A teenage girl stumbles out of an alley in Ottawa, concussed, with no memory of her life. Fleeing sword-wielding operatives with inexplicable mental abilities, she soon learns that her name is Zoe, and that she not only possesses the same abilities, but is extraordinarily skilled in martial arts. As she scours Toronto for clues about her identity, she finds others like her, and is given refuge at the Academy, an international school for Telepaths. As fragments of her childhood return, she begins to suspect that she may not like who she once was—that she may be part of a shadowy organization more powerful than anyone suspects, and that she will soon be swept up in events that are thousands of years in the making.
Fractured is the first book in the YA series Telepath, by Gordon G. Bowman, featuring a great main character who has lost her memories, and is situated in Canada, a location that isn't usual in urban fantasy. Martial arts, a secret school for gifted kids, and a conspiration related to the origin of some of these Telepath people are part of this excellent novel.
Zoe gets up in the middle of an alley in Ottawa, with a concussion, and has lost her memories, not ever remembering her own name. While fleeing to more mysterious people with telepathic abilities and swords, she discovers that she possesses that kind of ability and that she's also proficient in martial arts. After stumbling around the city for a bit, she enters into contact with a professor of a mysterious academy, situated in Toronto, and not being exempt from problems, she's given refuge at that Academy, a place for gifted children like her.
This is a fast-paced novel, full of action scenes that keep you going. While it slows a little bit when Zoe reaches the Academy, it is true that this becomes a part that allows us to explore more the world of Telepath, and how there are two types of person, the Typicals (those who don't have powers) and Telepaths (those gifted with powers); and how Telepaths are educated so they can become part of the world. It also helps us to take a certain breath, as since the start conflict is a constant in this book, with plenty of martial arts involved.
The concept of the Academy is certainly interesting, as it is another way to see the trope of magic academy, being this much more oriented to make the attendees ready for real life and to deal with the problems derivated from being a super powerful person surrounded by normal ones. It also features people from different countries, something that sometimes gets overlooked in other sagas. Outside of controlling their powers, they are also taught martial arts, which explains why Zoe was so good at that concrete aspect and also gives an excuse to include more spectacular scenes.
Characters are kinda interesting, especially Zoe. As a person who has lost her memories, and is being prosecuted by others, it is difficult to know if what she's being told is true and what's false, making us wonder if the picture that is presented to us is complete. The professor is also a character, that protects Zoe in the way a parent will do; and that becomes the only exit for him; and Ethan, the alleged friend of Zoe, also becomes a key piece in the plot.
Fractured is a great novel for those who want to read a different take on the YA trope of a magic academy and characters with powers. It is compelling from the start to the end, and I really enjoyed it, as its fast pace made me feel hooked on it. Totally recommended, waiting to see how the sequel looks.