That’s just what Faith Daniels learns she can do in Patrick Carman’s “Pulse.” Faith lives in a dystopian America that has been split into two states, the Western State and Eastern State, which are really more like massive cities that house hundreds of millions of citizens. Faith and her friends live outside the States with a few hundred other stragglers who have chosen to remain outside of these massive towns. Some weird telekinetic phenomena are happening when Faith sleeps, which triggers a slew of likeminded telekinetic teens to scope her out and attempt to recruit her for two different groups that have very different goals. One wants to maintain world peace, the other wants to destroy it.
While I stated one wants world peace and the other doesn’t very simply, it wasn’t that simple to figure out in the book, and I liked that. One of my favorite aspects of Carman’s writing is his ability to keep me guessing as to who the good guy is and who the bad guy is. Both groups want to use Faith for her telekinetic abilities, but it’s never clear which group has the best intentions. It’s clear Clara and Wade Quinn, two beautiful twins, will be Faith’s antagonists, but it’s not so clear what they’re up to and if the people who declare themselves Faith’s friends are up to deeds that are any better.
What I really love about Carman’s book is the emphasis he puts on the power of the mind. There’s the obvious, in that Faith can move things around just by thinking about it, but then there’s the not so obvious in the way stimulation of the mind can allow Faith and her friends to ignore the fact they live in a completely rundown, lousy place. This stimulation comes from their tablets, essentially jacked up versions of iPads. These kids are getting everything their brains need in terms of technology, entertainment, and education from their tablets, allowing them to ignore the desolate environment they live in. Faith even sets up certain programs on her tablet to fool herself into thinking that her life is completely normal. That Carman was able to show how intricate our minds can be, demonstrating how we can go so far as to know we are tricking ourselves yet still succeed in the trick, was just fascinating to me!
I got so pulled in by this book I found myself staring at the pages and trying to turn them with my mind. Definitely pick up Patrick Carman’s “Pulse,” even if it has to be the good ol’ fashion way using your hands.
Writing that keeps you guessing as to who is good and who is bad.
Fascinating development on the power of the human mind.