The Given (Interland Series Book #1) by Gary Clark

An ingeniously crafted SF adventure…

Taut suspense, deeply realized characterization, and original premise mark this excellent SF adventure by Clark. Jay has spent years waiting to see if she will be bestowed with the powers of Given, a person with the ability to read minds, or stay a regular human. As soon as she turns eighteen, the dormant power lying within her begins to come to surface, attracting the attention of Markus, a level 8 Reader. In a world where reading minds is against the law, Jay’s power soon becomes her biggest enemy. To stay alive, she must escape the government-appointed Readers and find a safe sanctuary while navigating her growing powers. Clark’s characterization is right on the spot, particularly with Jay, whose coming-of-age journey is full of tension and intrigue as she comes to terms with her inner power, letting go of the fear and insecurities that have haunted her adolescent life. Cassie is a perfect mix of cunning and flaws. Sammy and Stitch are equally convincing. The thrilling cat-and-mouse game between Jay and her friends and Readers keeps the pages turning while Clark deepens the portrait of Jay and the group and the Readers on their trail. The backstory of the history of Given and Readers is scarce, making it a bit difficult for readers to take to Jay’s story immediately. Still, Clark does a good job drawing readers into his characters’ anguish and fear, including the antagonists’, and builds to a clever, satisfying finale. This excellent, quiet and yet electric SF tale will delight both lovers of YA and adult speculative fiction.

The Given

(Interland Series Book #1)

By Gary Clark

GCL Books

Buy now

Pub date February 20, 2021

ISBN 978-1838401009

Price $10/99 (USD) Paperback, $2.38 Kindle edition



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