This review may contain spoilers.
Today I read Aversion, which is the first book of the Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu. It’s about a girl named Gemma who has the ability to see an occasional glimpse into a person’s future, and the power to insert a thought into their mind in an effort to avert the disasters she sees in her vision, allowing the person to continue on through the life they are meant to have. She is part of a secret society that uses this power for the good of mankind. Imagine if your guardian angel was one of the Men in Black, and he protected you from your own mistakes instead of aliens.
Aversion is a novella, so it’s naturally a short read. It’s got a pretty nice cover that is actually related to the story. There are a couple of typos, but nothing serious. I felt as if the writing was a bit clinical- I could see the emotions, but they mostly seemed to have been expressed in a passive manner. Despite the tone, the unique angle to the story drew me in anyway, and eventually I ceased to notice it.
There’s plenty of things going on. Gemma’s in high school, but also finishing the training her father has spent her entire life preparing her for, and now it’s come to the final test. Mistakes are turning into forbidden romance, until the villain’s come to town and it’s time to pack up and leave. That part was a little abrupt. I was trying to read carefully but I missed the part where they actually moved and had to flip back a couple of pages.
The pacing up to this point has been pretty good, but now things are happening faster as the secrets are being revealed.
Here’s where the world starts to tilt: Forbidden is turning into fate as she unexpectedly runs into her love interest, and I find this to be the most emotional scene in the book. He wasn’t aware he was even searching for her, but the villains knew and the cast is finally forced into a confrontation.
Which is great. You can’t run forever and expect that to be a satisfying story.
The exposition here got a little thick, throwing definitions and teasing you with a partial infodump, but it was still more information than we’ve been able to pry out of anyone else. The villains don’t get a lot of time to develop a characters, but they have believable motivations, and the new information ties everyone together in a way that makes sense. It isn’t just a conflict between good and evil- the villains have a good reason for their actions, but you can’t just let someone hurt your family.
I appreciate that nobody’s perfect here. Real people aren’t perfect, either.
It looks like the villains are going to win the day, but Gemma is a quick study and observes a familiar relationship between the villains, and uses that knowledge to her advantage. She overcomes her ignorance with ingenuity, and displays a remarkable maturity when she leaves well enough alone after her family is safely free.
I like to think she was able to see both sides of that situation.
In the end, it’s back to square one, except now Gemma’s all grown up and ready to face the world on her own. But the villains aren’t done with her yet, and the secret society is watching. Her love interest returns as well. I am only left with questions: Is her relationship doomed, or only just beginning? Are the Averters and Sentients two different secret societies, or factions within the same one? Is the association between the villains sanctioned?
I want to know. Please write the next book.
Despite its flaws, which turned out to be trivial for the most part, I give this book a rating of awesome! It’s wonderful for the first installment of a young adult series. You can purchase Aversion on Smashwords.