Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - September/October 2012 - (Page 36)

off the shelf A Confusion of Princes by garth nix review by tristan beiter “i have died three times, and three times been reborn, though i am not yet twenty years old in the earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. this is the story of my three deaths and my life in between. my name is Khemri.” so opens garth nix’s A Confusion of Princes. taken from his parents when he was a year old, Khemri endures 16 years of biological alterations, mechanical additions to his body, and extensive training to prepare him to become a Prince: a member of the powerful, incredibly arrogant ruling class of an expansive galactic empire. all Princes compete to become the next emperor, but Khemri has been trained to expect his competitors to be honorable and just. this expectation is immediately challenged on the day of his ascension from Prince Candidate to Prince, when he is nearly assassinated with a hidden bomb. Khemri then enlists in the imperial navy and connects to the imperial mind, the consciousness of the emperor that telepathically communicates with all Princes. Khemri is instructed not to join a powerful alliance that has a strong presence at the naval academy—a dangerous move that often leaves him at the mercy of unkind classmates. When the academy is attacked, Khemri is on his own and dies in the fight. after Khemri is reborn and finishes his training at the academy, he is recruited into a secret branch of the government called adjustment. the adjusters work behind the scenes to further the goals of the imperial mind, and their training includes living for a year as a normal human, in an unaltered body and with no connection to the imperial mind. during the first few months of this assignment, Khemri slowly learns how to interact with people without trying to control them. eventually, Khemri meets raine, a beautiful woman with no biological, technical, or mental enhancements, on the outskirts of the empire. the people of her settlement, the outpost, deeply distrust the empire, and this distrust is validated when Prince atalin destroys their fleet, opening the way for a later pirate attack. Khemri struggles mightily to keep quiet about the empire while at the outpost, but he manages because the people there provide him shelter. his increasing maturity becomes more apparent when he places himself in front of raine when he thinks he sees a bomb, revealing an instinct to protect others that is intentionally removed from Princes early in life. Later, helping to protect the outpost from pirates, he dies in the fight. reborn, Khemri returns to the center of the empire to be decorated for defeating the pirates. at the awards ceremony, Prince atalin is also awarded a medal—for an event that never happened. so when Khemri is named as a potential successor to the emperor, the realization of how corrupt the empire is ruins any excitement he might have felt. the identity of the emperor’s successor as well as the details of Khemri’s final death and rebirth are revealed in the final chapters of the book. A Confusion of Princes is an engaging adventure in outer space, full of politics, intrigue, and action, but behind that adventure story is a deeper tale of coming of age and learning what it means to be human. Whether you pick up A Confusion of Princes for the great story or the deeper meaning, i’m sure you’ll agree that it’s well worth reading. Tristan Beiter is a sophomore at danville Area high school in danville, PA. he plays the piano, and loves to play board games, solve puzzles, and read science fiction and fantasy novels. Tristan also writes fiction and poetry, and is involved in forensics, drama club, and his school’s literary magazine, Crossings. Also recommended Emma by Jane Austen emma, a shrewd 21-year-old with a knack for matchmaking, navigates the complicated social structure of her native highbury in 19th-century england. emma thinks she has her friends’ best interests at heart, but her matchmaking often produces disastrous results. she comes to realize that she may not be as astute as she thought, especially when it comes to her own heart. this is a charming and beautifully written classic tale that also effectively explores the power of words. —natasha Coult, 17, iA And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie the dark intensity grabs you from the beginning and keeps you guessing. the characters are heartbreaking to watch as their individual stories and deaths unfold. they will have you shaking as their own minds go insane. You won’t be able to stop reading! no matter how clever you are, you’re sure to be stunned by the finale. —James Yu, 15, MA 36 imagine sept/oct 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - September/October 2012

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - September/October 2012
Big Picture
In My Own Words
The Proper Care and Feeding of the Teenage Brain
Building Brain Power Through the International Brain Bee
CTY Neuroscience
Same and Different
Braingate: Turning Thoughts Into Action
Shedding Light on Schizophrenia
Unraveling the Mysteries of Memory
Through the Looking Glass
Selected Opportunities & Resources
Fencing Lessons
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - September/October 2012