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    Disappointing

    Ezekiel Bliss has a micropower - he can find lost objects and return them to their owners. But when an FBI Agent asks for help on a missing person’s case Ezekiel’s power is put to the ultimate test. Having loved Enders Game when I was younger, I was excited to read something new from Orson Scott Card. However, Lost and Found seemed to fall a bit flat – I wasn’t really sure what it was trying to be. There was an element of sci-fi introduced via the weird micropowers – I liked Ezekiels ability but all the rest didn’t quite seem to match up to his. It felt like Scott Card had a great idea for his main character but then ran out of ideas trying to extend it to everyone else. There’s a crime element to the story as well which I did enjoy – the kidnapping story line together with Ezekiel’s power was interesting and fast paced. Then there was a kind of coming of age/embracing who you are/learning to love someone part which to me just felt awkward. Beth and Ezekiel’s relationship felt very two dimensional – the dialogue was clunky and felt forced and at times they spoke like children who were a lot younger than the 14 years old they were supposed to be. There was also a lot of unnecessary dialogue which I found myself skipping over – repetitive conversations that didn’t go anywhere or lines that felt too much like they were trying to be intellectual or witty but didn’t quite hit the mark. There were a couple of jarring remarks in the book to sexuality as well that I found a little dangerous in a young adult book – implying that Ezekiel would have to be ‘brain-dead or completely not-male’ to not notice a female character’s breasts for example. There is one part of the book that suddenly takes a turn for the creepy which I really enjoyed but wish that one of the characters involved was explored in more depth from this (no spoilers). Overall Lost and Found was a bit of a disappointment – it has potential but clunky dialogue and stilted characters meant it didn’t really work for me. Thank you to NetGalley & Blackstone Publishing for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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    Engaging and dark YA novel

    Ezekiel Blast is a 14 year old boy with an unusual gift, he senses when objects are lost and returns them to their owners or to Lost and Found. Unfortunately other people, being cynical and suspicious, prefer to believe that Ezekiel is a thief (although why he feels the need to return things is never explained) and he has become a pariah, ostracised by his school-fellows and living a sad, solitary life with his father, the only one who believes him. Then two extraordinary things happen to Ezekiel. First, a new girl called Beth Sorenson, 13 years old but with a growth hormone deficiency and a metabolic disorder that makes her look like a proportionate dwarf, decides to make friends with Ezekiel, or at least travel in his "shunning bubble" on the way to school so she doesn't get bullied. It's the first time that Ezekiel has had a friend, although he finds her more of a nuisance at first. Secondly, Ezekiel is invited to take part in a study called 'Group of Rare and Useless Talents' which explores the boundaries of talents like Ezekiel's through scientific experiments. Then a policeman comes to Ezekiel's home, not this time to arrest him for stealing things but instead to assist with looking for a young girl who has gone missing. Although Ezekiel refuses to help the policeman at first, explaining that he finds objects not people, because people are never really lost, as he and Beth test his talent he finds he may be able to find people after all. The first half of this book is everything I would expect of a young teen novel. Funny, clever, full of the trials and tribulations of being a child, especially a clever child, in a world where adults rule. Obviously it's Orson Scott Card so the writing is witty and engaging right from the get-go but like his other young adult series, the incomparable Ender's Saga, there is a dark and scary undertone. When tragedy strikes (and it is shocking) Ezekiel must put his new found skills to their limit. I loved this book although I found the adult theme shocking for a teen novel, maybe that's a sign of my age, so I would recommend parental caution if the reader is a young or sensitive reader. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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