The Knack

The Knack, by Jesse Gordon - Kindle E-book

Publisher: Madman & Moniker
ASIN: B000ZLR7OQ

You ache. You hunger. The doctors tell you that you’re fine, but you know there’s something wrong. You can feel it in your blood.

Anaheim, California is comprised of two types of people: duds and the afflicted (also called “initiates”). The former are your everyday, average folk, but the latter possess what is informally referred to as “the knack.” An unusual sort of STD, the knack heightens a person’s metaphysical abilities. It allows a person to perform “mind-magic” in the form of subliminal persuasion, lucid dreams, shape-shifting, and, even, the swapping of minds between bodies. The downside is that, once infected, a person becomes dependent on the essence / life force of others, and must continuously replenish his or her energies.

For Bryson, growing up is an uneventful ritual. That is, until he meets Kyna, a voracious initiate for whom love has little meaning. At first convinced that his feelings for her are the result of mere infatuation, Bryson quickly find himself caught in a web of friendship and deceit as Kyna’s vampiric dependencies lead them both on a treacherous journey of self-discovery.

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10 Responses to The Knack

  1. Carmel March says:

    It’s hard to find a real, believable book about adolescence these days. It’s always overdone or stereotypical, but The Knack is a different story. There are strong, well-developed characters that provide support for an already compelling storyline. There are intense situations, a solid mix of action, angst, and powerful descriptions. The reader gets a heavy dose of satisfaction as they read through the book, and they are always left wanting more. I highly recommend The Knack for anyone and everyone wanting a good read about accepting who was are, what you’ve been through, and what’s going to happen in the future.

  2. Megan Simpson says:

    The Knack is a horror novel that has been described by several Jesse Gordon fans as “grunge horror”. It starts off somewhat normally, with Aaron Capps, the lead character, accompanying his parents on a road trip to Anaheim, California. There’s lots of background information squeezed in here, such as several flashbacks concerning the reasons behind the Capps’ trip/move to CA, Aaron’s high-tension relationship with his father (Daniel), and Aaron’s expired relationship with a girl named Nikki. The horror element is slight at first, the first few chapters dealing mostly with setting up the various characters and situations. There’s Kyna, the urban warrioress, and Joshua, the lost boy/discarded soul. Both have psychic abilities, and both want Aaron for their own. This becomes evident when, at about chapter 7, Kyna infiltrates Aaron’s dreams, leeching off his soul energy. She intends to use him solely for the purpose of her psychic feeding, but ends up actually falling in love with him.

    There’s certainly a vampiric slant to this novel, but the true menace here is a communicable form of sexual vampirism. It could have just as easily been drugs or alcohol that the characters deal with. The point is addiction, and how Aaron, Kyna, and Josh deal with it. They are not genuinely hateful teenagers, and despite the nature of the affliction, Kyna fights dearly for love over lust. Perhaps the ending is too cheery, but it doesn’t detract from what has long been my favorite of Jesse’s novels. Deeper than Twilight, in my opinion, and well worth the time.

  3. Megan Simpson says:

    I caught tonight’s episode of Supernatural on TV and the torture scene SO reminded of The Knack and how Kyna made Aaron drink her blood in his dream! Coincidence or something more?

  4. jesse says:

    I saw that one too. Yummy. 😉 And yeah, there was a kind of familiar moment there, wasn’t there? Vampires must think alike. :p

    By the way, thanks for posting your review here. I’ve always appreciated your input. I really need to check out the Twilight series, though, see what the hubbub is all about…

  5. natalie says:

    CONGRATS on you and your publishing team getting the new version out and on its feet again!! This was great as a web serial and looks even better as a novel! I can’t wait to get my copy. I wish I had thought ahead and asked if you do signed copies? LOL

  6. jesse says:

    Thanks, Natalie. I was *so* depressed that last year’s re-issue had to go so soon – but I’m liking this one even better. Hopefully it will stay around a lot longer. :p BTW, if you’re interested in a signed copy, send me an e-mail via the Contact page and I’ll hook you up.

  7. Mira says:

    Dawww, poor Aaron. He sounds like such a sweetie.. *Glomps him* Even if he does have a Texan accent. x3 I’m SUCH a wuss when it comes to horror stories..I don’t even need anyone or anything to scare me, my imagination scares me enough x.X..but I got through this one, darnit, since you write so cleverly..and I must admit I’m quite taken with Aaron what with his long blond hair and fabulous muscles. Kyna is so lucky! 😀

  8. JC says:

    very good. I love your character development & urban setting. very detailed. I like that you are not shy like typical writers who’s answer to teen horror is using swear words and putting in adult scenes for shock value. everything works, the grunge-horror feel, the idea of sexually transmitted vampirism, body swapping, cute muscular teenagers running around naked at night– haha. Fun but also freaky as if this could actually happen. i felt for Aaron & Kyna and hoped they would work through their problems together, and i can see this relating not just to teens but to anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone who turned out not to be who they said they were. i can’t say much more, this novel is simply pimp.

  9. Dennis says:

    Not what I expected with regards to the Twilight references that are going around, but good regardless. The selling points for me-you kept a really believable urban feel without resorting to castles, cults or cheesy rituals. You also explained the motives behind the teenagers promiscuity that was truly heart wrenching. Fantastic idea thrust into ordinary circumstances that works on so many levels.

  10. Matthew says:

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve been showing my support at the various ebook sites for what I believe to be a very well-written novel quite unlike anything I’ve read before. I know there has been some controversy over it, but for what it’s worth I don’t think you should even consider “watering it down.” The Knack’s raw nature makes it what it is: a gut-wrenching story about two troubled souls trying to survive adolescence in a town full of spiritually corrupt individuals. You really captured the angst and suffering of the characters as well as the hope and joy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fight the good fight, Jesse! 🙂

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