cover image Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Orson Scott Card. Blackstone, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9826-1341-9

In this uneven novel by Card, a young man with the “micropower” to locate lost items must explore new applications of his abilities after the police enlist him to find a kidnapped girl. At first, Ezekiel Blast, 14, is reluctant to help; previous misunderstandings over his abilities have left him branded a thief with a healthy, even obnoxious, distrust of authority. But with the assistance of his new friend Beth, a girl with proportionate dwarfism, and a support group dedicated to those with similarly unusual powers, Ezekiel succeeds in tracking down the missing child. Then Beth is taken, and Ezekiel must find her before she suffers a terrible fate. While Card (The Hive) starts with an intriguing premise, the story devolves into ongoing commentary and extrapolation about the micropowers. In addition, many of the younger characters, especially Ezekiel and Beth, sound inauthentic and overly adult. Readers may also be disturbed by the narrative’s sudden twist into poorly integrated darker material, such as the introduction of a pedophiliac pornography/snuff ring. While this story raises provocative questions about family, friendship, and the value of individual abilities, the irregular narrative tone and disjointed parts fail to cohere. Ages 12–up. [em](Sept.) [/em]