By: Sean Patrick Little
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: August 2009
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: October 9, 2009
Seven teenagers, best friends, are bound together because they share an important and incredibly unusual background, they were all taken from their families at a young age and brought to ‘The Home.’ At ‘The Home’ each child was subjected to DNA experiments, tests using cutting-edge science and so bizarre that the very core of each teen’s DNA was changed over time. So begins The Seven, a teen novel that chronicles the struggles of Andy, Holly, Kenny, Sarah, Indigo, Posey, and John as they come to terms with their new superpowers and fight against the evil military that hopes to take advantage of the teens’ new strengths.
The Seven gets off to a quick start as some of the teens begin to exhibit signs of their new superpowers. Holly has a heightened sense of smell and can communicate with animals while Andy is growing larger and stronger every day. When Posey suddenly shrieks out in pain, her friends are alarmed as they come to her aid. Posey, it seems, is starting to grow wings!
As the group struggles with their newly acquired powers, they decide to keep their emerging strengths a secret from the adults at ‘The Home.’ Talking amongst themselves, they realize that each person has been enhanced in some way to create a more effective killing machine. With that realization it also becomes apparent that ‘The Home’ may not be the best place for them. Dr. H. Bromwell Cormair, the head of the research team and something of a fatherly figure to the gang, seems to have hidden many of the facts about the testing from his charges. When the seven teens decide to make a break for freedom, a clash breaks out and not all of ‘The Seven’ are able to gain their liberty.
When General Tucker and the Trust (a mysterious military organization) go after the seven teens, things get downright nasty as the General will stop at nothing to recapture, study, and then destroy the genetically altered test subjects. Will the teens who escaped come back to ‘The Home’ to rescue their friends? If they do, what will happen? Will the military, with its well-armed arsenal, recapture the youths?
The Seven is an action novel that lives up to the genre’s name as it is full of non-stop action. Indeed, there are very few pages where the group of teens are not either planning or engaging in battles or rescues. The author has effectively captured both the angst and lingo of his audience, who should be able to identify with at least one or two of the main characters. “Oh for the love of macaroni, Ken. What is wrong with you?” asks an exasperated Holly of her friend as they make plans to keep their powers a secret. But it is the conversations the kids have about their own awkwardness that the author managed to capture so beautifully and that his readers should truly enjoy. For example, at one point Kenny, the computer whiz-kid admits, “Before, I guess I didn’t feel like I was important. Sarah was the pretty one, Indigo was the mean one, Andy was the funny one…now I know why they did what they did and for the first time in my life, I actually feel useful.”
Reluctant readers may be hesitant to pick up a copy of The Seven because of the very small font used, which is unusual for a teen book. However, once they get into the story (and it doesn’t take long), they’ll be well rewarded for their efforts.
Quill says: A teen action novel that hits a home-run and should have readers hoping that the author brings out a sequel!