Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino


Giacomo Ghiberti is, by no means, an ordinary 12-year-old. He is an orphan who lives in a dark and oppressive empire, where artists like himself are harmed at every turn. However, a select few have a unique power – if the correct opportunity presents itself, they receive a Genius, a birdlike creature that expands someone’s power and creativity. Giacomo is struggling to find food one day when a wave of screaming colors engulfs him and he faints. As he recovers and the lights disappear, he finds a small hummingbird hovering near him. He does not realize yet, but this moment will change his life forever. In the next few days, he finds a group of teenagers slightly older than him, all with Geniuses. They lead and introduce him to their mentor, Pietro, who teaches them how to harness their powers. Eventually, he finds that there are certain Sacred Tools which would allow artists to reshape the universe as desired. Giacomo and his friends embark on a journey to find one of them, but obstacles hinder each of their moves. Even more, they are not the only ones seeking it. In a race against time, Giacomo must see if he can stand the trials ahead of him, and if he will be able to accept who he truly is and the sacrifices that are to come.

I found that this was a very enjoyable and entertaining read. The author develops the characters well and ensures that the different situations throughout the book remain interesting. The plot too has been weaved intricately, while making sure to have twists and turns that the reader could never predict. The suspense makes the audience want to keep reading and continue to the end, to discover all the outcomes and see how everything revolves. This book had an overall light mood, and there is some humor which improves the quality. I find this story exceptional in a variety of ways, and would recommend it to a friend.

Much of this book is memorable, but a unique aspect consists of the author’s creativity. Most modern fiction usually consists of fragmented stories that have been borrowed from predecessors, but this book was not one of them. I experienced in this book a refreshingly new idea, with unique characteristics I had never expected. Even further, there are illustrations throughout this story that emphasize certain sections.


Reviewed by Shivram, Grade 9, Gayton Library

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