Psi Chronicles by Lana Krumwiede

freaklingarchontrue son

4 out of 5 stars.

This series has a really cool premise. Everyone in the society has telekinesis (or even cooler powers! They are all called psi), so everyone without mental abilities are considered impaired and exiled to a small community where everyone *gasp* has to use their hands for things!! It is taken as such a givenĀ that people can move stuff with their minds that the normal buildings do not have doorknobs. Taemon has powers, but locks them away when he almost kills his (admittedly horrible and evil) older brother. Suddenly he is trying to hide his lack of psi from everyone including his older brother (because of the afore-mentioned evilness).

Taemon, between all three of the books, manages to experience all levels of society and ability. This manages to give us a really good look at the world the author has created. This includes the religion, the society and its unpowered counterpart, and their neighbouring kingdoms and foreign relations. Krumwiede has created a very detailed and convincing world and it was great to explore it.

Taemon’s brother is a pretty convincing villain (though he is not the only one), but was the annoying evil/ arrogant type of villain that, because of their relationship, the protagonist is too lenient with. Seriously, he deserved one hell of a punching.

My own morals were in pretty severe conflict with the protagonist’s for quite a bit of these books. Taemon tries to stick to more absolute rules, but since I am a consequentialist, I disagree with quite a few of his decisions (like not punching his stupid brother in his stupid face). It is a tough go when you think the protagonist is being a purist idiot, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

The first book ends up being fairly simple plot-wise. It is the second and third that really introduce us to the nuances Krumwiede is capable of. You get quite a few new characters and an introduction to two new kingdoms, both with varying degrees of psi and technology. The plot gets a lot more political and a lot more interesting.

The best part of the books was probably reading about the differences between psi and unpowered life. Taemon’s transition from powered to unpowered to powered, and learning all of the accompanying skills, was a neat detail to add to the story. The most frustrating part of the series was the way Krumwiede portrays humanity as a whole. He has people reacting to disaster like stubborn, panicky, gullible idiots. This may be completely accurate, but I find it disheartening. I want to believe we are also flexible, adaptable and occasionally thoughtful. In my mind, the books leaned more towards portraying the worst humanity has to offer as a group, with individualism as the only way we are able to behave rationally.

I would recommend this to any science fiction fans, and anyone who likes stories in which our realities are reversed. Finding out what one person thinks society would be like if most of us were telekinetic made this a really interesting and compelling read.

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