________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV . . . . August 31, 2007


Visions. (The Freak Trilogy, Book 2).

Carol Matas.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter, 1997/2007.
181 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55263-932-0.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Linda Wood.

***½ /4

Reviewed from Uncorrected Proof.


"Perhaps there are many, many time lines and each and every choice we make creates new ones, and then more new ones. And maybe some time lines are more likely to happen then others. But that doesn’t mean that the less likely ones can’t happen as well —— sometimes." - Dad

"...in the idea of parallel universes...Chopra talks about our brain being like, well, a radio. Our brains are just receivers, but our minds are universal." - Susie

"I wonder if there could be some sort of genetic link...Like gene mutation or something that lets people like me tune in." - Jade


Jade, the reluctant psychic, is back in the sequel to author Carol Matas’ The Freak. This time, Jade is receiving some eerily realistic dreams linked to a murderer running amok on the -35C mean streets of Winnipeg. The city remains so bitterly cold that Jade soon falls ill with a fever, a situation severely limiting her capacity to access her powers.

     Jade is also keeping her psychic powers a secret from her best friend. There is an impenetrable dark cloud surrounding both Susie and Susie’s mother. If Jadecan trust Susie, it just might mean the difference between life or death for Susie’s mother, a nurse at a local hospital. If she hesitates, Mrs. Norman might be a killer’s next victim!

     Susie has a new job as a math tutor teaching a group of younger students. When Jade joins her for her first class, she can read nearly all of them, all of them that is but one. Something is blocking her ability to read Bob. Is it her fever or something else?

     Compounding Jade’s life is that her Grade 10 math teacher, Mrs. Mahon, wants to bump her up to Mr. Chesney’s advanced Grade 11 class. She can’t tell them that shesees the answers to her math problems popping into her head!

     Jade meets John Smith, a professional psychic, giving readings at The Chocolate Shop and soon discovers she’s not the only one who can read minds. He can read Jade’s!

     The Scarf Killer is targeting women. Worse than that, Jade is being forced to watch without being able to do anything to stop him or aid his victims. As she looks into the eyes of each woman staring back at her from the front page of the newspaper, she must decide whether to keep her dreams to herself or contact the police.

     Jade’s mother decides to email the description of a future victim from one of Jade’s dreams to Detective King. He must try to overcome his scepticism of Jade’s powers or risk giving the serial killer a chance to strike again. When the police nab a suspect in the killings, Jadesenses they have the wrong man. How can Jade convince Detective King that someone she knows might be capable of murder?

     Fifteen-year-old Jade faces tough choices coming to terms with herself, family and friends, a hard job even for the most normal teenager. Her growing psychic abilities force her to develop outside relationships allowing her to impact the world around her...for the better.

     Visions reintroduces believable characters who first appeared in The Freak while introducing a few new ones. The intricate family dynamics lend authenticity and add to the story's universal appeal. Visions is similar in scope and pacing to The Medium, a popular NBC television series, based on the real life of psychic Allison Dubois and starring Patricia Arquette. Jade’s reluctance to share her secret closely mirrors Dubois’s personal struggle, from the age of six, with how to share her gift.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Wood is a journalist and college tutor in Saskatoon, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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