Failing Test: Book One of The Shadow Series Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
JM Pierce has written an engaging story told by two voices, by Test and by Nicole. Both characters are well fleshed. Test's frustrations and angst left me rooting for him. I felt Nicole's pain as she tried to decide whether to lead a fugitive's life with Test or give him up. The story is far from over and I look forward to the sequel.... Get writing, JM!
I found this a very interesting read. The fact that the young boy had no idea had me intrigued. Also, he was a typical teen struggling with his emotions. I loved how the character was developed and so realistic. His emotions and that of his friends were so much like my own teenage kids though without any superpowers involved.
A great read with a soft cliffhanger that had me buying the next book. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Note: I purchased this book with my own funds with no expectation of a positive review.
The biggest problem I had with the book was the reaction of the law enforcement when they hear about Test's powers. For instance, he accidentally reveals his powers to a bunch of his classmates when he defends his girlfriend from some of her old friends, who weren't happy about her leaving their clique to date Test. He smashes up a car, and levitates two jocks, then melts a fiery log into a puddle of goo. He runs off, and naturally, the classmates call the police to report the attack.
Here's my problem - a bunch of incredibly drunk teenagers call the police and report that one of their classmates has magical superpowers that he used to attack them...and the police don't think twice about it. Their reaction isn't to laugh at how ridiculous the story is. They don't stop to question the source at all. The very next day, the front page declares Test a national threat who definitely has magical powers. And when the police see Test for the first time, they open fire on him immediately, without even waiting for him to prove if he has the alleged powers or not. So drunken teenagers are a completely credible source in this world. I'd hate to deal with their legal system.
And that's another thing. Why did Test keep using his powers against the police? If he had never used them to attack the police, he could have just looked at the police and said, "Really? A bunch of drunk kids told you I had superpowers?" He laments that if he'd taken a bat to the kid's car instead of mind-crushing it, he wouldn't be in trouble. Then why not tell the police that that was what happened, then? He could have saved himself and everyone else a lot of trouble.
But, I suppose the book would have been a lot shorter if that had happened. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but there's only so far you can suspend that disbelief in what is supposed to be such a realistic world.
Another problem I had was how Heather and Chad acted. People don't act like that. Popular cliques are one thing, but Heather and Chad were completely hostile. They had to "protect their Alpha status". Really? It just felt like the book tried way too hard to make them the villains. Once more, it might not be such an issue if the book wasn't going for normalcy.
Finally, Nicole's reaction to the whole glowing thing was confusing. Her boyfriend can levitate things, destroy cars, and fly? No problem. His hands start glowing? GOOD LORD, IT'S TOO HORRIFYING! She faints because his hands glow. Flying is not an issue, but his hands lighting up like a lite brite is faint-worthy?
I think Cliff was my favorite part of the book. He was definitely a fun character.
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While there are many vampire novels to choose from, Failing Test stands on its own merits as a coming-of-age story mixed with a wonderful what-if scenario, proving that while Test is in some ways super human, he is also just as vulnerable as the rest of us, and pain is pain, even to someone who can easily throw cars and pulse his way around the world. I would love to see this character five years down the road when he has finally come to terms with who he is. Something tells me his world will be better for having him in it.