The Nobody People imagines a world where our comic books have come to life. People are suddenly developing innate powers, all sorts of powers, as varied as the author’s wide-ranging imagination can make them. A journalist becomes aware of them while investigating two attacks that cannot be explained by contemporary technology. Coincidentally he is approached by the headmaster of a school for these gifted individuals who reveals his own daughter, Emmeline is one of them, the resonants. They describe their power as resonating such that they can sense each other and meet each other in virtual space.
Of course, when they go public, the public panics and nasty propagandists, politicians and national defense professionals conspire to oppress. It is the typical response to anyone different, so we have corrupt pundits hate-mongering and journalists and politicians trying to split the difference between those who want to kill the others and the others who just want to live their lives. Proehl makes valid points about Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance in a situation analogous to today’s refugee and immigrant crisis.
So, I have mixed feelings about The Nobody People. I was interested in the story and cared about the Resonants as a group, but not so much as individuals. In a bit of irony, when the story swung back to one character and I could not remember which of the students she was, she was the one whose talent is being unseen and forgettable. However, some important characters die in the story, and I didn’t even wince with a twinge of regret…well, maybe a twinge.
The message of equality and acceptance is an important one for today, though, and perhaps people may be more receptive when the characters are not from Latin America. The story ends in a way that suggests a sequel and if there is one, I will be eager to read it.
The Nobody People will be released on September 3rd. I received and e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.