I'm looking for a book (well, an audiobook) that I listened to maybe 7, 8 years ago in English (I live in the U.S.), and for young children, or maybe for teens. My memory is very shaky but here goes:

I remember a boy and his friends entering a competition. I don't remember what the competition was for, but I remember the first stage being some sort of space game or something with each team having a certain target (so sort of like the Assassin game), and the main character eliminated his friends. One of the spaceships had an ability to become invisible, if I remember correctly.

I remember the boy was (intentionally, I think) harpooned by another person competing with him relatively late-stage. The kids/teens were divided into 2 groups and were competing for something, and all had harpoons.

I remember the boy and another boy having to compete by rolling a marble/ball through a maze telekinetically, and the main character barely won by choosing a faster path, despite not being able to roll the marble as fast.

I remember the boy and a girl going into another part of the world that was previously unknown to them (and was sectioned off or something).

  • 2
    Hi there. Could you please clarify that title? What is he recruited into? The "going to an unknown part of the world", does that make them, I don't know, explorers or stuff?
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 23:27
  • I remember some sort of flying. I am very uncertain, but I think the unknown part of the world was owned by a relatively small group of very rich people, and was very dangerous. I don't remember why they were recruited unfortunately.
    – sunfishho
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 23:29
  • I'm sorry for not having more information, but my memory is pretty bad.
    – sunfishho
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 23:30
  • 1
    No worries, that's a pretty good description already :) just in case though, please go through these list of guidelines on story-id questions, see if triggers more memories to edit in.
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


This might be Emma Clayton's The Roar.

Book cover of The Roar

When the animal plague began, the entire population came together and built a solid concrete wall 50 feet high and 30 feet thick. This kept every single animal out of the human world. On the top of the entire wall, there is an electrified fence and invincible, laser hurling Genghis Borgs mounted every 90 yards. Behind this wall the population that survived has been living for more than 30 years. Many things have come about since space is limited. The government created a law that forbade people to have children. The Northern Hemisphere is where the population has gone to survive with all the other people in the world. Outside of "The Wall" the majority of the population has been made to believe that it is covered in yellow poisonous dust that was used to kill all living things, because of the plague.


In the District city of the Shadows, Mika who is Ellie's brother refuses to believe that Ellie has died, instead believing that she is still alive despite both of his parents believing that she died. He uses his memories of Ellie and discovers that the government has been hiding Ellie alive.

Many weeks later, the government introduced the Fit Campaign for Children to set standards for their long-term health. However, Mika refuses to cooperate with the Fit Mix Campaign which leads him into trouble with the Nurse and his Principal Mr. Gray. Disgusted by his behaviour, Mr. Gray gave him detention, suspended him, and gave him a shock collar to wear as punishment. He also had to separate a whole big jar of small beads into their different colours. They were so small that he had to use tweezers. It was a very long process. A person named Helen comes to visit Mika from time to time and leaves biscuits for him, one of the biscuits had a message about the arcade that all the kids go to and practice flying with a pod fighter to get prizes. Many mutants go there as well and some get into the final round including Mika. He is paired with gunner Audrey who is a mutant with no eyes. Near the end all the kids that go the arcade get brainwashed and trained for war against the people on the other side of the wall. The plague was a lie that the government told them to keep them from going over the wall but, Mika and Audrey did and so did Ellie but never told anyone. The other side of the wall is where there are mansions with robot pets and animals that are owned by the few people behind the wall. Mal Gorman wants to train an army of kids to attack the people on the other side of the wall and all the kids are fit because of the fit mix. Mika and Ellie get to meet each other at the end of the story.

Looking at the Google Books results, there is a section where Mika is moving a pea with his mind for the fit mix. And, from a review forum for the book:

During the third round of competition Mika got shot in the leg by a harpoon gun.

There was a sequel, The Whisper.

  • It's funny. This book has come up a few times, and people invariably either remember Mika or Ellie, but seldom both, despite that they seem to occupy roughly the same amount of narrative.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 1:04
  • 1
    Wow! Thank you so much, this is a huge relief! I think the reason why I only remembered Mika was because I mainly only remembered the competition. Also, I don't think I finished the story ... so now I have to somehow finish it :).
    – sunfishho
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 2:00
  • We should somehow find a way to combine all of our questions together, with all the details, so that any future searcher with only part of the story can find everything :P
    – sunfishho
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 2:01

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