Having a superpower is ordinary. Your Power determines your job, social class, and future success.
But Ugene doesn’t have a Power. The only thing special about him is that he isn’t special at all. Ugene is Powerless.
So when the most prominent biomedical research company in the city offers Ugene a solution, he jumps at the possibility to be ordinary. All he has to do is agree to allow them to use him in their research. But the longer he stays, the more he realizes something isn’t right.
Friendships are forged. Trust is broken built and broken. And everything Ugene thought he understood and believed is called into question.
Who can Ugene trust in his search for answers? What is he willing to sacrifice for Powers?
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
One night my husband and I were talking about "what-if" stories, and we discussed, "What if there was a world where everyone had a superpower but this one kid and he could only get a job delivering flowers?" The story evolved quite a bit from there, but a few years later, I realized there was an amazing story in that scenario.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Ugene was part of the "what-if" scenario we created, though I think his name was different. As I wrote the book, his personality as a powerless kid who just wanted to be like everyone else at any cost shined through. More often than not, he used his wit in uncomfortable situations.
Bianca wrote herself into the story. Ugene has loved her all his life, and the challenges he faces for them to assess the strength of their friendship — and their true feelings.
I consider myself an honest person. I try to keep my promises. Try to do the right thing whenever possible. But sometimes something happens that pushes all of us to the edge, that challenges our beliefs and how we see the world.
For me, it’s the desire to be ordinary.
Three days define who a person will be for the rest of their life. The day they are born. Testing Day, where their abilities are determined. And, of course, Career Day, where social status, wealth, and future prospects are decided for them by an exhibition hall of employers.
I passed my birth with great pains. According to stories Mom told me, my labor gave her particular difficulty. After arriving too soon, too weak to survive on my own, I lived in an incubator for the first six weeks of my life in a struggle to survive. It’s why she sometimes—annoyingly—calls me, “tough guy.”
Up until Testing Day, everyone—from my teachers to my neighbors—called me a late bloomer and constantly reassured my parents that eventually I would fall into one of the Four Branches of Powers. They said it as if doing so was something I would just stumble over on the sidewalk one day and say, “Oh look, there’s my Power!”
Testing Day came early in my ninth year of schooling, alongside everyone else in my class. Those who had already developed their ability were divided into groups based on their Branch of Power: Somatic for Powers relating to the body; Naturalist for those with organic Powers; Psionic for the Power of the mind; and Divinic for those with Powers outside our world. Mostly, this division left me and three other kids—Mo, Dave, and Leo—uncategorized. By the end of the day, only I remained unclassified. Testing Day was a bitter disappointment for everyone in my family—including me.
Ordinary people have Powers and prospects. I have neither.
Now I face Career Day, where I get to parade around a convention center with all the other doe-eyed, eleventh-year students and try to convince businesses why my Power is worth employment. Except I still don’t have one, and probably never will.
I’ve dreaded this day for years. Now, there’s no escaping it.
Miraculously, my parents haven’t given up on me. They still hold on to the hope that everything is about to change. For all our sakes, I hope they are right.
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