Ryan wakes up to find his contractor dad building walls to turn their big old house into a duplex. The family that moves into the other side includes Bizzy Horvat, the pretty girl he has a crush on at school. Bizzy claims her mother is a witch with the power to curse people with clumsiness or, in Bizzy’s case, astonishing beauty.
When a bee gets caught in Bizzy’s hair, Ryan acts so quickly and radically to save her from getting stung that he attracts the attention of a group of micropotents—people with micropowers. He soon realizes that Bizzy and her mother also have such powers. It becomes Ryan’s job, with the help of the other micropotents, to protect the Horvats from a group of witch hunters from their native country, who are determined to kill Bizzy, her mother, and all the other “witches”—micropotents—who have gathered to protect them.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 31 members
A home run from Orson Scott Card. Duplex features a sympathetic protagonist, a fifteen-year-old brainiac who needs to move his outlook on life beyond his years and become more adult than teenager. Quickly. His family is in shambles, their house is converted into a duplex, and the girl who moves in next door is beautiful and out of his league. Outmatched or not, he falls hard for her and soon discovers that there's much more to her than meets the eye. Card does a delightful job of dancing along the line between scientific and supernatural,, and the story in engaging and engulfing from page one. Five stars for this one.
A teenage love story and I read it even though I am not a teenager. Ryan and Bizzy are the main characters, and Ryan falls in love with Bizzy. He also discovers that her mother is a witch and that he has micropowers, and joins a group of people who also have micropowers, though not as impressive as the ones he possesses, which seem to involve anyone he has taken responsibility for being looked after, and him protecting them. At first this power comes out in minor ways, such as catching bees, and preventing an emergency situation with a bee sting, as he did with his sister, then it progresses to more serious defence of people, such as Defense, his friend., then Bizzy. I enjoyed reading the book and as I say, I am not a teenager, so it isn't just for teenagers, it is for all ages. The characters are well drawn and the novel is full of humour.
Duplex A Micropowers Novel by Orson Scott Card Blackstone Publishing I want to thank the author, publisher, and NetGalley for letting me read this fantastic fantasy book! This is a young adult/teen novel but I enjoyed it and I am a senior! (Of course I have been reading this author's books since he first put his books out!) This book is about family, acceptance, being different, and love. Yes, it has romance in it. I never read romance but these two have mini super powers so it's ok! ;) Ryan is junior in high school and the smartest kid in school. He doesn't even study. His mom and dad split up a few months ago and now his dad turned their house into a duplex to rent out the other half. Ryan doesn't even know where his dad is staying. The most gorgeous girl moves in next door. He met her at school. What attracted him to her was her quick wit and she was smarter than he was! She was also pretty but he really liked her for her! Come to find out, through some strange situations, that Ryan and Buzzy, the girl he likes, have mini super powers! They aren't alone! There is several people with it. One of those is Buzz yes mom. "Witch hunters" have been following her for years that's why they move often. Now they have found them again. They also now know about the kids. The group of kids, with their mini super powers, plan to use their powers for defense and security! It gets suspenseful briefly but amazing and humorous at times too! How do you turn the super power of knowing how many belly buttons are nearby into an advantage? Or make someone yawn? This is a great novel that had me interested throughout the book. Sad in spots with family issues and giggling in spots with the silly powers the kids have. Everything this author writes is gold!
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for this opportunity! I haven't read anything from Orson Scott Card in a long time and wondered if he would catch me with this book. I was surprised by Duplex. I really enjoyed it! There are lots of funny and smart conversations, but there are also moral dilemmas. The beginning is so well-grounded in the real world, and the thread of Ryan's family problems continues through to the end, making the novel feel very real. Then combine this angsty mundane vibe with the discovery of a micropower (superpower), creating a twist on superheroes. Have you ever known a stunningly beautiful woman? I've met one or two. Women tend to be jealous of them, and men turn into idiots around them. I bring this up because a theme in this novel could be described as how are we affected by beauty? How is the beautiful one's life changed? Another theme is how does violence affect us? And the third theme I would describe as being what do we do with our choices? I think this book with be loved by both YA and adult readers. I highly recommend it.
Really enjoyed this "micropwers" YA fantasy book! I've been a fan of author Orson Scott Card for a long time, so was excited to hear he had a new book coming out, and really enjoyed Duplex! The idea of Micropowers- small, often silly super powers certain people have was delightfully played out, and really caught my interest right away! I liked Ryan as the hero, but Bizzy stole my heart with her wit and humor. This is a fun, engaging fantasy with likable characters and fantastic world building. Duplex proves that author Orson Scott Card continues to create original fantasy worlds that could be right next door. Thank you Netgalley for this ebook arc.
This is another Micropowers novel from Orson Scott Card (so watch out for some of the recurring characters), and as with 'Lost and Found', this is an exploration of a new aspect of 'power' in maturing from a teenager to a young adult, exploring the idea of a 'tiny' power (rather than a superpower). Orson Scott Card designs a teenage love story with a twist. Ryan is coping with his parents separation and their own secrets, as well as falling in love with the girl next door. It is a delightful story that will enthrall all ages of readers. I would buy these books without hesitation for any reader from Middle School up - as an adult I enjoyed it just as much as they will!
Ryan is in the 8th grade; 15 years old, and his life stinks. He fights with his family, his best friend is an idiot who's hobby is goading “deserving” people into a rage, and his parents are splitting up. His dad, a contractor, is building walls to split their large house into a duplex to bring in money; eliminating (their side of) the bathroom with a shower and Ryan’s bedroom! The only thing he has going for him is school; his good grades. And he maintains those while sleeping through some classes and zoning out when he should be listening. Although school receives his only responsible efforts, it’s easy for him, and he's likable, so most teachers don't hassle him about his bad example as long as he keeps up, and his test scores are high. A new girl in school catches his attention. Typical story, right? Except...he gets home, and the girl and her family are moving into the other half of his house. The good half. She has her good points; she's super smart, nice, a bit tough, and beautiful. And she seems to like Ryan. But her mom is a witch who curses people. Well, you can't choose your relatives, right? Bizzy (with a "y") is the new girl in school, and she's hoping to fill an empty spot in her "friend zone" while keeping a fairly low profile. Ryan is fun and smart, but meeting her has given him goofy ideas about future marriage and breaking through the friend zone. This will take some effort he isn’t used to, but he feels unusually motivated. What neither of them knows quite yet, is that they share one more thing. They call the people micropotents, and they have a special talent or power. Nothing as helpful as super strength; the talents are random and scattered among people in nearby areas. Fledgling powers may seem silly or trivial, but Bizzy's ability attracts attention, and Ryan's can save a life, or take one. Ryan is waking up to a couple of harsh realities about life and himself. His choices will change the lives of dozens of people. I wasn’t aware that Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender’s Game (a personal favorite), was still writing for teens and YA. So I was very interested to read this comparatively short fantasy book. The two books should not be compared except that both stories are about young males who saw their worlds and realities on way, but made important moral and personal choices as they discovered that life was not as it had seemed. Duplex is real life plus minor fantasy abilities. Which I assume is why the talented are called micro-potent (micropotent, micropots). It’s an obvious “Don’t worry, folks! These are tiny abilities, so they’re not superheroes!” The author, well-known for his character-driven work, writes characters with flaws and insecurities, and even walk-ons rate some depth in his books (in my experience). I read this book with no preconceptions, and enjoyed the ride. Although I reserved some doubts about some individuals, (and I believe strongly that kids under 18–especially under 16–are too emotionally immature for romantic kissing and the rejections and rollercoasters of paired relationships), I enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading other books in the Micropower series! I recommend this story to teens or adults looking for something unusual yet familiar, with some very tense scenes! 4/5 Stars Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the preview of this adventure! #Duplex #NetGalley
Duplex is thought provoking and a quick read. The dialogue between the teens is fast and witty. The teens are fully developed characters. The adults have less depth of character development, but perhaps that is a commentary on the overall view by teens of the adults in their lives. The fantasy element of the story, the micropowers, is gradually woven into the overall tale. I look forward to discovering whether Orson Scott Card will bring additional stories into the world of micropowers.
This book takes a little bit of time to get used to the style of writing - or at least it did for me. It is very apparent from the beginning that this book is a YA book. I'm only mentioning this because I have found recently that some of the books in this YA genre should REALLY not be in this genre. We get introduced to Ryan and then eventually to his new neighbor Bizzy. As I began to read this, I was thinking that the writing style was reminding me of something familiar. When I began to try to figure that out, I realized that there are some things that remind me of the writing of TJ Klune. I mean this as the most utmost compliment because I LOVE TJ Klune and his writing is always so amazing. Sometimes innocent, sometimes quirky. That was what was resonating with me. This book IS quirky. It does take a while to settle down and there were times in the beginning that I wasn't sure if I was going to continue, but I did and I'm glad that I did. Be patient and the you will get to meet some unusual but interesting characters who end up making this story original and one to resonate with you as a reader. Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone.
I was excited to receive this ARC since I am a big Orson Scott Card fan, and this book did not disappoint! I didn't realize until I started reading it that it tied into Lost and Found, another book he published a couple of years ago. Both books have characters with "micropowers" and while different from his previous books, I find them to be witty and entertaining. The characters are rich and complex, the plot is intriguing, and the book is a really great "coming of age" read the covers some deep topics in a different way than many other books do. I thought this book was quite interesting and thought provoking.
Ryan is a kid that you would call a nerd his best friend is defense also a nerd. When Ryan's dad and mom separate and Ryan's dad turn there house into a duplex Ryan meets his new neighbor bizzy. The story spun by Orson Scott card is well written with some fantasy themes that make the story interesting. I really enjoyed the story I felt like I could relate to some of the characters and how they acted as well as the decisions they made.
Duplex is a great story set in the same world as Lost and Found. This can be a stand alone novel or read as part of the series. I loved the complex characters that Card included in this story and the true-to-life relationship struggles that they went through. I especially liked the relationship between Ryan and his father.
Duplex is the companion novel to Lost and Found. It continues in the same vein - a mix of realistic fiction with a mystery twist. Again, the characters have micropowers - like superpowers but too small, insignificant or useless to be deemed super. They are pretty unique and cool, though. Duplex is a book that takes a while to read. I enjoyed sinking into its slow pace. That’s not to say nothing happens in the story - it does, everything from guys attacking with guns to fake FBI attempted kidnappings. There’s just a lot of space for inner dialogue and time between events. Time for introspection and relationship building. There’s also just time for great writing and descriptions, a feature of Card’s work. Life changes for Ryan when he finds his dad has moved out and is dividing their family home into a duplex. Soon, Ryan is sleeping on the couch (he doesn’t have a bedroom anymore) and the rooms on the other side of the new walls and staircase house the Horvat family. Ryan meets Bizzy Horvat at school. She can meet his sarcastic wit and quick jibes like no one he’s ever met. When Ryan reacts so quickly and without thought to a bee in Bizzy’s hair (much like he reacted to a bee that stung his sister), he is approached by a guy who claims to discover people who have micropowers. Ryan’s quick reflexes are apparently a micropower and it turns out that Bizzy and her mother also have micropowers and there are a group of people who will stop at nothing to kill the Horvat family. So, Ryan’s quick responses might just come in handy. I adored Lost and Found - the first of Card’s micropower novels and highly enjoyed Duplex. While the characters have powers, they sit just outside the realms of possibility, so the books in no way read like fantasy or paranormal novels. The books are a mix of relationships - both romantic and familial - and mystery. The voice of the characters and the way they speak is highly unrealistic, but it’s also highly enjoyable. Maybe because you’d never find such eloquent language and turns of phrase in your average high school - certainly not in my school - is why this book was so much fun to read. There were a couple lines I thought might be a bit insensitive around Ryan’s reaction to being thought gay - wasn’t sure where his reaction was coming from. And I’m not many teen guys are super focused on their life goal to be married and have kids. However, Ryan’s journey from intelligent, sarcastic teen to responsible and caring young adult was insightful. His conversations with his dad are those every young man needs to have. And I loved how Ryan eventually stood up to his friend, called him out on his bullying behaviour and demanded change. A unique book, but one I certainly enjoyed. I hope there are further novels in the micropower world. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
This was my first read of a novel from Orson Scott Card and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I first became aware of the author when I was lent a copy of his short stories in the 1980s called Unaccompanied Sonata - all the stories were thought provoking, quirky and mind expanding with some staying with me ( Unaccompanied Sonata, Kingsmeat, and the outstanding Enders game) all these years later. As always I find the authors writing style engaging and I was drawn into the story of Ryan Burke who one day finds that his father is leaving and dividing the family home into two duplex residences. There is some element of teen angst (parents don't understand me) however as a parent to two teen boys the prose resonated with me. Early in the story there is a conversation between Ryan and his father around work - Ryan wants a job from his father but is rebuffed. The passages describing initiative and responsibility struck a deep chord which made me feel seen as a parent - I am not quite sure what a young adult would think of it but I have copied the text and sent it out in our family Whats app! Getting back to the main theme - Ryan meets a new classmate Bizzy Horvat who we subsequently find has moved into the other side of the duplex he now lives in. Bizzy and Ryan discover that they have micropowers and are contacted by a research (and support) group called GRUT (Group of Rare & Useless Talents) led by Dr. Withunga for micropotents. Micropowers are often bizarre - able to tell if someone has a bellybutton in or out, making people yawn, controlling spiders and so on - the group aims to test and explore these talents in the hope of finding ways they could be useful. We discover that those with micropowers are seen as witches with groups in society who wish to eliminate them. Bizzy and her family are hiding from such a group from Slovenia and tension mounts as the hunters search comes closer to discovering them. This provides Ryan and his fellow micropotents an opportunity to see what they can really do when they act in concert. As the story moves forward Ryan matures as an individual, his attachment to Bizzy deepens and links of family are explored. I loved it and now will need to go back and reread some of Cards previous work! My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for access to this ARC all opinions are my own.
While this has not taken the cake as my favourite Orson Scott Card book, it most certainly is filled with his flair and was definitely still an enjoyable read. The characters are each have their own unique wit, extreme skill, and at times detached logic (genius really) and way of speaking. The world is both normal and entirely abnormal, filled with random details and characters that can’t help but make you tilt your head. And last but not least, the plot itself is incredibly unique while being both slow and fast and all the while getting you to ponder deeper concepts that transcend the story itself. That said, the book wasn’t always a fast read because there is often so many details and conversations that drive the plot or give it greater depth. But at the same time, the book was still a page turner in the slower moments because of the way that it got you thinking about things like love, family, and the ability to use random powers for greater purposes. It was also a bit of a page turner in those moments because it’s just so bizarre. Beyond that, I really don’t know what to say about this book except that it was very honestly and truly an Orson Scott Card book, so if you’ve enjoyed his writing in the past, then I’m sure you would enjoy it now. Duplex was bizarre and funny, fast and slow, real and action packed, and was altogether a good story that I would totally read a sequel to it there ever were one. Thanks to the publishers and netgalley for an e-book arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Duplex is a coming-of-age story with action, adventure, and romance. The micropower stories allow us to enjoy Card’s skill in creating believable stories and worlds with child protagonists without falling into the darkness of his later stories of Bean and Ender. Very much worth the read.