quippe (quippe) wrote in cool_teen_reads,

The Medusa Project – The Hostage by Sophie McKenzie

The Blurb On The Back:

Fourteen years ago, four babies were implanted with the Medusa gene – a gene for psychic abilities. Now teenagers, Nico, Ketty, Ed and Dylan have been brought together by government agents to create a secret crime-fighting force: The Medusa Project.

Ketty’s brother Lex has stumbled into a dangerous game involving his boss and a hidden bomb. It’s up to Ketty to save him without letting on what she knows to the rest of the team. But can she control her psychic visions, and her feelings for Nico, without getting the team’s cover – and herself – blown sky high?

It’s a few weeks after THE MEDUSA PROJECT: THE SETUP and the team are on their first mission to check out Fostergames after a computer attack on the Ministry of Defence. Their boss, Geri Paterson, hopes that visiting the office will trigger Ketty’s visions of the future but Ketty still can’t control her powers and is anxious that she’s not as useful to the group as Nico, Dylan and Ed. However this changes when Ketty discovers that her brother, Lex, works for Fostergames and has a vision of him handing defence data to an unknown man.

Worried that her brother is involved, she resolves to save him. The harder she works to master her powers though, the more her visions show that she’s putting everyone she cares about in danger. Worse, she finds herself lying to the very people she’s trying to protect and putting the project itself in jeopardy.

McKenzie’s sequel to THE MEDUSA PROJECT: THE SETUP is a fast paced, breezy story about teens with paranormal powers, this time told from Ketty’s perspective. Having not taken to Nico in the first novel, I had higher hopes of this – particularly as Ketty seemed to be an independent character, devoted to her running in the first book. In this book however, Ketty is a much more uncertain character – lacking in confidence and unable to stand up to Nico’s fits of pique and jealousy when she doesn’t want to spend time with him. In fact, Nico comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant character in this book and a borderline abuser, which made me wonder what Ketty sees in him beyond his being good looking.

The plot itself depends on Ketty refusing to confide in anyone, which strains credibility at times, while her ability to access her powers at opportune moments risks being contrived. McKenzie has a good ear for dialogue, there is lots of action and the romantic triangle between Nico, Ed and Ketty is likely to appeal to the target teen audience. However, given the number of books with paranormal powers out there for teens, there isn’t much in here for me to make it stand out and Ketty’s refusal to call out Nico on his unacceptable behaviour really grated. The novel ends with a set up for the next book (which will be from Ed’s point of view) but I’m not sure I’ll be reading on.

The Verdict:

Although this is a fast-paced, action-packed story, Ketty’s acceptance of some borderline abusive behaviour from her boyfriend and the at times contrived development of her powers resulted in my attention wandering. Consequently, I’m not sure whether I’ll read the next one in the series.

Cross-posted to bookish, books, booky_talk, bookworming and yalitlovers.

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