The Hostage (Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie

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The Hostage (Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Pacy and enjoyable spy caper with genetically modified children. There's a nice blend of teen soapish drama and action. It's light and frothy and relies a little too much on characters keeping things secret for plot resolution, but it's great fun.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: January 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1847385265

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Teenagers Nico, Kitty, Ed and Dylan were implanted with the Medusa gene when they were babies. Now they're adolescents, the intended psychic abilities are coming to the fore. Nico has the power of telekinesis - he can move objects with his mind. Ed can read other people's thoughts. Dylan has an invisible protective shield and no weapon can harm her. Kitty has visions that predict the future.

All four have been brought together by government agents to create - as if you couldn't guess - a top secret crime-fighting unit. Until they're fully trained though, they'll stay on at an exclusive boarding school with some pastoral care thrown in by the head, who is also Nico's stepfather. Nico and Dylan are happy with their powers but Ed and Kitty find theirs disturbing - Ed never meets anybody's eye lest he find himself deep inside their private thoughts. Kitty's visions are unpredictable and scary, and they make her feel ill.

This is the second book in the Medusa Project series and it focuses on Kitty and her visions. The case surrounds the hacking of a secret government database and the theft of the blueprint for a high-tech bomb. And what Kitty's visions show her is even more terrifying - her brother Lex is deeply involved. Should she tell her superiors or should she try to protect Lex and put thousands of lives in danger?

Cue lots of chasing about, some narrow scrapes, a ticking timer, four teenagers who steadfastly refuse to tell the right people the right things, a villain with his own brother to protect and a morally ambiguous spy chief. The Hostage ticks all the boxes. It's efficiently written with great pace and a good eye for the teenage mindset. There's some love action going on too, between Kitty and Nico, so there really is something for everyone.

It's light and energetic and despite a little bit of dodgy plot resolution, it hits exactly the right spot for adrenalin junkies. Teen thriller fans will love it - even if they do move straight on to the next one without so much as a second thought, as they undoubtedly will.

My thanks to the nice people at Simon & Schuster for sending the book.

If they enjoyed The Hostage, they might also like Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series. Adrenaline junkies will also love the originality in Spray by Harry Edge. A small two-sex group of teens with special powers also appears in The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong - this time the source of their talent isn't scientific, but supernatural.

Sophie McKenzie's The Medusa Project Books in Chronological Order

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Buy The Hostage (Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Hostage (Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie at


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