Series: Threader #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 23rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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...
In 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.
Josie’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.