After their parents' plane goes down over the ocean, Leo and his brother Hollis are forced into the custody of their rich and enigmatic uncle Crane, a dealer of rare and probably illicit antiques. But almost as soon as he's settled--or as close to settled as he can get in the bleak Brooklyn mansion, surrounded by his uncle's dubious staff--Leo receives a mysterious package his father put together long ago, to be opened on his 13th birthday. With the package, Leo discovers he has an amazing ability. He can hear the history of any object by touching it. But when Leo finds a strange helmet buried among his uncle's artifacts, and hears a pained cry coming from it, a mystery unravels as to its origin.
Following the sudden death of his parents, Leo and his ten year old brother Hollis, are sent to live with their Uncle Crane whose a rare collectibles dealer (and a little on the creepy side). On his thirteenth birthday, Leo is given an envelope from his father containing a letter and a disc with information that are for his eyes and ears only. His father's letter reveals a secret that will change the way Leo sees, or should I say hears the world around him forever. Leo's always known he's a little different but he's never understood why. When he discovers that he can "hear" the objects in his uncle's house, everything begins to make sense to him.
With the help of his best friend Trevor, Leo begins an adventure that that will not only stretch the laws of science and nature but will test the limits of his Uncle Crane's patience as well. Leo learns that with any gift or ability comes the responsibility to use it wisely. This isn't always easy and he'll be faced with making choices that could be costly, not only for those he's trying to protect but for he and Hollis too. Will he make the right choice? Will he live up to the name he was given? Will he listen...really listen?
This book is full of adventure and sci-fi fun and there are plenty of good lessons to be learned. It definitely gives new meaning to the expression, "Listen up!"