Provost (Fresno Growing Up, 2015, etc.) delivers a novel of supernatural suspense about a young woman’s ability to shape reality.
After a car accident at the age of 6 leaves her paralyzed from the waist down, Minerva Rus’ life seems to be one long struggle. Not only did the accident confine her to a wheelchair and kill her dear friend Raven Corbet, it also left her at the mercy of her cruel mother Jessica Meyer, who doesn’t possess the skill set to properly care for a disabled daughter. Fifteen years after the fateful accident, Raven suddenly appears in Minerva’s bedroom. Although he’s now apparently 23, he still wears his old Legend of Zelda T-shirt and shows a fondness for her. But is it really Raven or merely an apparition? Meanwhile, Jessica gets closer to a man named Bradley Carson that she met at the supermarket. He’s no ordinary suitor, but actually an undercover operative whose real name is Anthony Biltmore, working for a secret government organization known as the Federal Intelligence Network. He’s no stranger to covert operations or to the violence that they often require. It’s soon apparent that Minerva possesses a power that’s of great interest to Carson’s organization—one that may get her killed. The narrative takes some time to gather speed, as it begins somewhat clumsily with a flashback to one of Carson’s missions and a slow-paced scene that focuses on Minerva’s difficulty returning to her classes after her accident (“School was different now”). Once things do get going, however, readers will find it hard to predict what will happen to Minerva, particularly as the characters mature and the plot developments blur the line between the living and the dead. Carson proves to be more than just a coldblooded agent, and later portions suggest that even Jessica is capable of change. Although Minerva’s special ability isn’t particularly riveting, the plot possibilities multiply after its revelation.
An adventure that’s slow to get started, but its otherworldly aspects help it to race to its conclusion.