Review: Threader, Rebekah Turner

July 15, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Review: Threader, Rebekah TurnerThreader by Rebekah Turner
Series: Threader #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 23rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: My copy
Amazon • Amazon UK • Bookworld

Welcome to the Helios Academy: evolve or die

It's the year 2050 and life is increasingly hard for 'non-citizens'. A slowly emerging young minority has been exposed as 'talents'; they harbour mutations that give them special gifts – super strength, regenerative powers, psychic gifts or the ability to sink through shadows and travel through time and space. As governments unite to form a global talent registry and powerful corporations step in to take control, a 'talent' can be a passport to citizenship and a better life, but there is a cost as Josie Ryder is about to discover.

Orphaned at six, Josie Ryder has been raised by her uncle. Her talent is an unusual one: she is a threader, able to weave a combination of psychic talents around others to manipulate their powers. Working in her uncle's antique store and dreaming of a better life, Josie has done everything to keep a promise to her late father: stay off the global talent registry and keep her talents hidden. But as Josie tries to make ends meet with the occasional illegal act, she risks a third strike with local law enforcement and, desperate for a better life, Josie finally breaks her promise to her father's memory and sends an enquiry to the prestigious Helios Academy, a training facility in a distant country for talents.

When the Helios Academy respond by sending mysterious slider, Blake Galloway to extract Josie, then offer her a position at their select and highly competitive institution, things begin to get really interesting, and more than a little dangerous...

angelyas_reviewIn the not-too-distant future, in a satellite town outside Sydney, the lower classes struggle to make ends meet, while the wealthy Citizens live inside the walls of the city. Josie, a young girl with a special ‘talent’, is keen on improving her position in life, and when she sees an ad for the Helios Academy, a place for talented youngsters like herself, she applies. What she finds there is not at all what she expected.

The students at the Helios Academy have one or a combination of four talents: Hydra, Primal, Esper, or Slider. You can find out more about these talents and take the quiz to work out which one you have at the Helios Academy website! Josie has a special brand of Esper talent, making her a Threader, able to augment others’ talents or take control of them completely. Her talent causes all sorts of drama for her at the school.

Rebekah Turner has created a fabulous futuristic world, which unfortunately doesn’t get explored that much in this story (although I’m hopeful for the rest of the series!), but I was fascinated by concepts like the Doc-in-a-Box (an automatic medical diagnosis and drug-dispenser for the lower classes) and the idea that there is a parallel shadow biosphere that Sliders can access to teleport between shadows.

rebekahturnerJosie’s unravelling of the mystery surrounding her parents was a big part of this story, and as she discovers more, her motivation and perspective changes. I loved her tenacity, and I also loved her friends, Cora and Darsh!

I wasn’t really sure about the hot-cold relationship with Blake, though. Having their ‘bond’ act like a love potion was a little awkward, with Josie unable to keep herself away from him despite telling herself repeatedly that she hated him.

Threader is a nail-biting and gripping story from this local Aussie author. I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Josie and her friends!

Philippa and I were delighted to meet Rebekah at the launch of Threader at the Avid Reader Bookshop in Brisbane, during June. She’s a very friendly lady and we’re hoping to chat with her on our podcast soon! If you have any questions relating to Threader, please let us know.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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