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As a child, Erin Michelle Sky fell in love with llamas and with the books of Anne McCaffrey, whose Dragonriders of Pern series inspired her to become a writer. When she finally met Anne McCaffrey at a fantasy convention some two decades later, she wept uncontrollably throughout the entire affair. She does significantly better with llamas.
Steven Brown spent his childhood reading anything he could get his hands on, sharing his favorite stories with his younger brothers and then acting them out, especially if this required sword fighting on horseback. When they ran out of books, he wrote his own, including his brothers as the main characters by sketching original illustrations on magazine clippings.
Together, they are the permanent writing team known as Dragon Authors. You can find them most often online on Twitter and on their blog, where they review other books and create stick figure videos for YouTube. (And occasionally talk about their own work.)
Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite
Standardized testing takes on a whole new meaning in The Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown. When schools start testing intuition, five teenagers and one very special little boy from eclectic backgrounds are thrown together by Homeland Security in a special summer program to develop their unconscious abilities. Kept in the dark about the serious nature of their training, the kids quickly bond and learn that what one man cannot do alone, a uniquely developed team of teenagers can accomplish with flair.
I love, love, love The Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown. From the time the authors took to set up each character in individual chapters before throwing them together in a group setting to the touching relationship between the tough-guy gamer and the tender-hearted young boy from an abusive background, every chapter is honed to a fine point. Every detail builds upon the last to create a picture of team building and discovery that is carefully orchestrated under the care of Ammu, their instructor and mentor. He is the type of educator all teachers should aspire to become. Even under extreme pressure, he fights for what is good and right for his students.
Sky and Brown did not skip out on the visuals either. From the secret inner vision of people’s souls that only Sketch can see to the magnificent detail of the mythical beasts, I was drawn deeper into the story, and when the story was done, I felt both satisfied and saddened to leave my new BFFs. Now, where do I sign up for my golden gryphon cub?
I want to start this review by stating that I received an arc paperback of the book from the authors in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes or affects my review.
I was a little bit sceptical at first when I saw that the main characters of this book were quite young. But my worries quickly proved to be unfounded and I was actually quite impressed with how maturely the characters were written and how much I enjoyed them and their interactions!
I was instantly drawn into the story and couldn't stop turning the pages! It's such an unique and interesting concept, I just couldn't get enough of it! I liked that it was kind of like superpowers but at the same time it really wasn't. Each character had such an original ability and I really loved how they all worked together as unit to bring about an incredibly awesome result!
I quickly grew to really love each character as well, despite their ages they really were a great cast of characters. Other than their abilities, they each brought something special to the story and I definitely couldn't pick a favourite if I even tried!
I also very much enjoyed how fast paced and action packed the story was. There wasn't a chapter that went by without an interesting or exciting development and it made the pages fly by. And with the way it ended, it definitely left me wanting, no NEEDING more!
I can barely contain my excitement over this book. I was really surprised. What I got was a book I couldn’t put down…you’d have to pry it out of my hands as I read it, glued to the pages.
The POV shifts several times between our six characters.
We start with Roman, and we learn that he sees things around people that no one else sees: angry red bees around his bully of a brother or fairy wings sprouting from his little sister’s back. He is afraid to tell anyone bc he knows no one else sees what he does: he just draws it all in a sketchbook to keep his mom from worrying about his “hallucinations.”
Sam intrinsically knows the time, all the time. She feels like she’s always waiting for something to happen, but she just doesn’t know what. It’s incredibly frustrating for her. The only time she feels a sense of urgency is when a strange test is announced at school: finally, Sam knows she’s supposed to take this test. She just doesn’t know why.
Daniel loves music and stays relatively upbeat. His friends, however, seem to call to mind certain music depending on their mood. Because of his perfect pitch, Daniel has a running soundtrack in his mind all day, but it doesn’t bother him while taking the strange standardized test at school that asks questions like “What is the best color,” or “when is it too hot?” He just goes with the flow as the music plays on in the background.
Mackenzie misses her dad. As a military “brat,” she goes from place to place, but she looks forward to the Skype calls every Sunday: this is when she can tell her father about all the fight matches she wins. She always seems to know when her opponent is going to move against her. When she gets an invitation to join a special school for the summer, she’s just glad to get away.
Kaitlyn works after school at a repair shop, fixing almost anything. It’s as if she can just see what’s wrong with the machines and lacking schematics, she finds the issue and fixes it. It relaxes her and she is always looking forward to the next broken toaster or lawnmower. When invited to the school, she worries about her grandmother…but the Institute assures her that she will be taken care of while Kaitlyn is gone.
Rush is a talented gamer: he’s so talented that he’s guaranteed himself a spot touring as a professional gamer. When he takes the test, he just fills in whatever because he knows it doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, when the results come back that he’s been accepted into the summer program, it throws a serious wrench into his summer plans and career goals. At the insistence of his father, he goes, but he’s not happy about it.
These six “students” don’t realize they’ve just been recruited for skills they don’t even know they possess….
To stop a threat they didn’t even know existed.
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
Oh, yes yes yes! This book has some great characters and each is fully fleshed out. The plot is enticing and the concept of the “intuition” that guides us is a great discussion topic. This could bring up talents we don’t even know we have, and we can talk about the different kinds of intuition: fear, fight-or-flight, emotional, etc. It has characters that range from 11-17, so there’s someone every student can identify with, and there’s both girl/boy POVs so it’s not geared more for this reader or that.
A lot of fun could be had with this text: it ends in a good place but also leaves room for speculation of a sequel. Mythology and modern-day meet to create an interesting concept of other planes of existence. The head of the group, Ammu, has an ancient text with all sorts of creatures that can be discussed.
The book is the guide to the realm and each person plays a part. I would definitely give The Intuitives ★★★★★ for classroom use, which is a rare rating for any book!
I would recommend as low as 11 if the reader was avid, but would settle comfortably at 13 if the reader is unmotivated. I feel this is s book that could motivate reluctant readers for sure.
I LOVED The Intuitives! I want more. I NEED more. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Let’s just say that if people like this, there will be more, so we NEED people to like this book!
It’s OBVIOUSLY ★★★★★.
See more reviews on my blog Novels and Necklaces
Actual rating: 4.5 stars!
There is a lot to love about this story and I was hooked right from the start! With an interesting and unique plot, fantastic characters, and brilliant writing...there is no way you won't love this story!
I want to intentionally stay a little vague in regards to the plot because it's better to stay in the dark until you actually find out what is going on. However, what I will say is that this story is told from multiple POVs. Every teenager has a unique ability--for example, Roman sees things no one else sees; Sam intrinsically knows the time; Daniel loves music and basically has a soundtrack in his head for every situation and person; Mackenzie is a skilled fighter: Kaitlyn can fix anything and everything; and Rush is an extremely talented gamer. The only perspective we don't read much from is Roman, which I definitely would like to see his side of things more. After each of the teens takes a standardized test that gives them the opportunity to join a "special" summer program, all of these abilities start coming into play in a way none of them (including the reader) expect.
While the story was a little slow in the beginning, this was because we get background on each of the 6 main characters. We learn a little bit about each of them and what their lives are like (as well as the sacrifices they must make to attend the program). However, after they arrive at the program, the story quickly picks up the pace and has you at the edge of your seat! I definitely didn't have any idea where this book was headed which was exciting to me as a reader because I liked to be surprised. Each character is very well-developed by the end of this book in my opinion, and it was fun to see how each of their abilities figured in to the bigger picture and underlying plot. I loved watching all of them come together and form a team, even though initially none of them wanted to be working with each other. The group dynamic was fantastically written, and I am interested to see how this plays out in future books!
I think the thing I appreciated the most about this book is that it could have been incredibly predictable...but it wasn't! The Intuitives felt new and fun, like nothing I have read previously. There was the perfect balance of action, world-building, and character development throughout the story. The book just had a good flow, and that was something that kept me glued to the page.
There was a minor subplot that tried to incorporate romance between several characters. However, I truly didn't think this was needed. This was the only part of the story that felt more forced and unnatural. It kind of seemed like an afterthought in some scenes. Maybe with a bit more development in future books, this aspect will grow to be something I like. But for now, not the biggest fan. The only other thing that was a bit confusing for me was the nicknames of the characters. Because there are 6 main characters it became a little overwhelming to remember who was who (especially when you can't actually see the characters except inside your head). On top of this, the characters went by both names throughout the story. So, in essence, you had 12 different main character names to remember. And that's a lot for anyone! I wish the authors just stuck with 1 name consistently.
I highly recommend this new novel! It's thrilling and exciting to the very last page, and something new and different. The story is unpredictable and will have you on the edge of your seat and begging for more after the conclusion. I can't wait to see what is next in the series!
I generously received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was so addicting that I finished it in less than two days. I couldn't wait to find out what the Homeland Security wanted with a group of kids and then later to learn of their special abilities.
I loved learning about different mythological creatures, how an unlikely group of kids learned how to work together and finally learning a bit about what was going on.
This book was a fascinating mix of mystery, adventure, humor, magic and the power of believing in the unexpected.
From the way it ended, I really hope there's a sequel because I want to know more and see what next adventure could be around the corner! If you like a bit of Egyptian myth tossed in with the modern world, you'll really enjoy this book. Plus there's an adorable Gryphon!
So what did I like about this book? Ummm... Everything! What wasn't there to like! Intriguing characters, government secrets, ancient legends and mysterious abilities. Oh, and mythical creatures! Even the lack of romantic plot did not deter me!
The story begins in Egypt, where Alexander the Great's tomb has been opened, then moves ahead 7 years to present day America, where the students are about to undergo a new standardized test. The plot itself definitely kept me guessing. I have to admit, I had no idea which direction the story would head. Which was rather refreshing. Yes, it was a book about a group of kids finding their secret powers and banding together to battle the forces of darkness. Yet it was still a refreshingly original story-line. There was so many predictable ways the plot could have gone, yet I could not predict the outcome. I had several "OMG I didn't see THAT coming' moments, which I absolutely love. The story just flowed seamlessly, and the pacing and tension was right on point. Plus I just love Erin and Steven's writing style!
Each character is uniquely different and I love them ALL! But, I would have to say Rush is my favorite. Surprise! I loved the moody brooding guy! I dunno why, I just tend to always have a thing for the grumpy ones. He is the only one of the six, who REALLY does not want to be there, but with his Pro gaming career depending on him participating in the secret summer program, he attends under sufferance. But, as is the way, things happen, and Rush is forced to make some tough choices along the way and becomes more than the moody gamer kid by books end.
One of the things I loved seeing was all these vastly different kids, from completely different backgrounds become a tight knit group of friends. Some of my favorite scenes are when they are all just hanging out, getting to know each other and giving each other nicknames. And the way Rush and Roman bonded in such a brotherly way made me smile so, so much.
I could not put this book down once I started. Work commitments prevented me from getting much reading done, but once I finally got to it, I read the almost whole thing in a day!
I will be definitely be hoping for more books in this series. I definitely recommend having a read.
Erin & Steven are great authors. I've enjoyed reading all of their works. The Intuitives is no different. From the beginning to the end, I was enthralled by the creativity, atmosphere and character development throughout this tale.
The careful and meticulous attention given to each character, setting, time, and space was more than I expected (I expect a lot from them).
I fully encourage everyone to give this book a read. I consider it a must read. I've read it twice now, and will revisit it a third time. I honestly can't wait until my youngest daughter is old enough to read this book.
Bring on the good reads.
I won this book here on goodreads. Oh My God! It has been a long time since a book has hooked me so that I could not put it down. I read this in 2 days - but only because I had to go to work. I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a series because I NEED the story to continue. The character introduction and development was pure genius. The story line had just enough twists and turns to keep me interested. There was a bit of predictability but one didn't know the exact form it would take - that without giving anything away. Fantasy, mystery, romance, humor, suspense. The perfect combination. I cannot wait until I can read more from this incredible author, and I cannot wait to learn what other surprises are in store for Rush, Sam, Sketch, Kaitlyn, Daniel, and MacKenzie.
Vivid images will spark your imagination in this captivating battle between good and evil, leaving readers anxiously awaiting a sequel! Great read for anyone young or old who enjoys science fiction and even for those who didn’t know they did.
The Intuitives was one of the best Young Adult books I've read in awhile. At first you might think it's going to be another dystopian adventure involving young teens saving something...but it's so much more than that! It builds on the lives of six young people, each with a special set of gifts that sometimes alienates them from the world at large. As they are drawn into a world that uses their collective gifts in a way they could never have imagined, one sees the inner obstacles they must overcome and the personal bonds they form. This novel is meticulously written and beautifully crafted. Part thriller, part fantasy, it captures the imagination and leaves you wanting more. Libraries will be clamoring for this one for their Young Adult collection, and I'll be the first in line. I'm ready for the sequel!
It didn't take me long to become completely engulfed by The Intutitives! I devoured this book, pausing my reading only when absolutely necessary. When real life intruded and I needed to put the book down, I found my mind returning to The Intuitives' incredibly engaging characters or guessing what turn the plot would take next. This book is the perfect blend of fantasy and science, of smarts and heart. I'm already looking forward to a sequel and I think it would be a great movie!
Overall, I thought this story was very unique for the YA genre. Popular tropes and themes were definitely incorporated, but they didn't feel the same as in other books. This book follows six main characters, each with an unique ability, which was my favorite aspect of this story. None of them have far-fetched powers, but rather are exceptionally gifted at an ordinary skill. I really fell in love with the characters, and Roman and Mackenzie were my favorites.
The one aspect of this book that ended up ultimately lowering my rating was the use of nicknames. All six main characters are given "gamer-tags" shortly into the story. While I liked the idea of these gamer tags, I felt like it would have been better implemented if they had been introduced after a bit more character introduction/development. Because they were introduced so soon, I constantly would be confused about who they were talking about, especially since it would switch between given name and nickname.
I thought the plot was strong, and the ending was particularly strong. It wrapped up this story nicely, while leaving room for the story to expand in any possible future works.
This book was incredible!! The suspense and government involvement kept it really interesting. The characters were intelligent and great!! I enjoyed every page of this! I will be telling all my friends to read this book. I think even the grandson will enjoy this one. The characters kept me guessing for awhile, but the outcome was great!! I hope to read more books that these two write, this one is a KEEPER!!! You will definitely enjoy the read! Thank you so much!!
This book is so amazing! I would recommend anyone to read this. Hopefully one day this story makes it into a film so we can watch the true magic and power of the imagination come to life. Absolutely loved the story line and detail and heart put into The Intuitives !
I loved the Intuitives! It has everything, not just for " young adults", but for old ones too. There is adventure, mystery, suspense, even a hint of romance, all brought together by an incredible cast of characters. And the development of that cast was masterful. This reader felt that she knew each one of the six young people as they lived through an amazing adventure. They grew as each chapter unfolded. Read this book and travel with them.
If you have an advanced middle or high school student who loves fantasy/speculative fiction, adventure stories, and stories of friendship, I highly recommend that you give that kid this book! It is a page turner that is great for lovers of suspense and adventure. The characters are very well crafted, and the plot line reminds us of the importance of the imagination, intuition, the unconscious mind, and most of all friendship. Recommended.
It's a common YA plot: a group of kids with unique perspectives about the world find that what makes them different is what might make them heroes. I'm reminded at the moment of Welcome to the Ark, with a dash of The Unwanteds or The Lightning Thief. Here, 6 kids test into a government funded program to expand their unique 'intuitions' -in the hope that they will be able to save the world. The story is set in the modern, scientific world but takes a turn towards the fantastic around the time a gryphon shows up to play fetch.
I enjoyed this immensely.
First, it's a well written book. As a fan of YA and fiction, I've put up with a lot of stacked adverbs, partial sentences, and heavy handed metaphors for the sake of an interesting plot. This plot will draw you in, and the writing will make it a smooth ride until the end. I especially liked going back to each kid's introduction and seeing the language clues to their intuitive powers that weren't revealed until the end.
The research for a variety of specific backgrounds and skills was solid. As a soldier, a teacher, a gamer, and an appliance repairman, everything I read felt authentic. The authors captured glimpses of those experiences and I never felt like they were trying to bluff through the scenes with a few Googled buzzwords.
The characters are fun. The kids, and the adults working with them, are all unique without embedding in any stereotypes. I held my breath more than a few times -cheering on a new favorite character every couple scenes.
The pacing and tension stays on throughout. I finished reading the book in a single sitting.
I recommend this book to any fan of the genre. It's well executed and full of interesting ideas that bear thinking about even after the last page. I hope the story continues, just because I'm not ready to say goodbye to the characters yet.
This was one of the best books I've read. The character development was phenomenal. It made me feel as if I knew each character. I loved the concept of the main plot. It was very unique and refreshing. This book has something for everyone. It has drama, action, adventure, and twists that you won't see coming. I can't wait to see the what happens in the many books that are sure to come from this series. I want to thank the authors for giving me the opportunity to be one of the first ones to read this gem. It was an absolute pleasure to read.