There's tons of stuff in Hex to get excited about if you're a fan of science fiction, pacy thrillers and absorbing characters. Rhiannon Lassiter wrote this, her first novel, when she was 17--but it doesn't show. The writing is crisp, the narrative engrossing, and the atmospheric vision of a world capital city in the late 21st Century is scarily believable. Raven is a young, black-clad teenage youth of the future, born with a mutant gene that affords her an incredible power--the ability to control computer networks by thought alone. As a "Hex"" she can interface with machinery, reach out to explore remote databases anywhere on the planet and break through security codes with the flick of a neural pathway. Unfortunately, in the high-rise London of 2367, such powers are considered freakish in the extreme and these Hexes are hunted down with startling brutality. Raven--on the run, aloof and seemingly without passion--is contacted by her brother, Wraith. He's looking for their younger sister who has been captured by the authorities and who is currently the subject of wicked experimentation. Together they must evade capture, recruit a motley crew to help them break their sibling out from a top secret test centre--and stay alive. It's a tough mission, but they're prepared to die trying. And, judging by the security they must evade to reach her, they might have to. Hex explores some wonderful concepts and introduces a world full of new ideas, words, gadgets and surprises--and is just the first part of a highly accomplished trilogy of Sci-fi thrillers. Hex: Shadows and especially Hex: Ghosts are both worth reading as well to complete the Hex experience. Age 11 plus. -- John McLay "