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Rebel Genius

(Geniuses #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  836 ratings  ·  185 reviews
In twelve-year-old Giacomo's Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. Every artist possesses a Genius, a birdlike creature that is the living embodiment of an artist's creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he's in serious trouble.

Luckily, he finds safety in a
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  836 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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A BOOK??? By??? Michael Dante DiMartino???? Half of Bryke??? Creator of the greatest show in history?????? Yes please?????!!!!!!!???
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
"There are no easy answers, in life or in art. You're not following anyone's path now, you're forging your own. No doubt, you will find it both lonely and scary. But no one ever said having a Genius would be easy."

Wow. This book was incredible! Of course, I picked it up expecting it to be great. Why? Oh only because it was written by one of the co-writers of Avatar: The Last Airbender! I definitely was not disappointed, DiMartino has talent creating incredible stories, whether it be TV shows
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


I received this E-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately I didn't like the writing style.

Still recommend.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
Giacomo lives in Virenzia Italy a place where art and having a genius art muse creature is forbidden. When he finds one and is found by other kids who have one, he embarks on an adventure of a lifetime. Can he survive against perils and save the world from those willing to destroy and rule it? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good and action-packed book which is a first of a series and written by the co-creator of Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. If you like
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received an eBook arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love Avatar: The Last Airbender and was super excited to learn about this book by one of the show's co-creators. It is a little like Avatar with having an interesting world. Artists are basically able to perform magic using shapes. They do this through the usage of Geniuses, an animal companion with a magical gem. The Supreme Ruler, however, has made it illegal for all Geniuses to exist (except hers, of course). Our main c
Rachael ( RachaelRexds )
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up from the library and after reading 3 chapters of it, I was immediately hooked.

Rebel Genius is fast paced from the start, very action packed and full of adventure! It had a very unique concept as compared to other fantasy novels and I loved the use of art and illustrations to help guide you through the story. It also has a wonderful cast of characters and it focuses a lot of friendship. If you're looking for a fantasy book without much romance, this is the book for you!

As t
Avery (ThePagemaster)
What sold me into buying and reading this book? That the author is the co-creator of the second best animated show known to mankind?!(Teen Titans is still #1 to me #sorrynotsorry)


Now, without trying to label this as the next A:tLA, or dare I say, better, the overall story seems like you've read it before: You have Giacomo, an orphan, with a knack for drawing and art, in a world, where having a Genius, a birdlike creature that represents the artist's essence and spirit, is outlaw
Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon
The guy who co-created possibly the greatest show ever wrote this you say, why don't mind if I do. ...more
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

2.75 Stars Overall. My heart cries a little. So close. This book was a long john doughnut that somehow never got the custard filling. You still got a doughnut. Score. But, that filling would have made it awesome.

As a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I was super excited to not only find out DiMartino was writing a new fantasy series but that I also was approved for an advanced reader's copy (Thanks, Netgalley!).
A hella enjoyable MG fantasy adventure, featuring genuinely surprising twists -- will absolutely be recommending it to my nieces and nephews.

Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan for the ARC!
skylar lokota
*2.5 stars

I had very high expectations, and they weren't met. Also felt that the plot was prioritized over the characters, which normally doesn't do it for me. I understand that I'm not the target demographic, but I still thought it could be better.

I would also say that this for a more "mature" middle grade audience since there's quite a bit of killing and violence described on page!
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
I am so impressed with this book! I loved every second of it! There are definite influences of the Italian Renaissance in the setting through the artwork, architecture, and names. The writing is full of action, mystery, and magic, and of course, the characters are absolutely delightful. They feel like real people, varied and interested, changing and growing all the time, each with their own secrets and agendas.

Giacomo is an orphan, living on the streets, when he mysteriously acquires a Genius, a
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is only the second middle grade novel I've read this year and it was pretty awesome. Even though it says it right on the cover, I somehow didn't catch that the author is one half of the creative team behind Avatar: The Last Airbender until right before I read it. You can definitely see that influence here, and this is JUST AS FUN. ...more
Feb 10, 2016 marked it as to-read
Can I have this now? Please? Avatar TLA is one of my favorite shows ever and this book sounds monstrously good. So yes, gimme. NOW!
Richard Corbett
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Filled with puzzles and illustrations this exciting unique surprising novel takes place in the middle ages, with artists as heroes. I will be eager to see where he takes the next one.
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:

Note: This review is written by my husband, Evan.

Rebel Genius, the new middle-grade fantasy novel by Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra creator Michael Dante DiMartino has a very unique central character, Giacomo. He’s 12-years old, homeless, and he’s an artist in the land of Virenzia, where art has been effectively outlawed by the evil Supreme Creator Nerezza.

I should probably note that a lot of characters are killed in this book, so keep t
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

I was really surprised by how many people didn't like this book. Okay, it's a childrens' book, but it can't help that. I think it was quite well-written for a childrens' book, and for some who indiscriminately reads them with ease, that's saying a lot.

A lot of people were comparing to this author's big creation, Avatar, but I didn't think that was very fair either. Yes, there were definite similarities, and while I would've liked it to be a combination of both serious topic
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2016
I received by copy for free through Goodreads giveaways. This book states it's for ages 8-12, however I would recommend 10-12. It's relatively long for the average reader, but for bookworms out there, I would recommend it. There are small sketches throughout which is great for the visual person. I will be donating this to the school library I run to get some more use out of it. I'm sure the kids will love it. ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I did enjoy the whole concept of Geniuses and the arts. This is a really good introduction for this new fantasy series but I found some things sloppy, especially at the beginning, but it all tied up nicely at the end. I definitely want to know where the story goes!
Austin Phadoungsyavong
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like good book and some mystery because start kid doing and move like soul in body but he in old man and he don't know what look like body or face then meet man and little give problem he ask to him was old man but he was kid because inside old man's body. ...more
Diana Ramirez
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Obviously DiMartino knows how to create a really good story. I think is a great first book, with tiny little flaws. It is a children's book, kinda hard for children to really understand (like ATLA). The beginning wasn't very good, but as you keep reading it gets better. ...more
Feb 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2016 marked it as to-read
Written by the co-creator of ATLA and LOK !!!!!
Gail Bullard
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad for a first time book. But being a fan of both the Avatar series I was hoping for more.
Sep 23, 2020 added it
It was an amazing book, I love when art comes to life, and I can't wait to read the next one. Happy reading! ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-children
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Review originally posted on my blog:

I’m amazed and awed that I enjoyed this book so much. Although I probably shouldn’t be because this author co-created Avatar: The Last Airbender so I mean how could I not love his work?

So starting off with the fact that this is a middle grade book and I don’t really read middle grade books that often anymore. I thought that because of it’s directed age range I would find it hard to connect or the writing to simple but I
Yeah... DiMartino should stick to scriptwriting.

- The idea is amazing. "Art is magic" is such a cool concept that really hasn't been the focus of many other books at all (at least of what I'm aware of).
- The setting is interesting. It's refreshing to see a Renaissance Italy inspired setting over the typical Medieval England/Celtic setting that seems to dominate fantasy nowadays (my main fantasy project also happens to take place in a fictional land inspired by Italy, albeit with no Renaissa
Tamara McCool
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
As an avid fan of AVATAR:THE LAST AIRBENDER I was excited about this book. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to the hype for me. Rebel Genius tells the story of Giacomo, who lives in a world where art is both magical and forbidden. Small birdlike creatures called Genius bond to artists and help them to turn art into magic. These creatures are outlawed, and being caught with one can mean a fate worse than death. So, when Giacomo bonds with his own Genius, his life is changed forever.

It's an
I received an ARC of this book for free at San Diego Comic-Con, which has no bearing on this review.

I stopped reading at page 56, which is much earlier than I usually part ways with books I decide not to finish. My reasons for stopping are largely based around this book being geared towards the younger end of the middle grade spectrum. I generally enjoy middle grade as a whole, but I'm too far removed from the target demographic to enjoy this one.

The writing isn't bad, but it's very simple, whic
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Michael Dante DiMartino is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. His directing credits include the animated series King of the Hill, Family Guy, and Mission Hill. He is a co-creator of the award-winning animated Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra. DiMartino lives in Los Angeles with his wife. The Rebel Geniuses series is his debut prose wor ...more

Other books in the series

Geniuses (3 books)
  • Warrior Genius (Geniuses #2)
  • Sacred Geniuses (Geniuses, #3)

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