Bc Charles

Publisher: 3rd Coast Books Pages: Price: ISBN: Reviewed: May, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Starfall is a young adult, science fiction tale centered on a mysterious event and its troubling aftermath.

On October 6, 1995, the Anne Falls Gazette reported that witnesses saw “a fireball streaking across the sky” the previous night. The onlookers claimed it crashed into the Kingland Forest outside of Anne Falls, though, later, rumors circulated that “an object” fell into Queen’s Lake. Unreported was the fact that teenage girls were partying in the forest at the time.

Twenty years later, the children of at least three of those young women are now teenagers themselves; all of their mothers died shortly after giving birth. Apparently because of their mothers’ exposure to the phenomenon, each child has a unique supernatural power.

One of those offspring is Nathan Hawkins, an unpopular introvert who can produce fire with his hands. Nathan is picked on by the athletes in high school, but he refuses to retaliate with fire for fear that, if his power is discovered, he will become a guinea pig for government scientists.

Eventually, Nathan learns that school acquaintance Brad, another outsider, has the opposite power: He can create ice. Brad has recruited many of the unpopular students into a cult. Nathan is welcomed into the group—but when he learns of its nefarious goal, he realizes it must be stopped.

The author’s approach to the development of superkids and how they might react to their powers is unique and intriguing, and the story’s action can be captivating. When Nathan finally turns against Brad, for example, their battles pitting fire against ice might fit well into an action comic book.

However, the author’s stereotyping of football players as boorish bullies and cheerleaders as self-absorbed snobs is unfair and simplistic and will alienate many YA readers.

The good news is that the Starfall saga is just getting started, and readers will be anxious to learn if Nathan’s power is a blessing or a curse.

Author's Current Residence
Belvidere, New Jersey