Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Jennifer Lynn Barnes
For ages 12 and up
Egmont USA, 2013   ISBN: 978-1606843215

Centuries ago men, thinkers and alchemists created an organization called The Society. The purpose of this organization was to study the energy that humans have and to determine how this energy affected the personalities and abilities of men and women. They have now established that there are three main categories of people: Normals, Nulls, and Nobodies. Normals interact with others, trading energies and impacting one another for the short or long term. Nulls can give energy to others but they cannot receive any. They tend to have no compassion or empathy and often become criminals. Nobodies cannot give their energy to anyone, no matter how they try. They go through life unnoticed, unloved, and unremembered.

   When Nix was just a little boy he was taken in by The Society. Ever since then he has lived in a facility called the institute where members of The Society have trained him to hone his abilities. Nix is a Nobody whom no one really notices or remembers. When he doesn’t want to be seen at all he can even make himself “fade” by becoming at one with his environment. He can literally walk through walls and these skills make him a perfect assassin. So far Nix has killed eleven Nulls, people who were evil to the core and who had to be removed. Nix has always believed what he has been told about his victims, and he has never questioned The Society’s motives.

   Now Nix’s handlers have given him the name of a twelfth Null who needs to be removed. Null is all ready to kill his target, a young girl, when she looks straight at him. The girl, Claire, can see him, which appalls and shocks Nix. Nulls are not supposed to be able to see Nobodies, and if she can see him, then she cannot be a Null. If she isn’t a Null, why has he been told to kill her?

   Rocked to the core by what he has learned, Nix kidnaps Claire and together they figure out that she, like Nix, is a Nobody. At first they cannot understand why The Society would want to get rid of her. How is she a threat to them? Then after doing a little research, they come to realize that The Society is not what it seems. Somehow Nix and Claire need to find out what is really going on, and they have to put a stop to it.

   Written from several points of view, this extraordinary and often quite chilling story will delight and intrigue readers who are fond of thrillers that have science fiction elements. The characters are incredibly authentic and just when readers think they have figured out what is happening, something occurs that changes everything.