Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Freakling, by Lana Krumwiede- Review

From Goodreads:
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi—the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony.

The "dud farm" is not what Taemon expected, though: people are kind and open, and they actually seem to enjoy using their hands to work and play and even comfort their children. Taemon adjusts to his new life quickly, making friends and finding unconditional acceptance.

But gradually he discovers that for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too—dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered.

When Taemon unwittingly leaks one of these secrets, will he have the courage to repair the damage—even if it means returning to the city and facing the very people who exiled him?

A dystopian one off! Can you believe it?  I hardly can either, and I just finished reading it.  This means two things, one- instant gratification, and two- a fast moving plot.  You would think that it would also mean a less carefully developed world, but Krumwiede was clever and concise when it came to that.  Taemon spends the first part of the book as a regular kid with psi, then he loses it and has to struggle with hiding it, then he's discovered and has to go live with a colony of the psi-less.  Because Taemon experiences all three possibilities of his world those with psi, those without psi, and those without psi trying to live among the psi-powerful, Krumwiede has ample opportunity to show you the full gambit of her world. 

The commentaries on religion, war and power struggles were well done, and although a point was made it wasn't didatic or overwhelming to the story.  But I especially like how Krumwiede contrasts the haves with the have-nots, showing the have-nots with a much happier, loving lifestyle.  Since Taemmon is only 13 this even more pronounced as he's taken under everyones wing and cared for.

An intriguing story, with rich world building and some strong character development, Freakling has several surprise curve balls as well.  All in all this was a great read, with the added bonus of not being the beginnings of a bigger commitment.
Freakling, by Lana Krumwiede
Published by Candlewick Press, Oct 9th, 2012
My copy kindly provided by the publisher
Buy Freakling on Amazon


  1. It's interesting that the author is able to get so much into one book and not missing out too much on world building or characterization. I like the idea that it's actually a standalone and everything gets worked out. Will have to check this one out now (I wasn't so sure when I first heard about it). Great review!

  2. Hi, Rhiannon and friends! Thanks for the wonderful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed Freakling. It was such a fun book to write. With the sincere hope that this news doesn't alter your feelings for Freakling, I should tell you that the sequel is coming out in October. Just thought you should hear it from me :)

    As a first-time author, it's really tough to get a multi-book deal right off the bat (getting a one-book deal is tough enough!), and yet I hoped to be able to tell more of Taemon's story. I wrote Freakling in a way that I hoped would work both ways. The second book deals with the consequences of Taemon's monumental decision at the end of book one, and it opens with Taemon trying to track down the whereabouts of his parents and reunite his family. I understand your aversion to series-commitment; I feel the same way. The thing is, young readers really love series and that's what matters. Everywhere I go to talk to kids about Freakling, the first thing they say is "Pleeeeeease tell me there is another book coming!" I think there are developmental reasons why young readers enjoy a book series more than adult readers do, but that, perhaps, is beside the point.

    So don't think of it as a commitment. Think of it as . . . catching up with an old friend. Thanks again for spreading the word!

    1. Well it's worth noting that it doesn't have a cliff hanger, so it can totally be read as a stand alone, or as a series when book two comes out! Thanks for the info Lana, and Congratulations!