Gordon Korman's books are difficult to put down. "Hypnotize Me," the first book in "The Hypnotists" series, is no exception. It's about (no spoiler here) hypnotism and its power.
The protagonist, Jax Opus, has strange eyes which change color. Also, strange things seem to be happening to him. The reader will realize what is happening before Jax does, and the reader will be hooked.
Jax is a likable character although he is almost too good to be true. He is honest (when he can be), and always wants to do the right thing. He doesn't understand why strange things happen around him until his special ability causes him to be invited to a special institute.
At Sentia, the institute where he will learn to harness and use his abilities, he meets Elias Mako, friend to the famous. In fact, his waiting room is papered with photos of Mako with power people -- actors, politicians and millionaires. Mako assures Jax that he will be using his skills to help to make the world a better place.
Jax also meets Axel Braintree, a former criminal and hypnotist who runs a help group for hypnotists trying to break the habit of fleecing those they are able to hypnotize. While Mako and his rich institute ooze power and influence, Braintree's group meets in the back of a laundromat and includes former convicts, among others.
When Jax finds out what Mako really wants, he's unable to extricate himself from Mako's web of deceit. Jax, with the help of his friend Tommy, must stop Mako's nefarious scheme. There's a lot of action and excitement as Jax tries to stay a step ahead of Mako.
Like Korman's "Swindle" series, "Hypnotize Me" will certainly draw Korman fans into this new series. Perfect for readers from third grade through seventh.
Please note: This review is based on the advance reader's copy provided by the publisher, Scholastic Press, for review purposes.
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