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The Healers by Donna Labermeier

The Healers

By Donna Labermeier

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 2011

Seven psychic teenagers, spiritually bonded around the world, secretly perform miracle cures and rescues until the diabolical disciples of the Corruptor conspire against them.

First-time author Labermeier’s YA fantasy comes slathered in platitudes of New Age spirituality and alternative medicine—it’s practically chakra-stamped with the Shirley MacLaine Seal of Approval. Seven adolescents around the world are “healers,” kids gifted with paranormal superpowers to physically and mentally uplift a stricken and anguished humanity. Koemi, a young empath dwelling near Japan’s infamous “suicide forest,” dissuades the despairing from killing themselves. In Lahore, Pakistan, where Islamic fanaticism dominates, Harata uses her remote-viewing and astral projection to defuse incipient terrorism. Aura-gazing and manipulation allow Ellie to heal patients in her mother’s New York City hospital. Jorge “bioenergetically” charges water to the benefit of Bolivian peasants, and hunky Australian Jeremiah’s singing works miracles with harmonic resonance. Their powers are mentored from afar by an aged “ascended master” who brings to mind a modern Obi-Wan Kenobi. But an ageless force of evil—perhaps Satan, or at least a nondenominational substitute—works to destroy the Healers through corrupted adult-human authorities, and an apocalyptic finale delves into “dark and stormy night” tropes. Still, the author adroitly describes a kaleidoscope of exotic human cultures in quick, effective strokes and earns points for not overrepresenting any global society over another—not even Americans. Her fleet storytelling sense helps propel the narrative over most of the boggy patches.

A tale of New Age superteens on a mission to heal ought to be unbearably dippy, but a snappy narrative propels this novel forward.