The Set-Up

Sophie McKenzie

Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene – a gene for psychic abilities. But Fox died and the babies were hidden away for years. Now the children are teenagers – and unaware that their psychic powers are about to kick in. Cocky, charismatic Nico thinks his emerging telekinetic abilities will bring him money, power and the girl of his dreams. He’s about to find out just how wrong he is…


14 thoughts on “The Set-Up

  1. This book was brilliant! It was sooo gripping I could NOT take my eyes off the page! The best book I ever read! It was so unpredictable! It was like you were there I now have the next book reserved here at the library! Also I love how each book is like the diary of the other person!!! LOVED IT!

  2. I think this book is absolutely amazing and is my favourite out of the five books because it isn’t one of those fairy tale books….if you know what I mean. It was very suprising at times since I didn’t know what would happen next. 10/5 for me and I can’t wait to start on The Hostage!

  3. I think that this book was very good, but it was hard for me to get into it until I got through a few chapters

  4. The Set Up is a fantastic book about how four different people’s lives change as they turn into teenagers. This happens because their mothers were implanted with the Medusa gene invented by Professor William Fox. Fox is now dead and none of the four know that their abilities are about to kick in.
    I loved this book because it is action-packed, magical, adventurous, a bit scary and leaves many cliff hangers. I’d give this book 10/10 and can’t wait to read the second book in the series.
    By Abby

    I really enjoyed reading ‘The Set-Up’ because the plot is really creative and imaginative, even though I don’t ever read science fictiony books. I love the idea of a group of kids implanted with a mysterious gene that no one knows about, because it is possible that this will happen in the future.
    I liked the characters of Nico and Ketty because they are actually like normal teenagers, having to cope with school and friends etc, although I knew from the start that they were going to go out with each other at some point, which they did.
    I really liked that it was written from Nico’s thoughts, especially because then you can never tell what Ketty is thinking, which can be frustrating, but makes the book better.
    The story is really gripping and full of twists, for example I never suspected that Jack was lying until Nico did, when in many books these things are made obvious. Having said that, at times, like when Ketty and Nico were arguing, I wished that they would just make up and tell each other how they felt. I also got quite frustrated when Ketty was avoiding Nico because everything was going wrong, so I really related to the characters. This definitely shows signs of a good book.
    This book also ends on a cliff-hanger because it leaves you when the group are about to be put on their first mission. I am definitely going to read the next books in the trilogy as well as other books by the same author, because of how good this one was.
    I would give this book 9.5 out of 10 because it is based on a really interesting subject, with other stories and twists interconnecting throughout, and is generally a really great book.
    By Emma

    The Set-Up is about a boy named Nico; he goes to a boarding school and his step-dad is the headmaster. Her wants to have Ketty, the girl of his dreams all to himself, but when Ed, a geeky but interesting boy joins the school he knows it is going to be impossible. Nico soon has worries apart from Ketty coming to him when he meets Jack Linden and finds out what happened in assembly was entirely his own fault.
    When I first saw the book I thought it would be interesting but at the same time not the perfect book for me. As the book went on I knew I had been misled by the cover; the book was interesting and it was a perfect book for me.
    By Maham

    The main characters in this book are Nico, who is cocky and charismatic, Ketty, who loves running, Edward who is new, Dylan, who is American, and Fergus, who is Nico’s stepdad. In this story there was a scientist, fourteen years ago, who implanted four babies with the Medusa Gene. The name of the scientist was William Fox, who unfortunately died in an accident. The Medusa Gene was a gene for psychic abilities. The babies were hidden away for many years. Now time has passed and the babies are now teenagers. The teenagers are unaware of their powers that are about to enter their lives. Nico is one of them. At the moment Nico leads an ordinary life as normal as could be. He goes to a boarding school where his stepdad is the headmaster. This annoys Nico but still life carries on, until one day he realises the girl of his dreams is in someone else’s arms. This is during an assembly at his boarding school. He gets angry and whatever he looks at suddenly moves. This is just the start. The story complicates further throughout and changes into an “edge of the cliff hanger”. This is a fantastic book that is jam-packed with fun and adventure. My favourite part is when Jack takes Nico to the football match. You will find that you cannot put it down. This book has left me with a lasting impression and I am sure it will give you one too!
    By Taiba

  5. I loved the book The Set-Up. It was so surprising and exhilarating. It was such a page-turner. I thought it would be slightly different from what I expected. My thought was it would be like all the other super-hero books, but I was wrong. It was like chalk and cheese in every way. I can’t even criticise it because it was so great. Out of 10 I would rate this book as 9 ½ as there is always room for improvement.
    By Lucy

  6. I thought this book was amazing and I loved how the main characters didn’t like each other at first but then because they were forced to work as a team they were friends (sort of). My favourite part was when Ketty fell off a cliff and Nico saved her. I would rate this book 9/10!

  7. The book was absolutely brilliant and probably my favourite of all! I think it was such a page turning book and I simply could not leave it for one second. Outstanding!

  8. I absolutely loved this book! I love the whole idea of it. The way that you were led into think that Jack was the one to trust and that Geri was the dodgy one was very well written and then towards the end it all turned around.

  9. I absolutely loved this book! I love the whole idea of it. The way that you were led into thinking that Jack was the one to trust and that Geri was the dodgie one was very well written and then towards the end it all turned around.

  10. The ending of this book was very predictable, however it was still very exciting throughout. The ending was good and happy. The book was easy to read and the sentences were well structured. The dialogue was also impressive and averagely natural sounding. There was exactly the right amount of dialogue and this made the book more interesting. The description in the book was good and I was able to picture the settings / scenes in my head. In this particular book, the scene changed quite a lot and quite regularly because the book was full of action.

    I love this book. It is great. I got into it really quickly.

    I really liked reading this book. It was really exciting and kept me entertained the whole way through, but there were some things that I didn’t understand or couldn’t keep up with what was going on, but still it was a really good book.

    The description fits perfectly and I can imagine the characters in my head.

    This book is very good, it is gripping and it’s good to get into and as soon as I started to read I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. The character Nico is just like a typical boy and the characters feel real, the plot has some very well thought-out bits and although it couldn’t happen it feels as if it could. It has twists and turns and by reading it you can tell it’s aimed for teenagers. The writer writes in a lively tone and the cliffhangers left me wanting to read on. It left enough time to get into the plots. It took unpredictable twists and it was moving and thrilling. The best part is where we get to know the characters and it moves quite fast and it has a good pace, it’s a really good book.

  11. Once I started to read this novel I just couldn’t stop; it was so captivating. Sophie McKenzie has written a real page turner.
    The book tells us the story of a boy called Nico and his desire to become famous as a consequence of having telekinetic powers. These powers had come into existence as a result of Nico having been injected with the Medusa Gene, through his umbilical cord, when he was a baby in his mothers womb. Unfortunately Nico’s mother died of a rare cancer because of the injection, along with three other mothers who were also experimented on.
    Nico is unaware of his powers until he becomes a teenager. His stepfather, who also happens to be the headmaster of Nico’s school, is Fergus Fox. One day whilst Fergus was “droning on” in assembly about school uniform, Nico was looking at a girl he really liked called Ketty. Nico got into a temper as Kelly smiled at Billy Martins, a boy sitting next to her. Nico glared at a window and willed it to bang shut which it did. A huge gust of wind knocked a lot of things over causing major distress among the other pupils. Fergus called it a freak storm. Fergus told everyone to calm down and caught Nico at the end of assembly and warned Nico never to use his telekinesis again.
    Minutes later in Maths, Nico got a text on his phone telling him to meet a stranger in Trafalgar Square after school. The stranger turns out to be a young girl, no older than Nico. On meeting her, Nico thinks she is gorgeous (but not as much as Kelly) and discovers that her name is Dylan.
    The remainder of the book is a roller coaster ride, twisting and turning as we follow Nico, Dylan, Kelly and Ed (a blonde dude with glasses) through their adventures discovering their powers and escaping from the clutches of a seriously disturbed psychopath named Jack who wants to sell the Medusa Gene to the highest bidder.
    The genre of this novel is a teenage adventure with a little bit of danger and a tiny bit of romance. There is an edge to the relations between Nico, Ed and Kelly. Unfortunately both boys want Kelly as their “special friend” but neither wants Dylan. Thank goodness she doesn’t care! Dylan is a really cool character.
    The book is well paced and kept me riveted from the first page to the last and eager to learn more.
    I really enjoyed the characters as they came alive on the page and I felt I really knew them by the end and cared what happened to them.
    By Lizzie

  12. This is first installment of the series books by Sophie Mckenzie. When I first picked this book up, I found the cover quite interesting. It immediately grabbed me and drew me in. Along with the excellent book reviews I had from my friends, I couldn’t wait to read it. Although this book was enjoyable, there WERE a few points that I disliked immensely:

    1. This book was extremely jumpy. I found myself in 1 place at one time, then in another a page later. These continuous slip-ups made an irritating read.
    2. Although The Set-Up would appeal to many, I thought the story had been used many times before.
    3. The character “Ed” especially annoyed me as he seemed to have shied away from his powers, even though his mother’s life was given in order to let him have these powers. He also kept trying to amerce himself into Nico’s and Ketty’s relationship, dividing them.
    4. I also think that if Nico and Ketty just told each other how they felt, the whole story line would flow easier because I felt that the story was biased by this constant irritation.

    Despite these minor faults, I thought that the story was overall enjoyable and was an easier read. Because of these reasons, I decided to read the second installment of the trilogy (The Hostage) and can confirm that it is a much more thrilling read!

  13. While being an extremely exciting and scintillating plot, a lot of the main ‘turns’ and ‘surprises’ seemed very cliche and obvious to me.
    Also, I would have liked it if the children’s powers weren’t so.. limited, or at least if the others learnt to strengthen their powers, like Nico did at the start.
    However, the general plot and ideas are very good ones, and Sophie McKenzie seems to perfectly capture the thought processes of teenage boys when it comes to girls!

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