Title: Knight in Paper Armor
Author: Nicholas Conley
Billy Jakobek has always been different. Born with strange and powerful psychic abilities, he has grown up in the laboratories of Thorne Century, a ruthless megacorporation that economically, socially, and politically dominates American society. Every day, Billy absorbs the emotional energies, dreams, and traumas of everyone he meets—from his grandmother’s memories of the Holocaust, to the terror his sheer existence inflicts upon his captors—and he yearns to break free, so he can use his powers to help others.
Natalia Gonzalez, a rebellious artist and daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, lives in Heaven’s Hole, an industrial town built inside a meteor crater, where the poverty-stricken population struggles to survive the nightmarish working conditions of the local Thorne Century factory. Natalia takes care of her ailing mother, her grandmother, and her two younger brothers, and while she dreams of escape, she knows she cannot leave her family behind.
When Billy is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesizes an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know.
Roseanna has spent her life studying the strange powers that some children can possess. Those in her field scoff at her and tell her she’s ridiculous for believing such a thing. Enter Mr. Thorne. Not only does he believe in such abilities, but he has an entire company dedicated to the cause. He hires with Roseanna with one mission in mind: round up a child who has just the powers they are looking for.
This story was such an adventure that I’m not sure where to begin.
From the very beginning, we’re transported into this futuristic world that blends reality with this almost sci-fi/paranormal vibe that I found to be quite unique. Roseanna is easy to relate to, but I have to say that Billy was the one who stole my heart. After everything that happened to him, he didn’t lose faith in others. It was inspiring to see such a young character portray so much strength. Really though, all the characters are very strongly developed. Even the villains, and I’m a sucker for a well-crafted bad guy.
This book mashes up not only sci-fi and the paranormal quite well, but there’s plenty of mystery and suspense crammed in this story as well. All in all, this is a powerful, immsersive story that’ll you’ll remember long after you finish reading.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.