A Neon Darkness

Tor Teen. (Bright Sessions: Bk. 2). Sept. 2020. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250297549.
Gr 9 Up–The Unusuals have gifts. Neon can create electricity, Marley can see the past, Blaze can create fire, and Robert can get anything he wants just by desiring it. Before Robert, the other Unusuals and their Unusual-sensing friend Indah led a peaceful existence in Los Angeles. Then Blaze disappeared and Robert arrived, and no one could tell whether their actions were their own or what Robert desired. Told primarily through Robert’s perspective, readers watch as he transitions from a wandering teenager struggling for acceptance to the new persona of Damien, who goes from using his powers to get what he wants to controlling people to get the friendship he craves. Based on Shippen’s “Bright Sessions” podcast, this second book in the series delves deeper into the character of Damien. A rich cast of secondary characters and gripping plot twists keep readers interested until the last page. Damien’s use of control to gain human connection and its moral implications will make readers question how far are they willing to go to get everything they desire.
VERDICT A first purchase for library collections. The story will leave readers thinking long after the last page is read.

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