A heroic teenage girl uncovers ghosts, a strange radioactive substance and interdimensional travel in Graham’s debut young-adult novel.
Thomasville, Maine, has been experiencing extremely bizarre weather. For the past month, the sun has been completely obscured by dark clouds, and the rain hasn’t let up. Thirteen-year-old Sophina Murray’s neighbor and former mentor, Mrs. Tanner, seems to be at the center of it all. When Sophina's younger brother and other local children are kidnapped by a strange, hooded figure carrying a glowing rock, she begins an investigation of her own in an attempt to put her family back together. Graham’s writing deftly evokes the story’s atmosphere, setting the tone beautifully from the start with a haunting description of Thomasville’s rain-swept terrain; a sense of mystery and danger permeates the prose. Meanwhile, Sophina is a brave, intelligent heroine for young readers to follow. She takes everything in stride that comes her way—even traveling to the parallel alien dimension, Trellah. The recent death of Sophina's father casts a dark shadow over her life, which the grim occurrences of the past month thematically mirror; Sophina’s strong sense of courage stems from her desire to spare her mother another loss. Beyond the interesting premise, there’s not much to differentiate this novel from other titles in the genre. Trellah is not a unique fantasy world, and the novel’s plot twists are rather predictable. The book, however, does exhibit fine character development and powerful dramatic tension.
An excellent choice for young readers eager for a suspenseful, emotionally satisfying fantasy adventure.