As Kelsa is burying Dad’s ashes in the scrap of forest left near the city, a young man with no ID chip approaches her, wondering why she doesn’t believe in magic. Ha! Her father just died of cancer, that curable everyday problem, worrying about the bioplague dropped by terrorists in the Amazon rainforest, the antidote that didn’t work, the deforestation of whole countries that followed. Magic in a world of aircars and compods and microchefs?
This isn’t hocus-pocus magic, Kelsa finds out, as Raven transforms himself into a fish, a bird, right before her eyes. He describes how humankind’s demands have blocked the ley lines of spirit, keeping the earth from healing itself. Now forests can’t fight off the bioplague and humans can’t fight off curable cancers and worse natural disasters loom ahead.
Kelsa has a flicker of magic in her soul, and Raven needs her help to unblock key nexus points on the ley lines from Utah to Alaska with a Native American artifact. But first they have to rob a museum to get it, then slip away from the police without worrying her mother.
Surviving in the wilderness as her dad taught her, escaping from agents of spirits who’d rather erase humanity and start earth anew, riding bikes and motorcycles over mountain trails toward nexus points, crossing boundaries without passports…
Can Kelsa really help the earth heal itself? Is Raven the Trickster telling her the whole truth? The first book in a series based in a high-tech, high-security future United States whose only hope is the magic recounted in ancient folklore.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA
Kelsa is a teenage girl who is dealing with the crushing loss of her father. Even though the setting is in the high-tech future with com pods, hovercraft-like vehicles and temperature-controlled clothing, Kelsa's father taught her to enjoy and respect the outdoors while enjoying its challenges and beauty. Now that he is gone, Kelsa feels lost and alone. As she is burying her father’s ashes, she meets a boy who will change her future.
Raven, who appears to be a regular teenager boy but who possesses magical abilities, approaches Kelsa and tells her that she is the girl who can save the world. She can save the world’s trees from the disease that is threatening them by healing a series of leys, energy-centers for the earth. Once she decides to take on the journey, she has no idea of the dangers and challenges she is going to face because not everyone wants her to succeed. Bell adds a twist at the end that will take you by surprise! (288 pages)
Recommended by Brandy S. Huffman, Librarian