The Hypnotists: Book One
Jackson Opus, or Jax, had always had an affect on people. Call it what you want, but Jax seemed to command people’s presence wherever he went. At least that is what Jax’s best friend, Tommy, would always tell him. At any rate, Jax didn’t think much about it and considered himself just a lucky and well-liked kid. Jax’s effect on other people really didn’t bother him much until one fateful day that would change his life forever. When his school goes on a field trip to see a local Vaudeville show that featured a hypnotist and Jax somehow convinces the hypnotist himself to believe he was a chicken, Jax can’t shake the feeling that perhaps he has some control over people that he didn’t know about.
"THE HYPNOTISTS takes the basic premise of hypnotism that we’ve all either seen or experienced and runs with it. There’s a lot more at stake in this action-packed adventure than watching someone walking around stage, acting like a chicken."
The letter that arrived the next day at school proved he had no idea just how much control he could have over people. Dr. Elias Mako, the founder and director of the Sentia Institute, personally invites Jax to attend the institute and eventually reveals that Jax has special powers --- as a hypnotist. Jax soon learns that he comes from a long line of hypnotists on both his mother’s and father’s side. Rather than train Jax to perform simple circus hypnotist tricks or rob people blind, Elias Mako tells Jax that together they can change the world for the better.
At first, Jax doesn’t know what to think. Elias Mako has rubbed elbows with some of the most powerful and popular people in the world and promises to open doors for Jax. Elias teaches Jax about the connection Jax has with the people he hypnotizes and how to control his power. The other students at the institute seem nice enough, but the competition is bloodthirsty, and not everyone is thrilled to have Jax, the new “golden boy,” showing them up. Jax also meets a fellow that heads up a group called the Sandmen, hypnotists that struggle with using their power for evil, and warns Jax that Elias Mako is a dangerous, dangerous man.
Struggling with whom to trust, Jax doesn’t know what to do next. It’s only after Jax learns that he can hypnotize people remotely via video that Elias Mako makes his move. Elias has plans to put a senator that is under his control into the office of the president, and only Jax can make a video that will convince people to vote Elias’s way --- or else. With nowhere to turn, Jax gives in, but now it’s a race against time to both save the people he loves and stop a madman from taking over the world!
THE HYPNOTISTS takes the basic premise of hypnotism that we’ve all either seen or experienced and runs with it. There’s a lot more at stake in this action-packed adventure than watching someone walking around stage, acting like a chicken. Although brief in nature and explanation, I’m hoping that Gordon Korman expands the Hypnotists universe in the next books, as the backstory and bloodline connection with famous people as hypnotists throughout history was fascinating. Plus, I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with how hypnotists, especially Jax, struggle to do the right thing when it’s simple and easy to get people to do whatever you want them to do. Just don’t freak out when you start feeling sleepy, very sleepy…
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on June 26, 2013