About the book
Fifteen-year-old Landon Wicker is psychokinetic,but the tragic unleashing of his abilities forces him to run from everything heknows. Alone, terrified and unable to remember the events that compelled him toflee, Landon fights to survive and understand what’s happening to him. He findssolace, however, in the company of hundreds of psychokinetics like him whenhe’s brought to the Gymnasium.
Forced into a life where people don’t just see -but control – the world around them and teenagers lift city buses with athought, Landon struggles to accept his new reality and the guilt over hispainful secret. But everything changes when a chance encounter with amysterious girl propels him on a hunt for answers. Uncovering dark truths theGymnasium would do anything to keep hidden, Landon must choose where hisloyalties lie.
Will Landon accept his past – and his future?Will he discover the truth? What’s hidden in the Restricted Tower, and who isArtemis?
Publishedby: Gryff Publishing Ltd.
Publishedon: June 1, 2011
Thanks to the publishers for sending me acopy of this book to review.
Ihave never been really good at reading young adult books. For some reason Igenerally have problems getting into them and appreciating them for what theyare. That being said, there are some great young adult books out there whichmake me really want to appreciate the young adult genre more than I currentlydo. It’s for that reason that I wanted to try The Search for Artemis. That, and I am always rather interested instories about normal people who suddenly find out that they aren’t so normalafter all.
P.D.Griffith does a great job at exploring human nature in The Search for Artemis. The protagonist, Landon Wicker, opens thebook with a traumatic event which really pushes him to grow and develop in somerather surprising ways. Griffith doesn’t just tell the reader what happens, buthe really pulls the reader into the mind of Landon Wicker as he changes, growsand develops. Griffith’s exploration of a teenager’s psyche in a world thatisn’t anything that he expected it to be is rather poignant and will probablystrike a chord in many readers.
Oneof the issues I have with young adult books is that the authors tend to writeteenaged characters who act and think like adults, or teenaged characters thatact and think like five year olds. Griffith doesn’t do either of these. Infact, Landon reads exactly like a fifteen-year-old and that, perhaps, is whatmakes much of his character so engrossing. He’s the fifteen-year-old all of usremember being in his speech and thought process, thus, he’s easy to relate to.Only, unlike us, this fifteen-year-old is thrust into a big, scary world andleft to basically figure it out on his own. The only down side to thisrealistic fifteen-year-old stuff is that once Landon meets others that are likehim, the “hey dude” talk is a little overdone.
The Search for Artemis almost reads likeGriffith’s answer to Harry Potter.Landon enters a special school, housed in a mansion for others that are justlike him. It’s a school where he learns to control his ability and function normallyin society. Griffith’s world is a bit more raw than Harry Potter, but fans of HarryPotter might find many similar themes between the two series, specificallyin regards to the special school for the gifted. This is a double-edged sword.While many might enjoy the idea of a special school, others might feel asthough this story has been told before.
Griffith’sworld isn’t as well realized as I had hoped it would be when starting the book.There isn’t enough description of surroundings, buildings, etc. to make thereader vividly visualize event surroundings. This had the effect of, at parts,driving a wall between readers and the book itself. While some readers may notnotice this issue, for others who enjoy a lot of well realized surroundings anda vivid world, this book may disappoint. Despite that, Griffith fills his bookfull of enough myth, legend, mystery, intrigue, secrets, other worlds andcreatures to please nearly anybody.
Someof the plot points are rather predictable. For example, it’s obvious that onceLandon realizes that he can do some rather interesting things that he’s not goingto be the average teenager with special abilities, instead, he’ll stick outfrom that crowd in some respect so it’s not really a shock when the reader getsto the point where Landon is discovering that he’s not just special, but he’sultra special. Another point the book struggles with is toward the beginningwhen Landon is dealing with the scene the book opens with. While his actionsare believable, I often felt that there was some sort of disjoint between hisemotional processing of the events that transpired and his physical reaction tothem.
The Search for Artemis is quickly movingand, at parts, proceeds at a breakneck pace. Something is always happening, andwhile some of the book might not have the shock value the author was going for,there is enough raw humanity here to please almost any reader. The story ofLandon is absorbing, as Griffith is realistic in dealing with Landon’s growth, developmentand his emotional reactions to events as they happen. Despite its flaws, The Search for Artemis will leave fans witha slam-dunk ending that will cause them to yearn for the second book in thisseries.