Mad Skills- Walter Greatshell

Written By: Kellie - Sep• 20•11

Synopsis: Unconscious for fourteen months after a debilitating accident, Maddy Grant awakens at the Braintree Institute, where scientists have successfully implanted her with a radical technology designed to correct her brain injury. But Maddy is more than cured. Her intellect has been enhanced to process information faster than a computer-an ability that’s sending her emotions into overdrive.

To monitor her condition, the institute sends Maddy to the nearby village of Harmony, where she will be free to interact with the community. But Braintree’s scientists are not only monitoring her behavior, they’re modifying it, reprogramming her personality to become someone else. A killer. -Goodreads

Review: Maddy Grant had an accident, an accident that should have killed her outright. Instead, it caused a severe brain injury that even a year of treatment could barely improve on. So in a last ditch hope and a prayer move, her parents allowed the Braintree Institute to perform a radical new procedure that gave Maddy the brain of a super computer. Cool, right?

This book starts out really well, setting up the accident, the recovery and the superpower like side effects. Then, when we are just getting to see what Maddy can do with her new brain (which for me, was the entire pull of the book), things start to get really weird. It quickly becomes Maddy vs. Braintree and she’s not really using her super brain to stop them. Instead, she’s hallucinating a talking raccoon, dreaming about murdering people and hanging out with well… I wont tell you, but I will say I saw it coming and I don’t really see the point.

Maddy starts out as a typical teenage girl, practically stereotypical, so it’s interesting seeing how new ‘Super Maddy’ reflect back on her old self and the things that used to be important to her. It’s something everyone can relate too, just on a less extreme scale. But once things start to get weird I felt like I was struggling just to follow the storyline, let alone actually connect to any of the characters.

I think the missing of connections had something to do with a lack of emotion in the writing. At one point Maddy is having a heart to heart with her parents, basically about things they’re greatful for. They’re all sitting there talking, just discussing things calmly, or so I think. Then at the end of the conversation the author throws in that they’re all weeping, and it just seems so out of place. Before that statement there was no real indicators of an emotional buildup, it was just there. It just didn’t feel genuine.

On the other hand, the adventure part of the story was well written so if that is what you primarily look for in books, I actually do recommened it. This book reads more like a sci-fi action movie (I probably would have loved it as a movie) than a multi-layered novel so it just wasn’t for me, but I’m sure for some people out there this book was several levels of awesome.

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Second Opinions
@ The Big Thrill
@ Night Owl Sci Fi

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