer Genver, who, at the direction of their vengeful and manipulative mother, are testing the boundaries of the human mind.
But all this experimentation has consequences, and Chris soon finds himself forced to face them—or his new life will be over before it can begin. (Taken from Goodreads.)
This book was very, very well done! I loved the author’s writing style and the writing was very good. The plotline was extremely intriguing and the characters were well done. A mix of reality and fantasy, this is one book you won’t regret reading.
I enjoyed every bit of this book, from the first sentence to the last. Every chapter was packed full of action, mystery, and suspense, and once I started it was almost impossible to put down. The side characters at the school, if very well described, did fall a little flat, but Chris’s character development—as well as the development in the twins and in Anna—all made up for it. Chris was written fantastically, with a real feel and like you could really connect to him and relate to him. The whole mind-traveling thing was incredibly well done, every last detail described in a way that makes you wonder if maybe our brains actually are this way. If mind-reading was possible, this is, without a doubt, the way it would be. The book was written very believably, despite the element of fantasy.
On the downside, I felt this book was a bit drawn out, in the wrong places. While the plotline the story raced along, other, smaller elements, such as Chris going to a high-end store, or simply hanging out with his classmates, are drawn out to a point where I hurried through the pages to see where the story went next, not caring whether or not Chris liked the store or hated it. After the second long section explaining the horror behind Ms. Lamb’s class, I understood the point that she wasn’t very nice and rushed along, again, to see what happened after this.
Another thing is, I wish the author would have given us some more brief glances at time in the Think Tank, rather than Ms. Lamb’s class. While after just one scene we all get the point of Ms. Lamb, we are still in the fog and very curious—even after a whole chapter—about the Think Tank, which is written to be a very important element. It being written so, I wish the author would have spent more scenes on that, rather than emphasizing again and again on Ms. Lamb. Not that I didn’t like the constant Ms. Lamb scenes when I was reading—just now, looking back, I think I would have enjoyed Think Tank scenes a bit more.
Overall I definitely feel this book could have been a lot shorter and still made the impression it did.
Despite the very few, minor things I disliked, I did love The Ability. I picked it up one night, read the prologue and suddenly couldn’t put it down; I spent every waking moment following either reading it or anxiously awaiting the moment I could get back to it. This was a true gem of a book, it is definitely a favorite of mine and I’ll look forward to re-reading it sometime soon.
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Recommended to: Anyone looking for a fun adventure!