Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Year of Lightning (The Time Shift Trilogy Book 1) By Ryan Dalton

I received this science fiction mystery book for free from the publisher (Jolly Fish Press) in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited when the publisher contacted me because I already had this teen sci-fi trilogy on my to-read list.
After Malcolm and Valentine’s mother died, they moved in with their grandmother. Shortly after moving, the 15-year-old twins notice something strange about the house across the street. It has no doors and no windows. As if that is not strange enough, strange lighting storms happen all over the town that keep getting worse and more intense. When the kids start investigating, they find a shocking connection between the house and the storms. Malcolm and Valentine’s curiosity turns into something far more dangerous. Armed with a time traveling watch, the kids must stop what is happening inside the house before the city is destroyed. 

The Year of Lightning did a good job at being unpredictable. I was surprised at many of the major events that happened. This book had a lot of mystery elements to it. This is one of very few mystery books that I have read that I could not guess what is going to happen. I was on the edge of my seat. There is so much action and adventure. As you progress to the end, there are more fights, drama and surprise. 

The plot speed was perfect. It started slow and then gradually got faster until the climax. The plot was also chaotic with a lot of things happening at once. In general The Year of Lightning moved pretty fast, but in this case it was the appropriate speed given the time travel. 

Some of the names of the characters fit them perfectly. Valentine was the only main character to be in a romantic relationship. Another character was Winter. She can be cold at times and stubborn, but fun to be around. That is a close description of the season of winter. The names helped characterize the characters. These four friends are all 15 years old and in ninth grade. It was impressive that these kids were only freshmen in high school and were saving the world and traveling through time. They had a heavy burden to carry, but fortunately they were a mature group for their age. 

However, I would say that at times the book was hard to follow. Near the end with all the action and fighting, there would be a lot of time travel, and sometimes I had to go back to figure out what era they were in. At times, it was hard to follow what the characters were going to do and what their plan would be. 

While the reading level is middle grade, this is an enjoyable book for all ages! I cannot wait to read the next book in this trilogy, The Black Tempest, which will be released in April 2017.

Title: The Year of Lightning
Author: Ryan Dalton
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Pages: 320
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars

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