Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday Street Team Review: The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton

Welcome to my first review as a part of Nori's Sunday Street Team. Today I'm going to be reviewing The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton. It's an interesting read full of mystery, time travel, and a whole lot of wacky stuff. Read on to see how I liked it and at the end, there's a Rafflecopter where you can enter to win your own ARC of this debut novel.

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. 

About the Author:

Ryan Dalton is 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.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

This book started out slowly for me. The premise sounded like something I would be interested in, so of course I jumped at the chance to read it. Once I settled down to read it, though, I had some issues getting to the real meat of the story. The first 25% of the story was fine, but there was something about the pacing that made me feel like it was taking forever to get to the plot. I wanted to keep reading, but I wasn't enormously excited anymore.

Once Malcolm began actively looking into the house across the street, the mysterious domicile with no doors, things began picking up and I wasn't sure what sort of book I was reading anymore.

The family dynamic was interesting. It wasn't that unusual to have a family where one parent is gone and the other is lost to depression or some such thing, but I did like that the twins got along. I'd usually expect to see them pitted against each other, vastly differing interests, that sort of thing. However, Valentine and Malcolm turned out to be something else and that was good, particularly considering the situation they find themselves facing.

The pacing was still a little bit slow for my taste, but the imagery and the plot really started picking up. The first moment was when Malcolm discovered the watch and began to examine it more closely. The description of it and what it did had me feeling Malcolm's wonder. That is when things started accelerating for me.

It felt like the plot went crazy. There's time travel, a bad guy, insane things that no teenager should be able to go through, but Mal, Valentine, and their friends managed it. I like books where, as unbelievable as it can be, teenagers face insurmountable odds and come out on top. Every once in awhile it's good to pick up a novel like The Year of Lightning and suspend your belief in the possible for 300+ pages.

Music Recommendation

Lindsey Stirling's Elements song felt like it had just enough deep, soulful meaning to it to remind me of The Year of Lightning. The house with no doors sounded like the beginning of a spooky old tale and there are several chords in this song that give me the same feeling.

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