Yes, I’ve been meaning to rave about THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT for a year, but it was lost in the shuffle of reviews to post. I realized my failed posting error after reading Gordon Korman’s newest, SLACKER (Bonus mini-review below).
I have now read the complete series including THE HYPNOTISTS (2013), and following up in 2014 with MEMORY MAZE. Whoops. I was going to review those, too.
Anyhow, this finale wraps things up rather nicely in a thrilling conclusion. I’m referring to three kids barging in on the general assembly of the United Nations. Of course they get in with their mind bending (hypnotist) abilities in an attempt to stop chaos from occurring in every corner of the planet. No spoilers here but be ready for an exciting horse ride, a police station destroyed, and lots of interesting hypnotic suggestions.
Jax makes a fine protagonist and with the return of his friends from the first books, it is a fulfilling conclusion. If you want to jump right in and read this one, it stands on its own. Several plot lines from the first two books are woven in so you won’t be lost. If you look into the eyes of Jax on the front cover though, he is bending your mind to read all three. A very smart kid.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015 WORD COUNT: 52,303 LEVEL: 5.8
FULL PLOT (From Gordon Korman’s Website) THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT is the thrilling conclusion of THE HYPNOTISTS trilogy. Jax has been recruited by the U.S. Army’s Hypnotic Warfare Research Department. But Dr. Elias Mako has escaped from prison, and this time he has a plan to use mesmeric power to bring the entire world to its knees.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT by Gordon Korman
- The ending is one of the more exciting, page turning finishes to any MG book. It leaves you breathless.
- Lock your doors if this ever happens – the idea children could hypnotize anyone they want. Dangerous for sure, but oh so much fun here.
- Stanley is a a welcome new character – an eight your old mind bender who is even better than Jax at hypnotizing.
- Quite a few sophisticated themes running about here: global terrorism and the difference between the right and wrong time to use such a fantastic ability. It’s a problem Jax struggles with to the last page.
- All the plot lines came to one satisfying ending, but I’ll have to admit… THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT was my favorite of the three.
FAVORITE LINE: Before he had a chance to think about what he was doing, he was staring into her careworn eyes, bringing all of his mesmeric power to bear. It was a betrayal – no question about it. He had promised never to hypnotize his parents. This was in exchange for their promise to stop looking away every time he glanced in their direction.
AUTHOR QUOTE: (Gordon Korman is the author of over 80 books. Here’s a question he answered on his Reader’s Forum from Sara S., a new fan:
Sara: So, I’ve been reading around… but I’m still new to your wealth of literature. Can you give me a top five list, please?
Gordon: As for choosing my 5 best, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite among my kids. It can’t be done. Besides, picking a favorite book is a very personal matter. You might be indifferent to what I consider my best work. That’s human nature.
BONUS MINI-REVIEW: SLACKER by Gordon Korman
If you are looking for a good story, Mr. Korman never lets you down. His newest is a lively tale about Cameron Boxer, a slug of a 13-year who cares only about his video game conquests and the gaming cave he has set up in the basement. When the ziti he is responsible for burns to a crisp his life changes. The fire department axes their way through the front door while Cam can barely pull away from his games to find out what’s going on. His parents force him to find other pursuits. Cam creates a fake club that supposedly does good deeds. It’s actually just a front for his slacker ways so he can continue disappearing into his video game world. The scheme backfires to say the least, including attempts to save the beaver pictured on the front cover.
The only problem I had with the story was telling it in multiple viewpoints. I can take a story with 2 or 3 viewpoints but here we exceed that by double digits. Cameron takes the lead in about a third of the chapters. The others are given to a wide cast of characters: his two best friends, the guidance counselor, the principal, his sister, and various members of his fake club. I’d have preferred the action stay with Cam the entire way, but that’s just me. Anyway, I’m looking forward to Korman’s next adventure.
Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.