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…
Threader is a fast-paced science-fiction novel for young adults who love The X-Men.
I’ll confess I’ve had this book sitting on my TBR pile for a few months – it was a complete impulse buy because the cover is gorgeous – but I didn’t really know what it was about and so I hadn’t picked it up. I’m so glad I did because I read this book in a single sitting, I was so engaged in the story. It is, for me, what I hoped Red Queen (Aveyard) would be: a story about humans with mutations, or ‘super powers’.
In Threader, people with extraordinary abilities are registered. There are different classes of talents, and our main character Josie is a ‘Threader’ – meaning she can link with and enhance other people’s talents. She lives with her uncle as a ‘non-citizen’ in the year 2050. For the first part of the narrative, we are exposed to a dystopian-like world, where non-citizens are the lower class, subject to being rejected for ‘citizenship’ based on a strike system. Citizens, on the other hand, live a life in futuristic cities and have a much better life. Registering as a ‘talent’ can lead to citizenship, but corporations run this world and the consequences of joining with them can be, at best, unpredictable.
Risking her third strike, Josie finds herself accepted to the Helios Academy, where she can be trained to use her talent effectively and safely. The Helios Academy is sort of like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, with murkier intentions. Josie finds herself caught up in the plans of those around her who wish to use her abilities to further a project that has been closed down for years, because Threaders are rare.
I really liked the characters – there were some really interesting personalities, and there was a great connection between those personalities and their talents. Josie was fun, tough and a great lead. Blake was quite fascinating to read about – we only learned his story in small parts and I was eager to get a better picture of him. There is a love triangle in this book, but it’s fairly one-sided, and didn’t detract from the overall story.
This was a perfect, fast-paced book that filled a need for a young adult book that was just a little bit different, and tiny bit creepy at the end. My only complaint is that I wish there were more to the story, because I want to know what happens next!
I gave Threader 4 out of 5 stars.
title // Threader
author // Rebekah Turner
publisher // Harlequin Teen / Harlequin Enterprises (Australia)
genre // Young Adult, Science Fiction
publication date // June 2016
format // Paperback