I remember the movie. It was cheerful, fun and entertaining. The book was boring and parts of it were rather depressing. The narrator was good, but the story was not. The children seemed rather stupid. Miss Price was not too bright either. Except for one short bit, the adventure in the South Pacific was dull. Maybe I would have loved the book if I heard it in the 1950s, but I found the story slow and decided to stop listening before the end and save twenty minutes of my time for something else.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories with a likable witty hero with a great sense of humour, imaginative science fiction (robo-cop, fully automated battleships), an interesting universe (where crime has been almost bred out of the populace), and a hot heroine-villain.
I have always loved the Stainless Steel Rat series, and I enjoy re-reading the books every one to two years. The narrator is brilliant and he has helped me to enjoy the books in a whole new way.
The narrator was great. She could convey emotions in different voices and made the experience of listening very enjoyable. I would certainly want to listen to her again.
Unfortunately, the story was about a bimbo named Claire who was dumbstruck by a good looking boy. Although the story was about exceptional people with special powers, most of the characters, especially Claire, just seemed stupid. I was really annoyed by the way we were teased with the potential of Claire's great and powerful ability - communicating with animals - but she really ends up doing very little with that power. Another part that annoyed me was when the super villain who - like a great Sith Lord - was earlier able to effortlessly wave bullets aside in a dark cave but suddenly found himself unable to cope with an attack by a big hawk in broad daylight.
I don't want to risk spoilers by citing more examples of plot holes and silly behaviour by the characters. However, I will say that there is a lot more teen romance than fantasy in the Exceptionals. In other words, much of the book is about a girl mooning about a boy, rather than about a girl with special powers and what it means for people to have "super" power. If you like stories of girls who spend a great deal of time thinking, "he is so handsome" "does he like me" "Dillion will save me and my parents" in a 'fantastic' setting, and so on, "The Exceptionals" will probably resonate with you. If you want to read a book about smart kids, pick up The Benedict Society or one of the old Enid Blyton books instead.
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