Chris Wahl, Tim McEwen
Allen & Unwin, 2020-2022
200+ pp., pbk., RRP $A15.99
Ethan is supposed to be doing regular teenage things – like playing sports and hanging out with friends.
He is not supposed to be in hospital getting a brain tumour removed by Gemini, a high-tech android doctor. But just as the operation begins, the medical facility is hit by an unusual bolt of lightning …
When Ethan wakes up he discovers that things are different. He’s always been good with computers, but now his skills are next-level. Ethan almost feels like he’s … part of the machine because now he has powers to hack into any electronic device.. And what about the android Gemini? If Ethan is now part robot, does that make the robot part human? It seems so, and the government wants him to themselves to try to catch Ethan because they fear what these powers might mean for their security. And so Gemini is now in pursuit of Ethan but what is his purpose if he catches him?
Ethan will need all his new skills just to stay alive… but just because he can hack into computers, should he actually do so? Anh Do sets up an ethical dilemma that the reader has to grapple with.
This is an interesting series because while its hero is a teenager, its format is more like that for those who are newly independent readers, including plenty of illustrations, so it is perfect for those older boys who are looking for something age-appropriate but still needing that support. It also means they can be seen reading a book by one of the most popular authors at the moment, so that is also important for their self-esteem. Added to that, within this story are references to some of Do’s other series including Skydragon, and Rise of the Mythix so it might just open up other reading horizons for them.
So far, there are four in the series and they are best read in order so there is continuity of both plot and characters, but the early episodes are still readily available if this is not yet in your collection.