This is the fourth instalment of The Medusa Project – a sequence following the fortunes of four extraordinary teenagers. It all started with The Set-up, in which readers were introduced to the four, to their abilities – and to the basis for the story through the character of Nico. The next two episodes featured Ed and Ketty. Now it is the turn of Dylan, the glamorous, but least attractive character, of the quartet. She is determined to find out more about her parents and how they died – even if this compromises the team. But now there is the complication of the attractive, Harry.
Those who are already fans of The Medusa Project will not be disappointed. The story moves on at a satisfying pace and we learn more details about the original project; discover more about their opponents – and about our protagonists. Those who are coming to the series for the first time will certainly want to go back to catch up. McKenzie writes in an easy contemporary style that suits the fast-moving nature of her story, where action follows action and chapters end with a punch. While the premise is not particularly original, by using the device of four different narrators, McKenzie is able to introduce a much wider range of incident, emotions, relationships and issues. Her characters, while not aspiring to great depth, are convincing as teens, and their struggles to come to terms with their abilities allows developmental growth – in the case of Dylan, unselfishness and a willingness to trust. This is set within the framework of a thriller, a thriller that cleverly combines Dylan’s personal quest as she searches for the truth about her background and the ongoing story of the Medusa gene and its potential for good – or ill, and the villains who want to control it. It is this ongoing plot that allows McKenzie to sustain her series, and fans will be keen to follow the next instalment as Dylan and her friends leave for France following yet another cryptic clue.
Exciting, fast moving, accessible, this is a commendable addition to the series that young teen readers will enjoy.