A gripping roller coaster of a story that effectively combines thrills, terror, gaming and apocalypse. It’s super-readable and dyslexia friendly too!
16 year old Kenzie Mitchell, otherwise known as K-Boy, thinks his every dream has come true when he’s wins the chance to attend a top gaming tournament at Sensia HQ on a remote tropical island. The contestants are flown in on their own private jet and transferred by limo to the swankiest of hotels. It all seems too good to be true – which of course it is. Within hours, events start to take a sinister turn. Kenzie wakes in the night unable to see and one by one his other senses – touch, hearing, smell and taste – flicker in and out. And he’s not on his own. It’s happening to the other contestants too, sometimes with fatal consequences. Kenzie wants to believe it isn’t really happening. He wants to believe it’s just a really good virtual reality game. But with Sensia in control, the line between realities has almost entirely disappeared.
As this brief summary suggests, this is a book with an exciting and unusual premise. In fact, it’s a totally gripping roller coaster of a story that (to use the tag words from the back cover) combines thrills, terror, gaming and apocalypse. The reader is hooked from the first page and I challenge anyone to find it easy to put down.
‘Senseless’, however, has much more than just a great plot. The voice is simply incredible. Told in first person from Kenzie’s point of view, we’re given a clear sense of Kenzie’s age, class and background without the author having to ‘tell’ us anything. From just a few words we are able to identify with Kenzie and share his terror and confusion.
The book is illustrated with a series of black and white pictures by the extremely talented Neil Evans. While these images have real impact, I’m not sure they really add anything to the book. However, all Barrington Stoke books are tested for children and young people by children and young people so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m alone in this thought.
‘Senseless’ is part of Barrington Stoke’s super-readable dyslexia-friendly series with a clear well-spaced font and thick off-white paper. This might put more confident readers off but this would be a big mistake. This is a gripping story for ALL teens and – although it’s only 96 pages long – it’s worth every penny of its £6.99 cover price.
If you enjoyed this, why not try another 2017 release in Barrington Stoke’s ‘super-readable’ series: The Liar’s Handbook by Keren David or Mind The Gap by Phil Earle. Alternatively, why not try Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman?
Date: September 2017
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Author: Steve Cole
Review first published on The Bookbag