Cover Image: Freaks

Freaks

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Member Reviews

There is nothing actually wrong with this book.  It is perfectly serviceable... and as a middle-grade power fantasy with some horror elements, it is fine.  The problem is that it does feel as if the plot and characters have been done before (in better ways). A story like this needs a hook, and unfortunately, this story failed at that mostly because it felt too familiar to hook me.  The characters felt like archetypes rather than fleshed out beings in this world, the plot felt a bit recycled from a couple of popular TV shows and the world-building felt all over the place.  Having said all that, the actual writing was good and pacey, I wasn't bored reading this and even though I wasn't surprised, I also wasn't disappointed.  It all adds up to a fairly run-of-the-mill story about the nerdy kids and superpowers that I wouldn't recommend over so many other great books, but wouldn't discourage anyone from reading if they really wanted to.
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So this book is aimed for children. So I would have probably enjoyed it a whole lot more if I was younger.

The plot of this story was interesting. It was hard for me to get into the story at first because it was quite slow I felt. The story isn't finished there is a 2nd book.

Thank you netgalley and Brett Riley for the copy.
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There were several comments in this book that were sexist, which I didn't think I would find in a book written in 2021, considering that this is also targeted towards younger audiences. The way that the characters refer to other boys as a 'pussy' (,etc.) and girls as 'such a girl' are both outdated and wrong to include in a book where these phrases aren't challenged, and where the characters don't learn from their mistakes
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This wasn't a book a usually read but I enjoyed it, it was also the first book I have read from Brett Riley. I really liked the world that Riley built and the characters was really interesting. The way the characters interacted with each other was great as well. I can't wait to read the next one.
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I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Copy provided by Imbrifex.

Freaks is about four high school friends who suffer daily humiliation at the hands of three bullies. When the friends accidentally open a portal to another dimension, they unintentionally allow terrifying, other-worldly creatures to invade their small Arkansas town. Discovering that they are now endowed with strange superpowers, the four teens dub themselves “Freaks,” the very name their tormentors used to ridicule them. The Freaks must fight to save the lives of family and friends now in mortal peril and thwart a secret government task force that appears to be hunting them.

The writing style, dialogue, characters were all very juvenile. The plot was very straightforward and there was no mystery to what was happening, so, basically all tell and no show. The plot was a bit lacking and the characters had no real depth to them, they felt like cardboard cutouts. They all talk the exact same and have no personality so I would often forget who was talking to who since none of them have defining traits. The last thing I felt was that it was so cheesy to call someone a geek for liking comics. This is suppose to be set in modern times and no one in modern times is calling someone a geek or freak for liking comics. I am aware this is part one to a series but there wasn't anything that had me hooked to want to continue on to the next. I will probably not be reading the next book.
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I quite enjoyed this book - it was a fun, interesting ready overall. The storyline was easy to follow and kept my attention.

Unfortunately it felt a little cliche at times and like I could see what was coming from a mile away.

Plus, it felt a little like we didn’t get to learn as much about the monsters as we could have.
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•::• Review •::•
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Freaks •::• Brett Riley •::• ⭐️⭐️

Hunted by monsters. Wanted for questioning. Late for class.

Four high-school friends suffer daily humiliation at the hands of three bullies. 

When the friends accidentally open a portal to another dimension, they unintentionally allow terrifying, other-worldly creatures to invade their small Arkansas town. Discovering that they are now endowed with strange
superpowers, the four teens dub themselves “Freaks,” the very name their tormentors used to ridicule them. The Freaks must fight to save the lives of family and friends now in mortal peril and thwart a secret government task force that appears to be hunting them.

Thank you to @netgalley and @imbrifexbooks for the e-arc and the audiobook of Freaks in return for an honest review. 

I did enjoy this, I think it was a good start to the series, I liked the characters and the  message behind the story. 

This book has good visualisation and I could see it being played out in my imagination. However, the book did not surprise me at all, I felt as though I knew where everything was going. I’d have liked the unexpected!

I’d also like to mention that it’s marketed as YA, I think the swearing and some of the way things are described are a bit much for a YA. Definitely not for the 12yr old YA reader that’s for sure! 

Unfortunately, no matter what I tried the audiobook played with a ‘tinny’ effect and this really frustrated me! 

I will be reading & listening to Travelers soon.
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#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookworm #paperwhitepages  #booklover #readmorebooks #readinglovers #booksta #idratherbereading #bookobsessed #ilovetoread #igreads  #freaks #brettriley #imbrifrexbooks #netgalley #audiobookreview
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I enjoyed seeing characters in the novel that I don't normally see represented in YA novels (or at least the ones I read). These characters live in a small, rural town and sound like it! They don't fit in for one reason or another, and of course, the story really takes off when they become empowered. I think the bullying piece is interesting, in that there are some consequences, but not necessarily for all, or in the way we'd expect.
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Brett Riley’s YA fantasy/thriller Freaks is about a group of high school students who, after years of bullying, get abilities and must battle a terrifying otherworldly entity. This novel, in my opinion, is better suited to the upper young adult – or new adult age bracket. Even though the protagonists in the novel are just teens, they are subjected to severe bullying and witness gruesome murders throughout the story. Gabby, Christian, Jamie, and Micah are four nerdy best friends who have always been singled out by their peers, particularly the B3 trio. Known as freaks, they get even closer as friends as a result of this mutual experience. While playing live-action role-playing one night, the four discovered some odd and hidden props in Micah’s shed. Kenneth, a member of the bully gang B3, stood there, oblivious to the harm he was causing. They had no idea that by utilizing these relics, they had unintentionally opened a doorway to another realm, enabling horrific monsters to enter.

This was a basic, cinematic action-driven read with a dash of gore thrown in for good measure. However, it felt a little too cliched and typical. Although cyberbullying is referenced casually in the middle of the novel, most of the harassment shown is fairly physical and feels a little too old school. There are some intriguing concerns highlighted regarding bullying and the need for vengeance, with the novel advocating for a more forgiving attitude and portraying the one youngster who desires vengeance as a self-centered fool. I found it difficult to connect with the characters. The conversation and attitudes of the characters were incredibly out of date, and given that this novel is meant to be set in the present day, it didn’t seem remotely believable to me. They’re meant to be best friends, yet none of them are polite to one other. There were also other remarks made by both the main and supporting characters that were just rude and, in many cases, casually misogynistic. Given that this is a children’s novel, incorporating them without confronting them or having the characters learn from their remarks made me uneasy.

The creature and its origin were the key elements that drew my interest. Unfortunately, we didn’t discover much about the monster or its origins; but, as this is a series, we may learn more about the creature in future chapters. For this reader, the issue boils down to the crucial matter of genre, and by extension, target audience. It matters as I stated at the outset. It matters as I stated at the outset. It matters because libraries, instructors, and parents will be the ones to shell out the cash to buy these publications. They will also be harassed by parents who disapprove of the subject, which is sometimes far too adult for YA literature.
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I received a ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted my review. 
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of this book. The story overall was very cliche, and the characters felt under developed. I had a hard time becoming  emotionally invested in the characters and story. The only part I found interesting was when the characters first discovered they had powers, but even that felt unoriginal and like something I’ve seen in countless superhero movies and comics. I don’t recommend this book if you care mostly about well written, three dimensional, and original characters. If you care less about characters and more about fast paced action, then you might enjoy this book.
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This book was... weird. First of all, i am not really fond of bullying which have a fair spotlight in this book. And its poorly written. I pusged myself to finish it but at the end it didnt satisfy me either. I am so sorry
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I just thought this was a fun look at the hero genre, and how powers can manifest. I really enjoyed the writing and the world, it just didn't happen to be a new favourite.
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The narration is fine.
The story is fine.
The characters are fine.
It's an entertaining read.
No more.
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Books about other dimensions are always on my radar. So when I saw one about high school kids, bullies and alternate dimensions, I was intrigued. However, although I liked the premise, this was a very slow and predictable read. The characters weren't compelling and the plot fell flat. I did like the writing, and I would love to read more by this author. 

Overall, a great concept but poorly executed. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an e-arc!
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3.5
This story is okay. It starts our strong but I think it just falters some by the end. It’s a great idea and a great story, it just needed something a little more.
When four high school friends, all of which are tormented by three bullies, accidentally open a portal to another dimension, they accidentally allow other worldly creatures to invade their little town in Arkansas. They also learn that somehow while chanting the words that opened the portal they themselves have some new superhuman powers.
Now, they are calling themselves “Freaks” using the name their tormentors gave them. They must now fight to save the lives of all those they love, and even those they don’t, from mortal danger and they also have to stop the government task force that seems to be hunting them.
This book had so much promise and it delivered a little over half the time. It’s well written and the characters are memorable so I would say if you have the time go ahead and check it out. If you like audio books, the narrator is excellent and does add a little something to the story.
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A bunch of 'nerds' opens a trunk with capes and masks and they read a Latin incantation from a book and wake up with powers. This book is about overcoming bullying and making friends. With lots of character and relationship growth. With a Well's styled monster, the kids have to join up with the one person they hate and fight the monster before it destroys their town.
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Four high-school friends suffer daily humiliation at the hands of three bullies. When the friends accidentally open a portal to another dimension, they unintentionally allow terrifying, other-worldly creatures to invade their small Arkansas town. Discovering that they are now endowed with strange superpowers, the four teens dub themselves “Freaks,” the very name their tormentors used to ridicule them. The Freaks must fight to save the lives of family and friends now in mortal peril and thwart a secret government task force that appears to be hunting them.
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This book is what would happen if some scientists got bored one day in the lab and decided to mix up one part sci-fi, one part superhero, and a tiny little dash of horror.

Here's the thing: it's a YA novel.  It has a cast of teenage characters who do stupid and overdramatic and angsty stuff.  The main characters are "freaks", they're social outcasts, they get picked on all the time, they're holding a lot of anger and pain inside.  Enter a chest of dusty old tomes full of horrifying illustrations and Latin chants.  MCs, being young and stupid and angsty, decide it will be fun to pretend to be sorcerers and read out one of the chants.  As you can imagine, bad things then happen.

My thought process while reading this book:
Oh, a teen revenge thriller.
Oh, OK, maybe it's horror, they're going to summon a demon to do their bidding or something.
Oh, wait, they summoned something that somehow gave them all superhero-esque powers.
Oh, and also apparently they opened a rift and sucked in some...well, not demons.  Beings from alternate dimensions or something.
So...a thriller-horror-superhero-sci-fi/fantasy novel?  OK....

The weird thing is, though this book kind of annoyed me with it's genre-hopping and it's YA characters (who, while being thoroughly steeped in teen hormones and drama, still manage to be fairly useless until the last quarter of the book or so), though it should have been one I didn't like...

The secret is, I did kind of like it.

It was fun and weird and completely unbelievable in an over-the-top way.  It felt like the story that would happen if two or three teenage sci-fi nerds got together and just laid around for an afternoon making stuff up, one-upping each other with powers and enemies and love triangles.

I can't believe I'm saying this but...I liked this story and I want to read the next one (an excerpt of book two is included at the end).
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Real Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

I can’t decide if this book is a cautionary tale, a revenge story, or a superhero origin tale. I don’t really think the book itself knows either. Maybe we’re not meant to really know at this point, because it’s the first book in a series, but I don’t think that’s a good thing, considering the author had a whole book to lay down a path and just chose to muddy waters for almost 300 pages. 

Don’t get me wrong: it’s an entertaining book. It just takes too long getting to the point and only two of the characters are in any way close to fully-developed, and those two characters are the ones in which the plot pivots around. Maybe that’s the problem: in the end we will either find this series was far too long and should’ve been condensed into fewer books, or we will feel like each book should’ve been longer so the characters could’ve been developed further and allowed their on time and space on the page and have more of the story devoted to them. As the book stands, some of the characters feel like they’re there only for their respective superpowers and demographic representation than anything else. Arguably, you could almost remove them from the story entirely and with a few story tweaks and the addition of more angst and maybe violence you would end up with the same outcome. It sucks to say, but there it is. 

But if you look at the book from the viewpoint of the demographic group it’s marketed toward, it’s sure to be a book they’d like to read. It’s definitely a YA book for YA readers. This isn’t a YA book for adults who enjoy YA books, in my opinion. The narrative, plot, and prose are just a bit too immature and underdeveloped for that. But pre-adolescents and younger adolescents will eat up the main plot and the superpowers. 

The second book in this series, “Travelers”, comes out in August, and I already have the ARC. I’ll have that review for you this summer. Thanks to NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This was a good YA read, I liked the superhero element and the coming of age of the characters. It dealt with some dark subject matters like bullying and was fast paced
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