This sequel to Freakling (2012) offers a solid story and character development that can be enjoyed by fans of dystopia whether or not they’ve read the first installment.
Thirteen-year-old Taemon is tormented by guilt, knowing he is responsible for the loss of psi—or telekinetic ability—among his people. His guilt is compounded when he discovers he alone still possesses psi. When Taemon discovers his missing mother, now in a fragile and untrustworthy mental state, she hints that his father has been taken to the Republik, a land that exists over an impassable mountain range. Armed with this tenuous knowledge, Taemon undertakes a dangerous journey to save his father. Joining him is Amma, a wonderfully strong friend on whom Taemon must rely heavily, both figuratively and literally. While some of the events of the book feel a bit convenient and the conflict is resolved too quickly and easily, these are minor quibbles with a story that has solid worldbuilding and a satisfying conclusion. The main weakness of this book is Krumwiede’s reliance on old tropes: While Taemon and Amma are both described as having dark eyes and hair and light brown skin, the book’s villains are described as dark-complexioned. Isn’t it time to retire this stereotype?
All in all, though, a better-than-average addition to the plethora of dystopias being published today. (Dystopian adventure. 10-14)