Author: Tracy Richardson
Genre: YA Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publication date: 2nd June 2020
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
“Marcie is spending her summer working on the archeological dig that her mother runs: Angel Mounds, a site of an ancient indigenous civilization. Soon after she arrives, she meet some intriguing individuals, and becomes wrapped up in a supernaturally-charged mission to save the planet from the destruction man has brought upon itself.
Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit . . . But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.
This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke. The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds-something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.“
Catalyst follows Marcie, a young girl spending the summer at an archaeological dig. As such, the setting was well constructed and different to what I expected. There was some insight into the archaeological aspect which I found interesting and would have preferred a deeper focus on this even though I realise that it isn’t the main theme of the book.
The author tackles the difficult subject matter of fracking and environmental change with enthusiasm and weaves it into the main story line with ease. However, it sometimes felt too superficial and hurried as the point of view bounced from character to character in an attempt to capture different opinions on this controversial subject.
The magic and fantasy elements were well incorporated and developed and I liked how the characters didn’t immediately warm to their newfound powers. However, I wish that these powers were explored at a greater level as by the end I still had many questions about how they work.
Catalyst brings an element of youthful fun with the romance and setting while also analysing several extensive topics. This has its positive side but it also seemed like there were too many factors to juggle in such a short space and by the end I felt like the author only briefly touched on some of these topics even though the character development was strong. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book and the author’s courage to highlight such a thought-provoking message.
Many thanks to Dave at TheWriteReads for providing an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Catalyst is out to buy now!