Jun 122014
cover of The Shibboleth by John Hornor Jacobs. Behind dark silhouettes of pine trees looms a great red skull, wisps of blue mist traveling through it.This is a book like no other. Shreve, a teenage delinquent who is a thief and a dealer of contraband candy, has an enormous power for which he struggles to find a place. His telepathy eventually causes him to join the Society of Extranaturals, and his journey is all mental, an exploration of the human psyche that turns his entire world upside down. This novel is a superb telling of what it means to be different, existing physically and mentally on the outskirts of society. Jacobs is a master of the supernatural story, leading readers along dark and winding paths containing secrets, evil, and unimaginable power. Told from a male point of view, The Shibboleth will appeal mostly to boys and any reader who loves dark tales of action, adventure, and the supernatural.
Fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon has the ability to read people’s minds and absorb their memories. It is a dangerous power, one that pushes him to the brink of insanity. In the second installment of the Twelve-Fingered Boy trilogy, Shreve is back in the custody of the state of Arkansas, this time in a mental institution for juvenile delinquents. His friend Jack, the twelve-fingered boy, is held captive by Mr. Quincrux, the strange man who possesses the same telepathic ability as Shreve. Shreve sees Quincrux as a murderer and a demon who gets into people’s minds and manipulates their thoughts and memories for evil purposes. Shreve is summoned by Quincrux to join him and Jack on the east coast and put a stop to the contagious wave of insomnia spreading across the country. Quincrux fears the slumbering beast that resides in Maryland, a group of “impenetrables” who have unknown powers. Quincrux needs Shreve’s abilities to harness this unknown power for his own benefit. —Lindsay Grattan.