Aiden Manchester has super-powers, but not a particularly useful one. While he sleeps he somehow manages to create balls of goo that manifest in midair. Strange? Yes. Helpful? Aiden hasn’t seen any benefits yet. But then Aiden learns that he was once a “Quiver Kid” … one of seven orphaned infants who were used for experiments at Tau Nine-One, a dubious scientific center.
Learning about this history, Aiden begins to seek answers from former employees at Tau Nine-One and he’s also looking for some of the other “Quiver Kids.” Of course the other former Quiver Kids have some pretty special abilities, making Aiden’s look pretty lame by comparison. Now, gee, what was the purpose of the experiments on those kids?
The Quiver Kids were each given a unique name, a color, but even here, we learn later on, those administering the tests were messing with the kids, and Aiden slowly reveals more and more of his own history as he tracks down the other Quiver Kids. One Kid, however, isn’t too happy with Aiden, and Aiden’s real power becomes clear to him, but he still has to find a way to tap into it.
My description here is pretty basic and simple, but so, too, is this book. The book sets off in one direction, never deviating, never offering any subplots, but with new information revealed along the way. This is sometimes fine if there’s a build-up of excitement, but this builds slowly and the actual action is a bit too little, too late.
The ‘surprise’ was definitely interesting and compelling and I wanted to really get into this, but instead we get a focus on the villain in the story.
Our protagonist is a bit on the dull side and our antagonist is quite a stereotype and over-the-top.
I also found the info-dumping too easy. I sometimes make notes in my Kindle when something strikes me (good and bad) and in this book my only note was about the info-dumping – primarily the fact that the impetus for the story comes from a letter to Aiden from his father.
Based on the kernel of an interesting idea and how easy this is to read, I am giving it a generous two and a half stars.
Looking for a good book? Refraction by Christopher Hinz uses too many stereotype tropes but manages to present an interesting idea.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
author: Christopher Hinz
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 400 pages