Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Twelve-Fingered Boy Review

The Twelve-Fingered Boy (Incarcerado, #1)

Book talk:  If you understand the basics of supply and demand, you can make a good life for yourself anywhere.  Even in juvenile detention.  In prison, supplies of everything are limited and demand is high.  But there's one thing in particular the inmates crave: candy.  Some like it sweet, some like it hard, and some like it sour but everyone likes something.  Shreve has the candy market cornered and is set to serve the rest of his sentence in comfort--until he gets a new cellmate.  Right away, Shreve can tell there's something off about Jack.  Then he finds out that he has twelve fingers and twelve toes.  That's only the tip of the iceberg.  Soon Shreve and Jack are on the run and caught in a plot straight from an X-Men comic.  The people chasing them want much more than to just throw them back in prison.  But how can they hide from someone who can invade people's minds?

Rocks my socks:  Shreve is an engaging narrator and the plot is absolutely relentless.  Shreve's voice adds humor to the story even in its darker corners. It is easy to sympathize with the main characters and their histories are heart-breaking. The villains are delightfully sinister and the heroes brave and resourceful.  The story isn't entirely black and white though.  Shreve is placed in tough situations that make him resort to some of the same tricks as their enemies.  Jack occasionally loses control and does some horrible things.  The plot keeps twisting leaving the motives of even the villains in question.  In addition to these acts of mutant violence the story sheds light on some harsh realities of non-supernatural violence and neglect that children face.  Overall Jacobs does a great job balancing a fast-paced plot with thought-provoking elements.

Rocks in my socks:  none

Every book its reader:  I'd give this to anyone looking for a fast-paced science fiction story and especially fans of the X-Men.  It has some very dark elements though so I'd save it for at least eighth grade and up.


The author has a site with a blog and more information on his books.

There's an atmospheric trailer for the book on YouTube:

Source: school library

The Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs: buy it or check it out today!

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