Conductoid by M.B. Lehane
Published by Griffin Press
Jack is the eldest of twins. His sister Phoebe & he live with their mother. His father was lost at sea (suspected drowned) when the children were quite young. Jack (Jackson his full name) is a daydreamer, always getting detention at school for ‘losing attention in classes’. Lately when he slept he is visited by a hooded figure that appears to him out of a halo of flames & asks him to perform acts of bravery in saving people. I understand this is the first book of a series. It will be interesting to see how the series unfolds in a future book or books.
Jack is a daydreamer (Jackson is his full first name but everyone calls him Jack unless he is in trouble). When he closes his eyes to sleep, out of the initial darkness an eye emerges which then transforms into a dandelion, a vicious wind eventually arrives & thrashes the dandelion stem until it bends but never breaks, the roots always hold strongly to the soil. Jack was always getting detention due to his constant daydreaming in classes at school. His best friend Ty would wait patiently for him to finish his after school detention & then they would walk home via Dibbles corner store. Sometimes there was a new supply of special Russian treats called Memory Sensations where each had a different memory so as new ones arrived everyone would queue to try them. The Memory Sensations were rationed to one per child. Jacks first encounter with the hooded figure who came out of the flames in his dream, was when he fell asleep on his bed after a particularly bad day at school. Jack could see himself on the bed & could not understand how he could be in two places at once. The hooded figure bade Jack grab his hand & follow. When Jack froze, the hooded figure grabbed his wrist & with a rush of shapes & colours & a feeling of weightlessness, they were transported into another dimension. The hooded figure was beside him & Jack could see a girl drowning out to sea from their vantage point on the cliff where they had landed. Jack was instructed by the hooded figure to save the girl but when he tried to explain he could not swim the hooded figure showered Jack with green light that came from his hands & Jack changed into a creature with silver scales, gills, webbed hands & feet.
After Jack finally rescued the girl & the hooded figure declared she would live, Jack suddenly found himself back in his bed with a feeling of being disorientated. He reasoned it had been a vivid dream of sorts & proceeded to go about his usual business of school & home life. Jack would feel a feathering sensation in his neck each time he was about to fall asleep & see the hooded figure. He could not explain this. Each time the hooded figure would come to him it would be through a halo of flames & he would demand Jack accompany him. Jack was never given any choice in the matter. The second time the hooded figure appeared, Jack was told to save a skydiver whose chute had become twisted & unable to open. The third time, Jack is wrenched from his sleep by the hooded figure, Jack learns he is a Conductoid. He is told he has to assist the police in the arrest of armed robbers by slowing the escape vehicle so they could be captured by the police. It is after this that he finds out the hooded figure is a Master Veriator named Azan or teacher. Jack also learns more about the role of a Conductoid & parallel universes. In each encounter Jack has with the Master Veriator, he discovers more information about parallel universes & universal rules that must not be broken. Each time he is called upon in his dreams to save someone in ways he has never dreamed of before.
When Jack is awake he tries to explain all this to his best friend Ty who thinks Jack is just sharing his dreams, he does not believe it can be truly happening. The same goes for Jack’s twin sister Phoebe.
After many adventures with Azan, the book culminates in a crescendo of Phoebe & Jack finally working together to save Azan’s wife, Zylana, who was imprisoned by a Deluder many centuries prior. Phoebe discovers she wants to be a Conductoid also.
The twins also learn that their father may still be alive in a parallel universe with his memory wiped of his children & wife by the Deluders who want to rule all universes & kill all the humans.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: M.B. Lehane
Illustrator: Aaron Pocock
Publisher: Griffin Press
Published: January 2016