Age: Recommended for ages 16 and up due to violence and occasional profanity. No sexual content.
The 11th Percent is a fast-paced fantasy/action novel by T.H. Morris. The title is based on the theory that most people only use ten percent of their brain power, but Morris suggests that there is a subset of the population with an extra one percent. These so-called Eleventh Percenters have a high level of creativity but are plagued with self-doubt, experience emotions more strongly, and can communicate with spirits.
Jonah Rowe works at a boring job with an overbearing boss, struggles with writer’s block while attempting to complete manuscripts for his novels, lives alone and has few friends, and is still grieving the death of his beloved grandmother. A conversation with his boss in the first few chapters foreshadows hidden reserves of self-confidence and inner strength, which earned my respect and make me instantly like him as a character. After a particularly trying day at work, Jonah leaves and starts seeing visions-the world has turned blue, there are spirits and a cat that remains his companions throughout the novel. Later that night, he decides to go out for a while, when he is accosted by two malevolent spirits. A kindly spirit named Jonathan intervenes, and Jonah arrives at an estate where other Eleven Percenters stay. Feeling he has finally found his place with his new friends, he decides to develop his eleven-percent potential to its fullest. But there is danger lurking, and Jonah may be the only one who can unravel the web of deceit that he and his friends have been wrapped in.
Morris creates excellent characters. The reader will feel an instant connection to Jonah, and later will meet his new friends: the health-nut painter Reena, the fitness-obsessed sculptor Terrence, even the musical but disagreeable Trip. I especially liked Jonathan, a spirit protector who serves as the mentor for Jonah and his friends. A few of his characters are “epitome” characters who fall flat (such as the sycophantic, tartish Jessica) but they are so minor to the story that their further development is not essential. For the most part, the characterization is excellent and Morris does a great job at making the reader feel connected to them.
The plot is fast paced and provides lots of action and twists. It is not predictable by any means. Morris creates a lot of suspense and keeps the reader guessing. He does take a few convenient fictional liberties (such as one character’s ability to freeze out a fire), but they do not create plot holes or lessen believability. The flawless narration is one of the best parts of this book. Morris has an outstanding ability to choose the right words to convey his meaning. This is part gives the books a philosophical feel. There were so many quotes I loved from this book but one of y favorites was “The brain resides in the head but the mind encompasses the entire body.” Indeed, one of the major themes in The 11th Percent is the mastery of the mind over the body. The Eleventh Percenters can only reach their full potential once they learn strict mind control.
A highly recommended read, The 11th Percent is the first in a trilogy. I am looking forward to the other two books. Five stars.