Thursday, December 4, 2014
....I read the published version of this book. So...I don't need a disclaimer I guess. ....it feels weird.
Spoiler alert that's not about this book; my next review will also be on a book based in Russia. MWAHAHAHAHA (no, this is not becoming a trend, maybe.)
An amazon summary, "Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Sooo....that amazon summary was very bland, too bland in fact. I'll break it down for you.
Yulia's parents worked for Russia (to put it in a very non-descriptive way) as doctors. Yulia's Father disappeared one day and Yulia, her mother, and her brother (who is heavily hinted to have autism or something 'off' about his brain) are in hiding. They used to live the high life as Soviet aristocrats, valued by the government, etc. Much is shrouded in secrecy about why her Father and Mother were like NOPE one day about working for Russia.
So, Yulia, her mother, and her brother as in hiding. Yulia has psychic powers in that by touching someone she can read their minds, and she can sense memories that linger on objects. She uses this to her advantage in the black market where she can sell belongings from their wealthy lifestyle to get simple necessities like food.
Yulia is constantly on guard about being caught. She takes precautions and will leave a deal if a situation doesn't feel quite right.
Well, one thing leads to another, she slips up a little bit, and BAM! The KGB swoop in on her and her family to claim them. They know Yulia has psychic powers and they're holding her mother and brother hostage so she'll be compliant with their top secret band of psychic teenagers. They also go through a kind of sad/hilarious training montage where Yulia SUCKS at being psychic and everyone else is like, "...whoa, calm down those thoughts. Yeesh."
That being said, there are a lot of other kids who are in this training program. They all have different abilities but everyone is able to telepathically communicate, which is kind of neat.
That should be enough summary.
So some things that I had slight qualms with about this story.
Sometimes I felt the book really lacked a lot of little details. As in the book never managed to quite capture the atmosphere of a situation, but told the actions quite well.
There was also a lot kept in the dark about the book (which I suppose plays a lot into the 'Sekret' business). I found it a little tiresome that Yulia practically knew nothing about her parents' line of work besides that they were doctors of some variety, and I was also getting a bit fed up with Yulia's own shortcomings.
I did like the depiction of powers for the most part (except the remote-viewing, that could use a little more work).
I did enjoy seeing a more diverse group of teenagers present as far as personalities go.
I did like some of the cultural implications, although I'm not certain how true they rang.
But really, I did enjoy the overall story, and I'm pretty damn sure it's going to have a sequel, which I will read whenever that happens. So.