Hanlon tackles new territory here, putting a Stone Age girl's consciousness into the body of a modern teenager, but the time-warp concept is poorly realized and the characters are merely cardboard. At nine, after being pronounced dead following a fall from a window, Isabelle Lessing recovers, but her memory is gone and the world is unfamiliar. Four years later, she's learned to hide her ""crazies"" (strange ideas and reactions) and faded memories of elsewhere, but she's clearly a misfit. Then a pet store boa constrictor leads her, as ""Mai,"" back through time to her people; after a token stab at junior high adjustment, Mai leaves Isabelle's life behind. Hanlon adds a lot of texture to this basic plot--Isabelle's bedroom collection of living things, the junior high school scene--but the only figure with substance is modern brother Paul, who shows protectiveness and a sibling's tolerance for peculiarities. Even so, he's repelled by her decision to return--he sees her ""people"" as naked savages. Shopping-mall science fiction, somewhat less satisfying than Hanlon's previous books, and oddly skewed: the modern characters are petty and shallow, the ancient ones rounded and peaceful.