The Knack is Reincarnated

The Knack, by Jesse Gordon

The Knack, which enjoyed a popular run as a weekly series at deviantART between 2003-2004, and which was fairly successful as a self-published book shortly thereafter, has now been re-released in trade paperback format by Jessture Books.

The obligatory blurb:

Adolescence: a time of change, a time of discovery and (for those who possess the knack) awakening magical abilities. For Bryson Powell, growing up is an uneventful ritual—until he meets Kyna, who changes his life forever by introducing him to a treacherous reality where willpower becomes something tangible and the mind rules all.

In other words, it’s all about teenage sex vampires who feed off of each other in order to gain psychic dominance. Well, that’s a gross oversimplification, but The Knack has been one of my more controversial stories, something parents don’t want their kids reading (even though it certainly isn’t a kids’ book, nor is it appropriate for young adults)—and now it’s being let loose, online, on store shelves, at garage sales and recycling plants, and at the bottom of Wal-Mart discount bins across the U.S. And who knows? Maybe there’s even a copy sprouting up beneath your bed or in your bathtub drain this very minute….

So…yeah. Look for The Knack at, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powell’s, etc. Or ask for it at your favorite local book store. If you’re into that sort of thing. Pervert.

Some comments (I’ll add to these as they trickle in):

Devoured in one sitting, this novel cooks. [Bryson] (the new kid in town), Joshua (a stout heart, if not sound in body), Kyna (the tortured soul), and others, these complex characters are all blessed or cursed with an affliction much more plausible than the blood-sucking fiends of past fiction. Reality plays a big part in The Knack, because who hasn’t met such people whose magnetic and forceful personalities take on a preternatural quality for good, and/or evil. Teen concerns flesh out this excellent adult story, with an ending every reader should experience.

—Mark Sutton

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.

—Carmel March

…The Knack, by Jesse Gordon, self published but worthy of traditional print. It’s a vampire story, and I’m not a vampire fan, but this strikes me as an original take. They do drink blood, but actually need any kind of fluid, even their own; it seems psychological as much as physical. They have sex not so much for sexual gratification as for the associated fluid. They do have special powers, but these are difficult to develop, and it’s not a happy state. Individuals are finely characterized, and the writing can be pretty: “As she moved through alternating spaces of evening darkness and frosted LED lighting, her hair a vibrant spray, a fiery beacon of femininity, she conversed on her cell phone.”

—Piers Anthony

I’ve been a follower of Jesse Gordon for a couple of years now. The Knack was the first story I ever read by him, and it took me straight back to high school. He has a way with bringing the future into the present, and he doesn’t alter the emotions that would truly manifest, nor does he force those emotions. His writing brings you into the reality that he’s creating, and it’s a fantastic feeling. A little weird at times, especially during the sexual scenes, but fantastic nonetheless. It’s a book to be read straight through—it wasn’t easy for me to put it down!

—Kelly Snyder