The blind will see the future in Chand’s debut young-adult novel.
High school is a miserable place for young Alex Kosmitoras as he struggles to fit in. While the teenage years are tough for most people, Alex faces the additional challenge of being born blind and he is often the butt of jokes and the target of bullies. Alex’s home life proves difficult as well, and he is constantly at odds with his distant, impatient father. As if that weren’t enough, Alex begins to experience visions, mentally seeing events that haven’t yet occurred. Although these prophecies are an unsettling, confusing revelation, Alex’s year takes a turn for the better when he befriends Simmi, the new girl in town, and connects with the physic-next-door, Miss Teak, and her daughter, Shapri. With their guidance, Alex explores his newfound “gift” of second sight. And he needs all the help he can get, as his visions soon reveal that Simmi is in great danger; in the middle of lunch, Alex sees Simmi “choking, gasping for air, clawing frantically at her throat” and then dying in his arms. As the visions of her death continue, it becomes imperative that Alex learn to control and channel his physic revelations in order to identify the threat, protect Simmi and avert this deadly future. In spite of a slow start, Chand’s story quickly picks up steam as Alex, Simmi and Miss Teak work together to locate the mysterious character that threatens Simmi’s life. The mystery is intriguing and, with a few exceptions, Chand’s characters are compelling and diverse. Shapri is a standout, as she struggles against her own potential psychic gifts and wavers between feelings of love and annoyance for Alex. Chand also presents runes and prophecies at the beginning of each chapter, and though some readers may utilize these clues to make predictions, the concept doesn’t augment the excitement or mystery.
Despite a few small hiccups, this is an engaging read that should satisfy its young adult audience.