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School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Ciaran Bane comes from a family of mind readers who work as a mercenary organization, specializing in kidnappings and interrogations. But Ciaran is disdained by his relatives, seen as the weakest of the group, since his powers are so sensitive he can barely tolerate being around other people, much less deliberately reading their minds. After he botches the kidnapping of Vivian, a teen his family has targeted for interrogation, and she is killed, Ciaran is determined to prove his worth by braving the outside world and satisfying his family's mission. When he breaks into Vivian's family's home to retrieve something she hid there, he's discovered by Vivian's sister, Lucy, and is forced to bring her along as he evades his family. One too-flat character mars an otherwise solid thriller. The prologue and first chapter will immediately grab readers, and Ciaran's backstory and motivations are solid. The way his family's mind reading works-some by touch, others by eye contact or tone of voice-is intriguing, and the connections between his family and Lucy's are revealed over the course of the story. But it's hard to believe Ciaran and Lucy's frenzied race from London to Edinburgh would even happen considering how he immediately confesses to her sister's murder. Her grief is also only present when it's convenient as part of Ciaran's character growth. Teens who want a thriller above all else will tear through this novel, but those who stop to think along the way will surely see where the pieces don't quite come together.- Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ciaran Bain's family has developed mind-reading abilities and paramilitary skills to lead a kind of high-flying gangster empire in Great Britain. At 14, Ciaran is a liability to the family, since he is oversensitive to intense feelings or experiences, such as death, in his vicinity. When he bungles a kidnapping in London and the teenage victim dies, Ciaran strikes out to try to recover both his reputation and assuage the guilt that overwhelms him. All of this leads to an adrenalin-fueled adventure with the victim's 14-year-old sister, Lucy, who's along for the fight, not just against Ciaran's evil family but also MI5, the British spy agency. Lucy and Ciaran alternate narration in this espionage thriller, and each becomes richer and more dimensional in each other's as well as the reader's eyes as the plot spirals from London to Leith and reveals shocking family truths on both sides. Don has created an absorbing concoction of high suspense leavened with a touch of humor and magic realism.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A boy gifted with exceptional mind-reading abilities and the sister of the girl he helped murder form a tenuous alliance.Ciaran Bain comes from a line of mind readers who work as spies for hire, hiding their talents from the outside world. But he's the weakest of the fourth generation, because he's highly sensitive; crowds overwhelm him due to the flood of emotions, and when someone touches him, it's even worse. When his family enlists him and his cousins to kidnap a girl, Bain aims to prove himself but makes a dire mistake: The target ends up dead. In an attempt to salvage the mission, he searches the girl's home, only to be confronted by her younger sister, Lucy. Bain needs Lucy to find the information he seeks, and Lucy isn't going to let the possible killer of her sister out of her sightnot until she finds out more or takes revenge. Don builds a slow but tightly constructed bond between Bain and Lucy, anchoring the action-packed plot with their relationship, detailed between alternating perspectives. Though the pace is brisk and exciting, though, the reveal of the connection between their two families is clichd. Ultimately, it's the tug-of-war relationship between Bain and Lucy that elevates this thrill ride. Come for the mind-reading spies; stay for the unlikely duo that's unable to trust each other. (Paranormal adventure. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.