Series: Time Shift

SST Review: The Year of Lightning

Posted December 20, 2015 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment

SST Review: The Year of Lightning

SST Review: The Year of LightningThe Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton
Series: Time Shift #1
Published by Jolly Fish Press on January 12th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 350
Format: ebook
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon

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. TheyÂ’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 thatÂ’s driving the deadly storms. TheyÂ’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their townÂ’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.

This book was a Middle Grade adventure novel based around the creepy house across the street and time travel. Malcolm and Valentine have recently moved into a small town. They live there over 2 months before they notice the house across the street. However, once they’ve seen it they can’t stop looking at it. Between the weird house with no doors and the freak lightning storms that are starting to come more and more frequently, they have a lot to talk about.

I’m trying to decide what my favorite part of this book was that isn’t a spoiler. Mal and Valentine are both learning to cope with a loss in their past. They both deal with their grief in different ways, which I thought was very realistic. They are both struggling with the recent move and learning who they are with all the changes in their lives. This was a middle grade novel so while their grief was there, I felt like the emotion didn’t achieve the depth or range I usually expect from a YA novel.

That last sentence really sums up my opinion of the book. Middle grade is like YA light and there fore it doesn’t have the emotional intensity that a novel geared to teens and young adults would. Though I sometimes read middle grade, I miss the profound connection that I typically have when I’m reading a really good YA book.

I hate to say it but the truth is, this book was fine. That can be the kiss of death for a book sometimes unfortunately. I didn’t connect with this book or these characters the way I want to when I’m reading. I finished this book. I liked this book. I just didn’t love it.