I loved Frozen In Time by Ali Sparkes when I read it last year, and Out of this World is another cracking read. Ty Lewis is a keen naturalist, spending a lot of time in the woods near his home and building a strong friendship with Sam, the ranger who lives there. One night, Ty finds a strange rock – and suddenly he has the power to move things with his mind: telekinesis. This proves extremely helpful since Ty is being bullied at school, and his new power gives him the ability to fight back very effectively.
Of course, this brings him to the notice of A Shadowy Governmental Agency, and soon Ty is on the run with Sam, leaving his neglectful aunt behind (his mother works on cruise ships and is away for long periods of time). They discover that Ty isn’t the only one to have found the unusual rock (which he has named Miganium) and he’s not the only one who has telekinetic abilities – and they’re all in danger but there is power and safety in numbers.
The book rockets along, and the characters are all really well rounded and leap off the page. If I have a gripe, it’s born out of frustration at not being able to read it all in one go (a disadvantage of trying to fit my reading round, y’know, everything else) which meant that the pace felt quite similar through the middle section of the book: tracking down a new member of the group, making contact and persuading them to come along. If I’d been able to read larger chunks at a time, this may not have been an issue.
Ty is a great character and I loved his relationship with Sam, who has become a kind of older brother/father figure in place of the useless parental role models Ty already has. Sam, though, turns out to have a disability that is exacerbated by the presence of the Miganium, which adds an extra dimension of fear to Ty’s powers. I guessed what the climax would be right from the beginning of the book, where a crisis is subtly introduced, and it’s handled brilliantly in the final scenes. It’s always nice when the reader can feel they know something the characters don’t! There are two suitably creepy villains too, in the form of the government agents Chambers and Merrill (with her terrifying orange lipstick) who are hot on the heels of our heroes all the way through.
I liked the ending too – but I won’t say why because of spoilers! I’ve just got hold of a copy of Ali’s latest, DESTINATION EARTH, which I’m REALLY looking forward to reading, partly because she told me about it early last year before it was even finished. Review to come!
Out of This World is a great adventure thriller read for everyone aged, I should think, 9 upwards. And here is the fantastic trailer!