Author: Lana Krumwiede
Series: Freakling Book #1
Published- October 9th 2012
Publisher- Candlewick Press
Taemon lives in a world that revolves around a person's ability to use psi - a power to control objects and people with your mind. But with this power comes rules. In the city where Taemon lives he isn't allowed to see inside a body. This is so that he won't learn how the body works and use that knowledge to harm other people. He must not show too much promise with his power or he might be declared the True Son and be taken away by the government to learn to lead his city... or is it to learn to manipulate the people? He also must not show or tell anyone of what extra power he can do for fear of being sent away or killed.
After making a crucial mistake, Taemon is sent away to live in the Colony where people don't have psi power but instead work with their hands. In this backwards town he creates friendships and bonds with the powerless but discovers that the Colony has some secrets of their own. Taemon makes another fateful mistake. A huge one at that, that may change the course of his world. In the end will he be able to right his wrong and save the people he cares about the most?
This book cover right!? I mentioned a while ago that it reminded me of the Hugo Cabret cover and it's true that Taemon has a knack for the mechanical so I was right about him. Therefore, I instantly liked him. After reading the book I understand the water element and bubble. The bubble might not be anything but my mind says differently. I may have described Taemon as a potential hazard waiting to happen with all of the "mistakes" he makes. Don't get me wrong, things occur that change the course of Taemon's life but it's not like he's this kid who always does the wrong thing.
Taemon can see inside objects and people. He can figure things out when he shouldn't be able to. He wanders his mind and that is supposed to be a very bad thing in his society so he makes sure he avoids doing it. You never know how much the extent of the control of the government is until later on. Seeing it through Taemon's eyes it's just his home until everything goes wrong. His ability is so cool being described to you with all the little things he sees. It's like reading about how Sherlock Holmes sees the tiniest details of things to solve a murder but with Taemon it's with seeing how things function without actually seeing it... if that makes sense.
The book starts off with telling you what the psi ability is and it shows you through the peeling of vegetables and cleaning of pots and pans. This reminded me so much of Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter which was a good way of starting the book. They do everything with psi ability from cleaning to dressing themselves to his mother ruffling his hair. There is no... contact. It's actually really weird and cold if you think about it. He never had a hug until he moved into the Colony. I feel like the differences of the Colony and his home were there so you can catch them. When you rely on something or someone other than yourself you become dependent on that thing or person. Using your own two hands can provide you with satisfaction of your own work and it makes you a more independent person.
His mother is very protective of her two boys. She's very antsy which makes sense since she was born under the symbol of rabbit. Everybody has a symbol depending on the day, not month, they were born on. The chapters all begin with part of a song that describes each day's animal, object, or element. Anyways his mother is also very protective because her sister died when she was young. She somewhat annoyed me because she was this big ball of nerves but who wouldn't be in that situation? His father is very outspoken and thinks differently about the way of life that he wants for himself and his family to live as well as the True Son and the government. He has the right type of attitude but he probably should not say too much. Taemon's brother desperately wants to be the True Son. Just so you know he's a Grade A Jerk. That pretty much sums him up. He wants to get answers from his brother and he'll do anything to get them.
Taemon has a great name amongst other things. He does make some good choices and is a nice guy. He feels guilty for putting stress upon his parents and sticks to his morals. He's a very charming character who I can't help but feel bad for. He's not weak though. I feel bad because his brother is pure evil. If you have an older sibling that you can't stand that is nothing compared to what his brother is like. I can't understand how his parents don't notice how vile he is! Do they even care? What's wrong with them?
The book is a great Middle Grade dystopian read. It's a very good introduction to dystopian's because it has this "everyday" kid taking on such a big responsibility and he shows great strength in the face of all that comes at him. He's called a Freakling by his brother and I think the majority of readers and people can relate to being treated like they were a bit weird but really look at Taemon! He's this awesome kid with great power that stands up to what's right. He also has a little love interest which is always nice especially since it's pretty innocent because he doesn't really seem to know anything about it himself.
One other thing that kind of bothered me was the ending. I don't want to say it was too rushed because that sounds very negative. It just ended faster than I would have liked. I would have suggested an epilogue but apparently it's a series which makes sense to me now so no epilogue needed. But what an ending! So many questions. I thought it was a really great read with a great main character and plot. Very well written and I would love to read the next book in the series. This book needs more readers! Come on people. Good books deserve more readership.