Here is the gripping finish to Korman's exciting "Hypnotists" trilogy. Jax and his family have been put under the protection of the US military, and Dr. Mako has been put in jail. Jax along with other mind benders from Sentia and the Sandman's Guild are now part of the government's Hypnotic Warfare Research Department (HoWaRD). As Colonel Brassmeyer puts the hypnotists through one experiment after another, Jax has a hard time seeing how working for the army is much better than what he was doing with in Sentia. He finds out when Mako escapes from prison, captures one of HoWaRD's young hypnotic prodigies, and uses him in a new diabolical plot. Now it is up to Jax to defy his family, his friends, and the entire US army to save the world.
This was a pretty good finish to the series with all the psychological intrigue and excitement of the first two, but the adult in me kept kind of rolling my eyes. I never have had much dealings with the military, but I am pretty sure nobody in the military would get away with treating people like they did in this book. (spoiler alert, don't read on if you plan to read the book and don't want to hear about the end.) At one point the military sets up a fake city full of "volunteers" and then lets them all go through an "experiment" which amounts to a natural disaster. People get hurt, and almost killed, but the Colonel doesn't stop the "experiment" because he wants to see how it plays out. Now if that happened in real life, it would be all over the news and the "volunteers" would be suing the heck out of the government. Then at the end, the government just ends the HoWaRD project and lets the mind benders all go home. Would that really happen if they had just seen how their abilities could be used as weapons of mass destruction? So there were some flights of fancy that departed from the real world, but this is science fiction, right? It isn't really supposed to be realistic. I think a lot of kids would like it. Give it to kids who like Alex Rider or Harry Potter. (243 p.)