BY TOBY PORTER
Any teenager forced to put down their phone and write would probably scribble a shopping list, at best.
You would have to go back more than 201 years to find a teenage girl writing science fiction which was noticed by anyone other than her mum.
That was Mary Godwin – whose novel Frankenstein is still quite well known today.
But Mekelle-Angel Owusu-Agyare is getting in early – the 13-year-old has stolen six years on Mary, who later became Mary Shelley, by writing a sci-fi novel at the age of just 13.
She wrote it in her spare time, while dutifully working at school and doing chores at home, and as a relief from being bored.
She could probably teach her phone-obsessed friends a thing or two about using their imagination.
Mekelle, who uses the pen-name of M. Angel, has written a 84,000-word novel to encourage other teenagers to overcome the challenges, preconceptions and judgements they face in today’s world.
One day she watched a sci-fi TV series and was so inspired by the strange supernatural happenings that her brain sparked, and XXIV: Unbreakable came to life. The intricate story has been so carefully crafted and beautifully written that you’ll find it hard to believe this ‘normal’ 13-year-old girl writes it.
Using technology which has been passed down through bio-digital algorithmic DNA, a series of seemingly invincible people are born; Preternatural men, women and children hiding in plain sight.
One of which is 15-year old Reagan who, having just discovered her powers, is forced to leave her school books in order to save the world from chaos and domination.
“Completely insane, but in the best way” is how Mekelle describes her book. And, this is the perfect summary of how the complex but gripping story allows the reader to let their imagination run wild and take them into a world where ‘an epic battle for domination has begun’.
With strong themes of chaos, leadership, technology and morals at play, this incredible book grips the reader from beginning to end. When asked about the main character, Reagan, Mekelle explains that she took inspiration from her mother, Celestine, “who doesn’t take any nonsense, and has a clear sense of right and wrong”.
Mekelle wanted to write the book to show other teenagers that “you can do anything that you choose to do”.
In a world where teenagers receive a predominantly negative press, Mekelle proudly shines through like a beacon of light and said: “If you feel like there is something wrong with the world, change it. Don’t be afraid to stand out if you believe in something.”
She wants her simple yet powerful message to cut through the pressures and challenges that teenagers are faced with and inspire them to follow their dreams and believe in themselves.