REVIEW: Hidden Talents by David Lubar

REVIEW: Hidden Talents by David LubarHidden Talents (Talents #1) by David Lubar
Published: Tor Books (1999), Paperback, 224pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction

Martin Anderson and his friends don’t like being called losers. But they’ve been called that for so long even they start to believe it. Until Martin makes an incredible discovery: each of his friends has a special hidden talent.

Edgeview Alternative School was supposed to be end of the road. But for Martin and his friends, it just might be a new beginning. (from Goodreads)

This is a reread, though the last time I read it was sometime before I started this blog so it’s been at LEAST five years. I remember liking it more back then! The downside of being a book blogger is that you end up reading so many good books so often that books you enjoy pre-book blogging usually pale in comparison (though there are exceptions). Back when this book came out, I think there were less “kids with superpowers” books out? Now it’s a huge thing and there are TONS of characters with telekinesis or whatever and it’s not that big of a deal any more.

Also, I thought the actual plot was less believable than I remembered it being. They just all HAPPEN to have superpowers and they’re all friends and live in the same school– the same ROOMS– and Martin just happens to figure it all out by using pre-Google internet searching? Like, yeah, I suppose it makes sense that kids who cause trouble (via their powers) would eventually filter down into the “bad kid” school, so I guess that part is fine. But the rest of it? Hm.

I did like the balance between non-superpower problems and the scifi/fantasy stuff. For instance, the fight to keep the school open because it being closed would be worse than not having it was something that I wish had been featured even more prominently. Also, I didn’t actually like the solution of getting rid of the SUPER bad kids.1 Bad environments breed bad kids, and I don’t think that shoving all the uber-bullies into the same space and letting them fend for themselves is going to solve anything. I suppose that happens in real life, though, so. Hm.

Anyway, while I didn’t like it as much as I did the last time I read it, I still enjoyed it enough to read the whole thing. It’s a tiny bit dated in that if this book were written today they’d probably all be super spies or something, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book or that it’s not worth reading. I actually think it could get a lot of good mileage in a classroom or something; like, kids could read it and then discuss the many issues in it and what they think, etc.

So, as it turns out, it was worth rereading after all!

Read: May 27-28, 2013

I JUST found out that there’s a sequel! Here it is. I wonder if I should read it?


  1. by what? shoving them into prison or one of the EVEN WORSE schools? Yeah, like that’s going to help

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