The first installment in a YA sci-fi series about an unusual 12-year-old whose mental acuity far surpasses her peers’.
Young Josie and her mom have just moved to Huntsville, Ala., and it’s not the first time the pair has moved suddenly. Josie starts attending a private high school, and it’s an experience that makes her scared and nervous. Up to this point, she had a childhood of rigorous home schooling, and, aside from her mother, her only companion has been an imaginary older sister, Katelyn, whom she visits in her dreams. (Josie’s father disappeared when she was a baby.) As she begins to make friends at school and in her neighborhood, she begins to see less and less of Katelyn; at the same time, she starts to notice mysterious black cars following her around. She eventually figures out that her father’s disappearance, her dreams of Katelyn and the mystery of the cars are all connected—and that everything can be traced back to a secret from long ago. The novel starts off slowly, introducing Josie and her back story, but things pick up speed—and tension begins to mount—as she uncovers new revelations about herself and her mother. Although some readers may find the novel a bit overlong, it remains tightly plotted throughout; the author effectively drops hints early on that pay off later and portrays the major and supporting characters in a multilayered, believable way. As this is the first book of a planned series, the cliffhanger ending may leave some readers feeling frustrated, but most will be eager to find out Josie’s fate in the sequel.
A gritty, original sci-fi thriller that will likely appeal to both teen and adult readers.