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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover

After a long year at school, summer school would sound less than appealing to plenty of students. “Enthusiastic” would not describe Benjamin Holt’s reaction when his parents announced that he would be away all summer—at school. Luckily, his best friend Andy will be going along. Though the pair may seem normal on the surface, Benjamin and Andy have telekinesis abilities. They’ve been using this gift to their advantage from a young age; from levitating frogs to reading each others minds.

Though most kids lack these special abilities, Benjamin has had them since childhood and has grown up in a family that also possesses these special talents. His two brothers levitating toy cars is perfectly normal for Benjamin, but when a mirror in his house suddenly starts talking, even Benjamin is taken by surprise. Benjamin is soon teleported to summer school—and one summer vacation he’ll never forget!

Benjamin is stunned to find that there are a lot of children and people that also have supernatural talents, such as telekinesis, telepathy, telegnosis, and advanced science. He is enrolled into different classes to help hone his abilities where he makes new friends like Iva, Heidi and Gary.

Benjamin learns that he is a telegen, a human with special abilities. In fact, all the people teaching and attending the summer school are telegens! And the surprises for Benjamin don’t end there—the summer school itself is currently on Lemuria! Lemuria, like Atlantis, is a “lost continent.” Both are sunk beneath the ocean and are virtually unknown and uncharted by humans. Before, they were just like any continent: above sea level and accessible. However, because the people of Atlantis were exploiting and enslaving humans, the telegens of Lemuria tried to restore the balance by subduing the trouble makers and encasing Atlantis in a shield that did not allow them to leave the city. As a final precautionary measure, they sunk both Lemuria and Atlantis deep into the sea.

Now telegens from Lemuria are placed all around Earth as agents, making sure everything on Earth is fine, and that Atlantis was still under control. But lately, the shield around Atlantis has been weakening, and their own agents have been getting out and infiltrating humankind once more. Is it right to keep a whole population captive just because there were trouble makers in the past? Or are the telegens of Lemuria doing the right thing and protecting the human race? There are some that would give anything for the shield to be lifted from Atlantis so they can dominate the humans, but others wish to keep their abilities secret.

When Benjamin and his friends wander off one day, they discover a hidden passage that leads them to The Emerald Tablet. Their fateful trip down the secret passageway would change their lives forever—Benjamin holds the balance of two worlds in his hands, as well as the power to raise the two sunken continents. He and his friends are linked by the Tablet into an Alliance, and they must find the three keys of the hunter before their dark nemesis does, or the worlds will be doomed. But fate always offers two choices, will Benjamin free the world he knows is being unwillingly held captive, or will he restore the balance so that humans can remain ignorant of the telegen’s existence?

I really liked the idea behind The Emerald Tablet as well as the Alliance’s exciting adventure—both were very creative. Although I thought some of the characters were a bit 2-D (or at least I would’ve liked to see them a bit more in the story and get to know more about them!), it will appeal to many young readers! The Emerald Tablet is a great start to P.J. Hoover’s new series and the surprising twists and turns will leave you wanting more of Benjamin’s adventures!

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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