Blank Slate

Everyone looks different; that’s a fact of life. Symmetry, asymmetry, blemishes, smooth skin, missing appendages, “normal” appendages, etc. But most people don’t look as different as Lincoln Delabar, a.k.a. Linc or Blank, whose face is nonexistent, aside from two slits for a nose. Richard C. Hale’s Blank  details the unique experiences of Linc as he encounters the world.

Seeing the world though Linc’s perspective is interesting because he doesn’t see the world in the traditional sense, through eyes; rather, Linc sees the world through electric impulses, or in easier to understand terms, sonar. While Linc is deprived of facial features, he is gifted with extraordinary abilities, such as telepathy with those who touch his face and telekinesis when his emotions, particularly negative emotions, are running high.

From the connective hive-like mind that results within Linc’s family, inclusive of his mother, father, and sister Kaylin, tensions run high as there are no secrets between them. From this transparency, Linc’s father leaves them, ushering in his Uncle Joey to act as his new male role model while his mother constantly drinks herself into a stupor. It’s not until Linc learns he can communicate telepathically with animals and goes to the zoo that he finds he has an impact on the animals around him and senses that something is wrong as many of the animals have lost their babies recently. After he forms  connection with the chimpanzee, he learns who is behind the deaths of the baby animals and seeks his revenge.

Due to the nature of the new, strange idea presented, there tends to be quite a lot of explanation to describe Linc and his interactions with the world around him in order to thoroughly set the scene. While this is slated as number one in a series, it felt a bit too rushed to get to a climax through the rising action, as if it had to offer this action right now, but then it immediately drops off into nothingness as it attempts to set itself up for subsequent stories.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

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