If you knew something bad was going to happen, would you try to change the future?
Charlotte Westing is an Oracle, and as such, she must follow three rules: never to reveal herself as an Oracle to non-Oracles; never to give in to the visions; and if a vision gets through, never to try to change the future. At age 6, Charlotte broke the third rule, costing her father his life. Ten years later, a stronger-than-normal vision breaks through 16-year-old Charlotte’s carefully constructed psychic defenses, foretelling the murder of a classmate. Charlotte wants to act, but she is too late. After a second ominous vision, she warns the potential victim, but it’s no help. As visions of the dead increase, and the bodies start piling up, Charlotte must decide whether to break all the rules in order to stop a serial killer and save lives. Oddly, the Sisters of Delphi seem disinclined to intervene in Charlotte’s rule breaking, but perhaps official consequence is being saved for sequels. The story is sometimes predictable and goes a bit too fast in places—readers will quickly lose track of visions and victims—but it’s full of gripping tension, and Charlotte is a self-aware and likable narrator, determined to use her powers for good.
Faults aside, this supernatural mystery will appeal to fans of the genre, and the story’s conclusion leaves wide the door for possible future installments. (Supernatural thriller. 15-17)