Today, #TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour is making a stop at my little blog! We’ll be talking about a book that took me by surprise: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson. This is quite an interesting novel that was different than what I was expecting.
But let me save my thoughts for the review! First, I want to thank the author, Brown Books Publishing Group, and Dave @TheWriteReads for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, I appreciate it so much! It”s such a privileged to be a part of the Write Reads gang and I’m glad to be able to participate in all the exciting blog tours that Dave puts together 😊
With that being said, let’s get to it!
“Marcie is spending her summer working on the archaeological 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 archaeological 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.”
- Author: Tracey Richardson
- Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
- Series: The Catalysts #2
- Publication date: June 2nd, 2020 (ebook)/September 22nd, 2020 (paperback)
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Age group: Young adult
About the Author
Tracy Richardson wasn’t always a writer, but she was always a reader. Her favorite book growing up was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. In a weird way that book has even shaped her life through odd synchronicities. She has a degree in biology like Mrs. Murry, and, without realizing it, she named her children Alex and Katie after Meg’s parents.
Tracy uses her science background in her writing
through her emphasis on environmental issues, metaphysics, and science fiction. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her doing any number of creative activities — painting furniture, knitting sweaters, or cooking something. She lives in Indianapolis, and, in case you’re wondering, yes, she’s been to the Indianapolis 500.
I’ve read a lot of science fiction in my time. Like… a lot. So when I found out that this book was a YA sci-fi, I thought I had a vague idea of what I was getting into. This book, however, managed to surprise me!
This is the story of Marcie Horton, a young high school student with strange abilities, is spending her summer working on her mother’s archaeological dig with her brother and his girlfriend. Upon their arrival, they met two graduate students that seem to not only know about Marcie’s abilities to sense supernatural things, but may have some supernatural powers of their own. During the course of the summer, Marcie and her friends will be exposed to strange sights and tasked with a mission that may seem impossible: to help save the world.
When I went into this book, I was all set to read a book about eerie superpowers. I was not expecting to get a lesson about environmentalism, but it was a pleasant surprise! I’m definitely a believer in climate change and consider myself pretty informed, but I still learned a few things right alongside Marcie. It was such an interesting take on a science fiction novel, especially in the YA genre, and I found myself enjoying it. It made me connect with the book on a whole different level!
I will say I was less a fan of the heavy-handed spiritualism. I don’t want to get spoilery in this review, so I won’t go into the details, but it all just became… a little much. I think if we had been introduced to certain concepts gradually, it would have worked better for me. Instead, all this information is dumped on us in one heap after another and it left me reeling. I wasn’t 100% comfortable with the Native American representation, as well. I feel like the author did quite a bit of research while writing this book, but the characterizations still seemed a bit… lacking.
Still, the story itself was very compelling! You jump directly into the intrigue from chapter one and the narrative keeps you in its grip the entire time. There was no point where I felt bored, that’s for sure! It was a fast, fun read that also taught some great lessons about fracking and climate change. I thought the author did a great job at creating her characters, as well. The core group that we’re following were so relatable and clearly well fleshed out. I will say some of the side characters were obviously there just to give us information (looking at you, Scott), but it didn’t take away from the story.
Final thoughts: This was a unique YA sci-fi that was a wild ride on top of being very informational. The characters and story were solid, though the spiritualism aspects were piled a bit thick. If you’re into environmentalism and a gripping tale, you will love this book!
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