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The Zanna Function

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  47 reviews
When fourteen-year-old Zanna Mayfield gets an acceptance letter from St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, she jumps at the chance to put her considerable intellect to good use. But nothing can prepare her for the first day, when she discovers that she is a Scientist —one able to see and bend the basic functions of the universe like velocity, gravity, and chemical rea ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  78 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
A school for gifted children that is basically the Hogwarts of scientists. The magic of science and bending the laws of the universe. A really smart girl defending against an evil that wants to kidnap her. And she's all alone against it, because since when do the authorities ever help a magical kid defend against a powerful dark being..?

In the words of Scifi & Scary, this is like Harry Potter – but with a girl and science instead of magic. What else could you possibly want??

5 Rea
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
It's for kids, but it's soooo gooood!


Yes, I could see some Hogwarts similarities, but Mr. Wheatley (insert Portal joke here) made science fun, cool and understandable for kids. Who thought that math could be awesome? Me neither. There is nothing bad about being a geek! Kids act like kids, there are plenty of adventures happening, and I wanted #2. A very interesting take on making sci-fi YA book where everything "works" (no balls, still remember you Mistborn: The Final Empire..., no fake insta-lo
Sci-Fi & Scary
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You know how after you've read a really, really good book, you just close it and give a huge sigh that starts from somewhere near your toes?

This caused one of those sighs.

Full review up later.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.
The Librarian Witch
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one.
More than I was expecting to as well.
Which is good, because I wasn’t expecting to like it at all if I’m being honest.

I love magic and fantasy with a passion.
The same amount of passion with which I hate math and science.
So a book using math and science as the basis of its magic system really didn’t seem like something that I would be able to get on board with.

But how wrong I was!

This was a fantastic, exciting, enchanting read, and the math and science didn’t put me
Lili  Marcus
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars..

As early as first chapter, it was obvious that 14-year old,  Zanna Mayfield is gifted though it's a little later that we learn where exactly she excels. SCIENCE. The acceptance letter she received from the mysterious exclusive St. Pommeroy's School for Gifted Children is a proof to that. The story goes on with Zanna discovering that she's a SCIENTIST, one who can see and bend the basic functions of the universe to her own purposes. And that someone is set to keep her out of the ac
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK. LOVED IT. The Zanna Function transported me in that delightful way that all the best fantasy books do: by creating a rich and interesting magical world and giving you real characters with some relatable challenges (facing bullies, making friends and being vulnerable with them, journeys of self-discovery, imagining people complexly). I loved how accessible the scientific terminology was, without being dumbed-down at all. I think Science works great as a system of magic and love ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Zanna is a younger girl (14) accepted to a school for gifted students. They are gifted alright. This book is quite different, no one has super hero powers, they can bend and manipulate science ( you'll have to read it to figure that out). She gets kidnapped, bullied, typical kids stuff. Underneath this amazingly descriptive story is a teenagers journey to discover things about herself, just told in an entertaining fictitious way. The characters are likable. The plot o ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

This middle grade/YA novel deals with Zanna, a girl who loves puzzles, science, and whose curiosity is never satisfied. When she learns she’s been accepted to St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, of course she jumps for joy, but from the first chapter on, things aren’t like what she expected at all: the school is a nightmare, her schoolmates are horrible, her teachers seem incompetent… or is that only a facet of reality, and truth is in fa
Dora Mitchell
There's so much to love about The Zanna Function. Mystery, brainteasers, diverse characters, a fascinating world that's part of the regular everyday world, but still completely new and different -- but what I especially loved about Zanna is that it avoids the "Chosen One" trope. Zanna is a gifted, interesting, resourceful protagonist, but she isn't Harry Potter.

Yes, she's just discovering her place in this strange new world that most people don't even know exists, but no prophecies say she's hea
Sarah Perchikoff
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I will start this review off by saying this is not the kind of book I normally gravitate towards. It's got magic and a whole different world. In the book, this world is unknown to all us magic-less people (the Control Group) except for the President (uh oh!). What drew me to it was the main character being a "gifted" child. I was considered one of those and so were some of my friends and it's always fascinated me to learn about what happens when "gifted" kids finally meet a challenge; what happe ...more
Jill Elizabeth
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of world-within-the-world (or -behind-the-world) books, in which self-described "average" or "outsider" characters who have always felt lost suddenly find out that the world is much bigger/different/stranger than everyone realized and that their outsider status in the *real* world was due to their exceptional positioning in the bigger/different/stranger world. When I started reading this, I sort of thought I'd be in for the usual ride on that train - then things rapidly got even ...more
Heather Lynn
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
My friend wrote a book and it was so good!!!!!!!!
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
I received a Digital Review Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Zanna Function is an interesting melding of science and fantasy set in a magical school. Zanna Mayfield, who lives with her grandfather, Pops, is caught off guard by an invitation to attend St. Pommeroy's School for Gifted Children. Without wanting to spoil some of the fun for the reader, after a rough start, Zanna begins her study of mathematics, chemistry, physics and self functions. These areas of study represe
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Harry Potter meets Mistborn in this middle grade novel, where the existence of true magic is possible thanks to SCIENCE! I absolutely adored this book!

Since middle grade is a little shunned of a genre in my opinion, I requested this book because of all the great memories I had of reading middle grade novels when I was younger, and I was not disappointed! The main element of this novel, which is the manipulation of science and the gifted people around the world who are capable of doing that, make
K Steward
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Interesting story
Erica Mae Campos
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally published at my blog: https://livingahundredlives.wordpress...

The Zanna Function by Daniel Wheatley is an awesome read and I haven’t encountered anything like it before! To be honest, this has been sitting on my netgalley shelf for a long time now and I’ve always wanted to finally read it but then there’s my hectic schedule soooo. And I’m really glad I had the chance to pick it up!

This book makes me feel like a nerd (in a good way) and I’m loving it! It talks about mathematics,
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
“A pile of rubble is stronger than a house, only because it cannot collapse again.”

You know me, I love science-based magic. Even though The Zanna Function was yet another “Surprise, you're Special! Welcome to your new Special school with other Special children!”, I still had a good feeling about it.

One day, Zanna receives an invitation to a prestigious school for Special– I mean Gifted* (*wink*) children. In this world, Scientists are able to manipulate and mold things by understanding their fun
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2017, 4-star, fantasy
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Zanna Function is a middle grade fantasy read with a very interesting idea for magic. While I do have some bits and pieces to pick with this book, I overall enjoyed it very much and will eagerly await to see how this will continue. Because this cannot be a standalone!

Overal the Zanna Function was written well. I did find some of the descriptions a tad on the boring bit. They made me zone out a bit
Tara Gilboy
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, The Zanna Function was an absolute delight to read. It has this very classic feel to it – it reminds me a bit of Harry Potter, as some other reviewers have mentioned, but also The Golden Compass, not only because of the scientific and fantastical plot elements, but also because of the style and tone of the writing. (The Variable has this delightful “Mrs. Coulter” feel to her.) I also love how what we would call “magic” in any other novel is explained scientifically in these pages. Zanna is ...more
Laura Hill
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Writing: 4 Plot: 3 Characters: 3
Context / world building: 4

A YA adventure story based on Scientists who use their superior intelligence to engage with the world via direct manipulation of the Functions that comprise any object (or person). Students at St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children (which is a kind of Hogwarts for Scientists) study a combination of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Self, where the latter is an exploration of the extremely complex function that describes a unique hu
Vikki P
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-ARC of The Zanna Function by Daniel Wheatley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Zanna Function is the story of a scientifically inclined fourteen year old girl who gets accepted into St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, a school that was quite reminiscent of Hogwarts albeit, with Scientists instead of magic-wielders. This is quite possibly the reason I loved the book. More than all the adventures in Harry Potter, I loved the day-to-day descriptions of Hogwa
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.25 stars

The Zanna Function is science-based magic book where everything is controlled through the use of its function (kind of the sum of its makeup, previous experiences, and presence), which Scientists, the people who can do this, learn through Chemistry, Physics, Self, and Maths. It follows a girl from our world, Zanna, who discovers that she is Scientist and attends their school, St Pommeroy's. She is being chased by this strange person, however, who attempts to stop her from attending thi
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
For a middle grade fiction, I. ACTUALLY. ENJOYED. IT.

The plot of the book was light and easy to read. It gave me headaches because it reminded me of my subjects during high school; mathematics, chemistry and physics. It was fun to reminisce those subjects. Says no one ever. (Haha!)

The characters in the book are typical for me. They are the usual characters you seem to find me in a school where grades are important and rules are made to be broken. Sadly, I have to point out that I had a hard time
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the main character, Zanna, from the first moment. She’s a smart and unique girl, who was searching for her “right” place in the world to stay; it gave me strong Harry Potter vibes, with her starting to attend the new school and learning everything about how to use her own abilities.

I loved the world built by the author. It was so fascinating and refreshing from the usual fantasy or magic world. Sometimes I admit I struggle understanding how things work and are built in fictional worlds;
Oct 18, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Zanna Function through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As I did not finish the book I don't feel it's fair to give it a star rating, but having read about a third of it I can offer a few thoughts. This borrows very heavily from the particular narrative structure of Harry Potter, hitting most of the same beats with numerous equivalencies to serve similar storytelling purposes within the worldbuilding. This isn't inherently a bad thing; I belie ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books, solid, fantasy
I expected this book to be enjoyable, but very familiar. How many books are there about a kid getting an out-of-the-blue invitation to a school that teaches a magical, illegal, or otherwise unusual skill set? H.I.V.E., Evil Genius, Spy School, The Girl Who Could Fly, Steel Trapp: The Academy, Harry Potter, the Tapestry series... etc.

What sprang to mind instantly upon reading the synopsis for The Zanna Function was Simon Bloom: Gravity Keeper, which has a very similar premise. I liked Simon Bloom
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Book: The Zanna Function
Author: @danielwheatley
Publisher: @jollyfishpress
My rating: 🦋🦋🦋/5
A fourteen year old girl, Zanna Mayfield gets an invitation to join a magical school for gifted children. However this isnt a typical magical, wizards school. Every student at St. Pommerys is gifted with a unique ability to bend and mend with science. Zanna is put through some really hard times throughout her first year which gives her a chance to learn the depth of her abilities.
So i wont say this boo
Mikaela - riversidelibrary
This book is so much fun, and so important too. I honestly wish I had this growing up as a girl wanting to pursue a STEM career. The Zanna Function is like Harry Potter meets science, and I can’t think of a better combination. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I picked this up, but I was delightfully surprised with what I read, from the important themes of familial love and strong friendships right to the importance of philosophy and understanding ones self, and the role that has in scie ...more
Lael Braday
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zanna is accepted into the St. Pommeroy’s School for Gifted Children, where she learns that she is a Scientist, who can bend the rules of physics. A mysterious woman attempts to prevent her from attending the school, and Zanna must draw upon her new abilities, resources, and friends to fight her. The secret she discovers about the woman must be setting Zanna’s story up for a series.

This story sets up the conflict immediately with the mystery woman thwarting Zanna’s attendance at the school throu
Lija Fisher
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The worldbuilding in this book was really great. The story starts with a Potter-esque feel of a girl, Zanna, going off to a special school where she learns things that may seem like magic, but are actually based in science. The exploration of metallurgy reminded me a lot of Brandon Sanderson's 'Mistborn' series, and I love me some Sanderson! But just when you think you're settling in to a story about a magical school, a twist comes part way through and throws you into a world of mystery and adve ...more
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Daniel Wheatley worked as a financial news proofreader and copy editor before making the transition to editor at Mascot Books, a hybrid self-publisher in Herndon, Virginia. When not helping other writers achieve their dream of publication, he enjoys teaching swing dancing and hunting for cheesy movies to add to his collection.

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