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The Dragonfly Effect
The Hypnotist #3
by Gordon Korman
Jax is unsure if the military is protecting him or keeping him prisoner. The military promised to protect Jax and his family from Mako, a hypnotic mastermind who wants Jax dead.
Soon Jax learns that the military’s protection comes at a price. They want to use Jax’s hypnotic powers as a military weapon. The military wants to figure out how to use Jax’s ability to control people through video broadcast, but Jax only wants to use his powers for good. Soon Jax is using his hypnotic power in military experiments that could cost people their lives.
Then Mako escapes from prison. With the help of a young boy with hypnotic powers, Mako plans to put the entire world into a hypnotic state, which will not allow people to move as the world falls apart without them. Jax, with the help of two friends, must avoid being captured by the military or Mako in order to save the world.
The Dragonfly Effect is filled with suspense and adventure. Jax is stuck between following the orders of the adults around him and doing what he knows is right. Although there is violence in the book, it is not described in detail and is age-appropriate for children.
One likable aspect of the story is Jax’s parents. They know about Jax’s hypnotic powers, and even when Jax uses his skills to hypnotize them, they are smart enough to know that Jax is trying to manipulate them. Even though Jax is the main focus of the story, his parents come across as a smart, loving couple, which is rare in today’s books.
- Jax puts a pilot into a hypnotic state. While in the hypnotic state, the pilot crashes his plane. “The fireball lasted only a split second before the video went blank.” Jax becomes upset that “You made me kill him!” It is only then that Jax finds out the pilot was in a simulator and is fine.
- When Jax breaks into a military facility, he is caught. “MPs stormed the room. Rough hands grabbed him, threw him to the floor, and flipped him over on his face. He felt his arms pinned behind him as cuffs were slapped on his wrist.”
- In an experiment, Jax puts an entire town under a hypnotic state. The people are given an order to stop moving. As the people are frozen in place, disaster happens around them. Cars crash, houses burn, and other disasters begin, but the people never move.
- Jax’s friend drives a Bobcat into a police station to free his friends.
- Jax is kidnapped and put into a “chokehold. A knee in the small of his back lifted his heels slightly off the floor . . . He hung there paralyzed with pain.”
- There is a fight between boys, which is described over a page. “Jax charged his enemy, grabbed him around the midsection, and drove forward like a wrestler.” In the end, no one is injured.
- Under a hypnotic state, Jax is told, “The only thing that will make you feel more wonderful . . . is to take the pistol from that security man, hold it to your temple, and squeeze the trigger.”
- A plane carrying Jax’s parents almost crashes when the pilot is put into a hypnotic state and freezes, unable to move.
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