Thursday, 6 January 2011
Review: Hunted (The Medusa Project) by Sophie McKenzie
Dylan, Ketty, Ed and Nico are the teenagers who make up The Medusa Project, each owing their special abilities to a scientist who discovered the genetic code that makes them what they are. For American born Dylan, that scientist was also the father she never had a chance to know. And when she begins to delve into the circumstances surrounding his death, all four find themselves drawn into her search for his killer. But the question is, will the killer find them first?
The fourth instalment in The Medusa Project is narrated by Dylan, a headstrong and prickly character who doesn't seem to fit in with the other three members of the crime-fighting crew. Her Medusa superpower is the ability to generate a protective shield around herself that can withstand pretty much anything, and in Hunted we see just how apt this really is. Because while Dylan may act like she doesn't need anyone, her tendency to put up barriers between herself and the rest of the team is another form of shield - and this book, coming from her point of view, gives the reader an insight into the real Dylan behind the devil-may-care bravado. Having not read any of the previous books in the series, I felt that Dylan was the most interesting of the main characters - but, being a big fan of other Sophie McKenzie novels, I wouldn't be surprised if the other three seem just as interesting when they're narrating their own instalment.
At around two hundred and fifty pages long, Hunted packs a whole lot of plot into its twenty-eight relatively short chapters. Part thriller, part mystery, there's never a dull moment. We're talking undercover break-and-enter attempts, daring escapes and even the occasional explosion - and all at a fabulously breathtaking pace. Still, there's time in between all that for the occasional hint of romance, which somehow manages to be cute without any slushiness whatsoever. There's also some surprisingly moving character development for Dylan. Though it reads younger than Blood Ties or Girl, Missing, the mystery behind the murder of Dylan's father is twisty enough to keep the YA crowd guessing right up until the end.
While it's easy to pick up and enjoy Hunted without having read the previous three books, I suspect that this series is really best read in chronological order. By itself, Hunted is gripping and enjoyable but not quite as satisfying as Sophie McKenzie's standalone novels, so Medusa Project newbies like me might want to check the earlier three instalments out first to get the full impact. However, if you've already read and enjoyed the first three books, this one is a thrill a minute.
Out: 6th January 2011, UK
Many thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for providing a review copy of this book.