The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton
Published by Jolly Fish Press on December 8, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Children’s, Science Fiction
Pages: 350 Format: eARC Source: Author
When 15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town, they never imagined that the old house across the street could bring them so much trouble. A secret machine has reawakened inside, with the power to pierce time itself.
Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town. They’re getting worse every week, and seem to enjoy striking kids who just want to pass science class and mind their own business. When Malcolm and Valentine discover a connection between the house and the storms, their situation goes from mysterious to crazy stupid dangerous. Someone is controlling the great machine, and their purpose is nearly complete.
In a race against time, the twins must uncover the chilling plan, the mastermind behind it, and the force that’s driving the deadly storms. They’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their town’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.
Sunday Street Team is a monthly feature highlighting upcoming releases and promoting new authors. SST was created and run by Nori over at ReadWriteLove28.
The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton, the first book in the Time Shift Trilogy, finds siblings Malcolm and Valentine starting over in a new town, at a new school, trying to keep to themselves as much as possible. They discover a close group of friends in Fred, Winter, and John but life as they know it unravels as dangerous storms threaten to destroy their home.
I really enjoyed the interaction between the young and old in this book. The connections forged by Malcolm and his next door neighbor Walter over the shared passion of history. The support system that Oma Grace provides for the twins as they struggle through the difficulties life has thrown at them. Its not a common theme and I liked that it was carried through the whole narrative.
Another highlight was the handling of loss and grief in the story. Dalton depicts so well the way each individual deals with the death of a loved one. Some cannot bare to be around people, to talk about the situation. Others focus so deeply on anything else; hiding in their work and hobbies. I appreciated that the author did not skim over it.
My issues with this book for the most part stem from the odd pacing and attempts at romance within the story. There was quite a lot of action in this book which is fine by me, but the way the scenes were interspersed just seemed off. The romance though just appeared so typical and forced. There was nothing special about it and the narrative didn’t need it. I was much more interested in the friendships.
Overall The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton was a fun read, with lots of action, mystery, and time travel. The book is tech heavy but doesn’t detract from the personal connections. I actually thought the science fiction took a back seat to the characters which was cool. This one had its ups and downs, but I ended up enjoying the story. I’ll be interested to see where this series goes from here.
- “Yes, I’m very valiant. I should wear my shining armor tomorrow. Now, where did I leave my faithful steed.?” “If you mean the bus, I think it’s outside. Away from all the crazy.”
- “But what is chemistry, really? It is the key, the central science that connects all other natural sciences. Astronomy, physics, geology–the tools for unlocking the mysteries of our world–eventually they all come back to their master. That is what chemistry is, and that is what I will teach you–to be the masters of your own destiny, one molecule at a time.”
- “I did that once. Somehow I kept walking into closets. Just keep making right turns, you’ll escape eventually.”
About the Author
Ryan Dalton is the author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel The Year of Lightning will be released on December 8, 2015. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret.
Ryan is hosting a giveaway for 3 eARC copies of The Year of Lightning. Check it out at the link below:
So will you be checking out The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton? Would you rather your science fiction be light or heavy on personal narrative?