Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In Orpheus Chanson's world, geniuses and prodigies are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, procedures to induce Acquired Savant Abilities (ASAs) are now purchased by the privileged. And Orpheus's father holds the copyright to the ASA procedure.
Zimri Robinson, a natural musical prodigy, is a "plebe"--a worker at the enormous warehouse that supplies an on-line marketplace that has supplanted all commerce. Her grueling schedule and her grandmother's illness can't keep her from making music--even if it is illegal.
Orpheus and Zimri are not supposed to meet. He is meant for greatness; she is not. But sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. Here is a thriller, love story, and social experiment that readers will find gripping--and terrifying.
Gifted takes a little while to settle into, a futuristic world where young people have brain surgeries to catapult them to fame and fortune in music, arts or entertainment making it initially (and likely purposely) challenging to relate to Orpheus and his ilk. Zimri, being a lowly plebe and hardworking factory girl is of course easy to root for from the beginning, and watching as Orpheus finds himself walking a mile in her shoes makes their story a satisfying one.
Zimri is a young woman who's lost both parents to a world where one company single-handedly determines who is worthy of wealth and status and who is not, and though she's much easier to connect to than Orpheus, we never get to know either of them very well. Her relationship with her grandmother is the strongest of all those in this tale, the depth of her love and loyalty toward the woman who's always been there for her something that shines brightly from the pages. Zimri's friendship and eventual romance with Orpheus stays firmly on the surface, a few highlights and cute moments scattered throughout as they prepare to facedown Orpheus's father and the CEO of Chanson Industries–the company responsible for the brain surgeries–but we never delve too deeply into the emotional complexities that typically accompany a star-crossed type of romance.
Additionally, the final confrontation between Zimri, Orpheus and his father is shorter and less intense than expected, a few pulse-pounding moments as things fall apart holding our attention before everything is remedied quickly and easily, denying us the gritty details of a revolutionary action. All that being said though, Gifted is still a quick, enjoyable read, a look into a future that hopefully never comes to pass but isn't entirely hard to imagine given our fixation on the entertainment world as a whole.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.