Patrick Wong’s Balancer is a fast paced and inventive addition to the Young Adult Paranormal space. This well written first novel portrays the confusion and impetuousness teenagers through the story of Nix and her BFF, Ames. When Nix suddenly develops a supernatural ability to cure, she finds it comes at a price. By turns charming and thoughtful, Balancer explores the tension between having the ability to act and having the right to act.
The only flaw in my mind is that the story opens with 2 high school seniors camping alone. Not a lot of parents would go along with that and the way Nix‘s and Ames’ parents are portrayed, they wouldn’t. That said, the story moves along quickly and believably after that. Sometimes uncomfortably so as good teens make bad decisions. Played out against the backdrop of Metropolitan Washington DC, the action includes the FBI, mysterious academics and a senator’s son it contains all the elements of an excellent suspense story. I’m looking forward to the sequel.