Like a cross between Harry Potter, X-Men and Ender’s Game, P.D. Griffith’s The Search for Artemis starts when a boy’s world falls apart and ends in battle, betrayal, and brave determination. The story starts rather slowly but by the end I was eagerly turning pages, surprised at the revelations and looking forward to more.
An exciting first scene has strangers chasing fifteen-year-old Landon across town, while Landon tries to remember what happened the night before. But the story’s soon slowed down by complex sentences, quick point of view changes, and determined descriptions. The writing soars though with some wonderful phrases as Landon delights in the scent of fresh bread, ponders the sour smell of an ancient tome, or stares at the toppling towers of his mother’s illogical library. And soon the plot begins to soar too.
The characters are plausibly real with all the trials of childhood recurring in a school for the telekinetically gifted. A wonderful snowball fight reminds me of Hogwarts. Training exercises remind me of Ender’s Game. And a nicely tuned sense for science ties the students’ skills together, giving that same logical feeling to telekinesis which J. K. Rowling gave to magic. A touch of mystery, a well-drawn taste for adventure, and a nicely evocative approach to teenaged emotions make this an appealing teen or young adult novel. Not perfect, but definitely enjoyable, this tale has enough completeness to satisfy, enough logic to intrigue, and enough patience to let the reader deduce what might be going on without spelling everything out. The ending’s clearly set up for a sequel but the reader doesn’t feel cheated, just eager for more.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.