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Publisher's Summary

Ryan wakes up to find his contractor dad building walls to turn their big old house into a duplex. The family that moves into the other side includes Bizzy Horvat, the pretty girl he has a crush on at school. Bizzy claims her mother is a witch with the power to curse people with clumsiness or, in Bizzy’s case, astonishing beauty. 

When a bee gets caught in Bizzy’s hair, Ryan acts so quickly and radically to save her from getting stung that he attracts the attention of a group of micropotents - people with micropowers. He soon realizes that Bizzy and her mother also have such powers. It becomes Ryan’s job, with the help of the other micropotents, to protect the Horvats from a group of witch hunters from their native country, who are determined to kill Bizzy, her mother, and all the other “witches” - micropotents - who have gathered to protect them.

©2021 Orson Scott Card (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Duplex

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Classic card

A book that gets better every chapter. I’d like to hear more from this world. The reader is excellent but his deep baritone is occasionally confusing when inhabiting the lives of young teenagers. Orson Card has always had a beautiful sense of the challenge of becoming the best human we can become.

4 people found this helpful

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So much potential

As an experienced OSC reader I expect to have to really dig in for the long haul. I did and waited for that pay off. I hate reviews that give away that prize at the end, good or bad. However I will just say fear past this one. It has a interesting plot line that just never comes to fruition.

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful teen/YA story & reading!

I have listened to this audiobook twice to determine if the book is suitable to gift to my teenage grandkids. It most definitely is, in any of its editions. Orson Scott Card weaves an intriguing tale with his usual creative flare while maintaining real-world believability. And the narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, renders a sublime audio reading that conveys the emotions of all characters, young and adult, superbly.

2 people found this helpful

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I am a huge OSC fan

But the demeaning, sexist treatment of the mother in this story stole the joy from hearing it.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book with creative ideas

I really find the idea of micro powers really funny. The continuous witty banter makes the story even more fun.

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a few minor annoyances

Like the first book in the micro powers series, the characters, dialog and over all story was great. did have a few places that seemed to forced or out there is lala land. Could just be me and way I think, but just a few things just didn't sit right.

Example: why no FBI agent in this story, seems the Feds would at least show up towards the end just to stick their noses in everyone business.

Overall good story and my grumblings are just that my grumblings. hopefully a third book coming soon. Hoping at least one of the new main characters is lousy at witty banter, getting tired of all the main characters being able to batter at witty at the professional level. Four all our poor nerds that can't be witty if our life depended on it. Yes I know Mr. Card is very very good at writing witty banter and is expected. just saying would like to read a conversation and not have to look up every other word and most of the references just to know I'll never be that witty.

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Huge Fan of OSC: Disappointed

Over all I enjoyed the book. There were a few things that I did not care for, and they spoiled the story for me. Without spoiling the story for people who want to read/listen, I will just say that I found nearly every character thoroughly unlikable by the end, and reactions of characters to the events in this book seem...unlikely, at least in the moment. The aftermath reactions all seemed pretty solid to me.

Still, I found myself pulled out of the story when some characters reacted to events in incredibly unlikely ways.


Caution, spoilers ahead:

I'll try not to go into too much detail, but I know some people will want to know why I felt how I did.

First, the character reactions.

People do desperate things, or are thrust into situations which would normally cause five alarm panic and they are all, every single one, cool as cucumbers in the moment. One or two even have the presence of mid to quip during life or death struggles. Does nobody in this book fear death? One or two stone cold mercs in a gaggle of suburbians, sure. Three or four, ok, I guess? Every single person? I don't buy it.

Maybe there is something inherent in the group in this book that gives them nerves if steel, but it never comes up, not even to hang a lantern on the oddity. If the explanation isn't in the book, the book does not get a pass. It worked in Ender's Game because they were military trained geniuses. Not so here.

Again, after events are finished, reactions are much more "normal"

Also, adults willingly allow children to put themselves in deadly situations instead of calling the police or stepping up themselves. I give this a partial of a pass because of the nature of these children and the nature of the situation, but if it were my kid I'd want to be there to help, if only to hold the door while he took care of business.

Bad guy's coming and you can't, or won't, own a gun? We're stopping at wally world for a baseball bat or two and some pepper spray. Better yet, we're tipping off the cops.

Finally, my personal problem with the book and a major spoiler. I recognize that not everybody feels the way I do, but some people will likely be put off as well for the opposite reason.

The book mentions abortion. One character is abhorred by the act, one defends it, and others are somewhat ambivalent. For somebody like me, who honestly believes that the baby was a seperate individual with full human rights regardless of whether or not that person has been born, it is murder.

That makes any character who commits the act, or condones it, a terribly tragic figure in my eyes. If you feel the same, you are likely to be put off by the events in this book.

If you feel differently. If you feel that unborn people are not individuals, and aborting is the equivilant of fingernail clipping, you are likely to be put off by the characters who disagree with you. This is a central point of the book. There is no avoiding it. Whatever you believe, somebody is going to espouse a view with which you disagree, and the matter is never completely settled one way or the other.

When you put something as serious as abortion in your book, it becomes a major plot point for pretty much everybody. I have no problem seeing views that differ from my own, and that goes double in fiction, but from my perspective (and one character's perspective) a human life was intentionally snuffed out and it should be a much bigger deal than it was.

For those who believe abortion is fine, one character believes that another is a murderer because a woman clipped her finger nails, and it should be a much bigger deal than it was. So, why is it there?

Either it's just there to create a tense situation to serve as backdrop for the greater story, or it is there to preach politically. I do not enjoy either possibility, and in both cases I felt is was a much bigger deal than OSC apperently did.

I don't hate the book. I won't even be returning it. I just expected better from one of my all time favorite authors.

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Ejoyable YA novel

I'm an adult who has been reading OSC since I was a kid. I read his other micropowers novel, Lost & Found, but it's not necessary to enjoy this one.

the primary superpowers/ bad guys plot takes a backseat to the story of a teen romance and a family dealing with separation of the parents, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Two things kind of annoyed me about this novel: the first lecture that Ryan's dad gives him about why he won't hire him as an employee went on way too long. I get that Ryan learning to take responsibility is an important part of his character arc, but even as an adult in his mid-thirties, a 10 minute lecture, even experienced vicariously, isn't fun and is not the reason I want to read a YA SF novel.

The other thing that I thought was heavy-handed was the repetition, about 5-6 times throughout the first half of the book, that Ryan's attraction to Bizzy was not based purely on her looks. We get it, he's not shallow, he's a good guy. You don't have to keep repeating it. Show, don't tell.

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Made a full grown man cry

Card is a master of his craft. Loving the micro powers series so far. Looking forward to more.

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Fantastic story! Hope there is a sequel!

Found myself cleaning the kitchen late into the night just so I could keep listening.

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  • Paul Roberts
  • 09-21-21

Not up to the usual standard

This is a good book but it just fails to grasp your attention like most of Orson’s books usually do. I am still looking forward to where it goes but so far, a little lacking for me.