Rebel Genius

Rebel Genius

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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A new fantasy-adventure series from the co-creator of the hit animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra !

In twelve-year-old Giacomo's Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. A few artists possess Geniuses, birdlike creatures that are the living embodiment of an artist's creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he's in serious trouble.

Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools--objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path--Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.

"DiMartino masterfully weaves a thrilling action-adventure epic into an imaginative and terrifying world." --Bryan Konietzko, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

" Rebel Genius is a natural extension of Michael Dante DiMartino's work on Avatar: The Last Airbender : charming young heroes, magical creatures, an innovative magic system, and mysteries galore. There is so much to love about this book!" --Gene Yang, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author of American Born Chinese

"DiMartino delivers a magical take on the power of art. With a cast that will charm you and an innovative new world to get lost in, Rebel Genius is a gift for fantasy lovers and a treasure for anyone who has ever tried to pick up a brush or a pen and make something new. A lively, thrilling spin on the struggle to create."--Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows series

" Rebel Genius contains all of Mike DiMartino's hallmarks: an exquisite world dripping with magic and color, a cast of incredible, diverse characters, and artwork that will take your breath away. Get ready to fall in love." --Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy and the Young Elites trilogy

" Rebel Genius is a mind-blowing new series, a passionate blend of adventure, mystery, and puzzle-solving that has no end to its imagination." --Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good and Evil trilogy

Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781626723368
Branch Call Number: J FIC DiMar
Characteristics: 370 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.


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forbesrachel Sep 13, 2017

Young Giacomo has lived most of his life alone in the sewers in order to evade the totalitarian regime in the Zizzolan Empire, and practice his art. He loves to draw, but creating art has been outlawed, as were the Genius (bird-like beings who are the physical embodiment of one’s inspiration). This brave boy’s life drastically changes though on the day that his own Genius appears. From there on out, he and his newfound friends must race against the clock to learn the art, find one of the Creator’s own tools before their enemies do, and uncover the secret behind Giacomo’s origins. By the end, the story is nicely wrapped up, but has enough threads left for the next book to explore. The Renaissance-influenced setting, and sacred geometry-inspired magic, gives Rebel Genius a distinct look and feel when compared to other Fantasy stories that are written for middle-graders. In addition to his fairly solid explanations of how things look and work, the author has included drawn illustrations throughout; these really help with our visualization, and are quite a welcome sight in a book dedicated to the theme of creativity. Like with his work in Avatar: the Last Airbender, and the Legend of Korra, DiMartino demonstrates his talent at portraying opposing ideologies through his world and cast. In this case, there are those who believe that people should be free to create whatever they want, even if it defies the natural or god-made order, and on the opposite side are those who see this ability to create as a powerful tool, one which should only be used by a select few. Giacomo is the one that sits between these two ideas, and gets swayed by arguments from both sides. He is the most built up at this point; without this, he would have been another bland “chosen one”. However, many of the characters are at least given a good foundation which would be easy to develop later on. Rebel Genius shows hints of genius, and is certainly one to recommend to fans of Fantasy series like Harry Potter, and those who are more generally interested in the arts.

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