Monday, October 12, 2009

The Seven

Sean Patrick Little
Dog Ear Publishing (2009)
ISBN 9781608440665
Reviewed by Maggie Desmond-O'Brien (14) for Reader Views Kids 

Shortly before their eighteenth birthdays and legal adulthood, tensions are building among the Subjects—seven kids torn from their families to be part of a top-secret genetic experiment at age seven; they can't help but wonder what, exactly, the experiments are supposed to prove. But when their powers suddenly manifest in horrifying ways, escape becomes a matter of life and death, love and the destruction of all that they hold dear. If only they could figure out who they are supposed to be fighting against….
 
This book is absolutely one of the best books in the genre I've read this year, period. I always pick up a self-published book with some trepidation, but honestly I've found more flaws in spelling and grammar in the paperback copies of major publishing houses' chart-topper novels than existed in this one! The formatting and presentation are flawless and the writing is (almost) beyond reproach.
 
To put it simply, this book is a comic book in novel form, and the author makes no secret of his inspirations. However, he takes it a step beyond shoot-em-ups and cheesy romance to bring us characters that we genuinely care about, even if right and wrong aren't always clear, and their motives are less than admirable. Here are teens that anyone can relate to! While I occasionally struggled with the dialogue and the pace was a little uneven, this book was a truly refreshing excursion out of the norm.
 
Perhaps because it is self-published, this book has a sort of nonchalant freedom about it that is a joy to read. Without caring who's reading, the author is free to make pointed statements about the true value of human (and inhuman) life, and is surprisingly philosophical for something so fun and entertaining to read. The government is especially portrayed in an unforgiving light, but it never crosses the line into angry justification or righteousness. Teens will most likely especially enjoy this book due to its anti-establishment feel, as the feelings of rejection experienced by the seven have been felt on some level by every adolescent as they struggle to metamorphose from the child they were to the adult they will become.
 
With "The Seven" by Sean Patrick Little, I think I have found a new favorite to pore over, and against all odds I am dying to read more!