In Hidden Talents, a group of troubled junior high students helped each other discover, and begin to control, the “super powers” that caused so much trouble in their lives. We met Torchie, who starts fires; Flinch, who can see the immediate future; Cheater, who reads minds; Lucky, who hears lost things calling to him; Trash, who moves things with his mind; and Martin, who always knows just the thing to say to make anyone love him or hate him.
But the members of Martin’s gang aren’t faring equally well, now that they have returned to their families and their regular schools. Sure, Flinch spies a bright future in standup comedy on his horizon. And Torchie tends to be happy no matter what – even while his dream of being an accordion virtuoso makes everyone else in his neighborhood miserable. But Martin’s Dad still hates him. Cheater’s attempt to cheat at poker has gotten him beaten within an inch of his life. An unlucky coincidence has driven Lucky out of his mind. And as for Trash…well, try waking up from a drug-induced stupor and finding out that you have been held prisoner for six months, subjected to cruel tests, and presumed dead by everyone you care about?
This is Trash’s story, and it takes the kids from Hidden Talents in a new direction. Suddenly Trash is on the run, trying to escape from an extremely resourceful bad guy, trying to get his old life back. And somehow, he sends a psychic signal that gathers in his old friends so that they can add their amazing talents to Trash’s fight for freedom – and survival.
They are playing a dangerous game, for a group of 14-year-old kids. But fortunately, they have more than their still-developing “talents” to back them up. Each member of Trash’s gang has a true talent that goes deeper than the psychic powers they know about – a talent that may make the difference between being hunted for life and being free.
This story was more of a thriller than the previous book, and (he said with a pathetic whimper) not quite as breathtakingly funny. But Martin, Trash, and their friends still have an inspiring relationship and loads of charm. And there are times in this book when you can’t help but chuckle, or even laugh out loud, at their antics and the “payback” they dole out. After reading the author’s note about the struggle he went through in writing a sequel to Hidden Talents, I am not sure there will be more books in this series…but I am hopeful.