Lights Over Emerald Creek
Sixteen-year-old Lucy has been struggling with depression ever since the car accident several months ago, which took her mother’s life and left her paraplegic. But one night she sees something to bring her back to living, something inexplicable: strange glowing balls of light hovering over the creek on her remote Australian ranch. Lucy, an accomplished cellist with perfect pitch, finds the strange lights hum in different tones and leave unusual geometric patterns in the sand on the edge of the creek. Internet research connects her with Jonathan, a young music student in Scotland, who is interested in cymatics, the geometric forms created by sound waves moving through semisolid matter. Jonathan tells Lucy about unusual carvings in the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland which match certain note forms, and about an unexplained hexagonal storm on Saturn’s north pole that baffles scientists but also mimics one of those notes. Lucy’s online relationship with Jonathan develops while she continues her investigations linking these mysteries. But one day her research takes her much farther than she could have imagined, and she disappears. Jonathan, learning of her disappearance, travels to Australia to find her, which he eventually does. Together they learn that Lucy has exceptional powers that she will need to harness to allow the formation of a new world and to protect it from evil forces that want to enslave it before it has a chance to be born.
The amazing science mysteries in this book drew me in from the start; I found myself pausing to search the internet frequently. The mysteries – the Rosslyn Chapel carvings, Saturn’s storm, the glowing lights, cymatics – are well-documented and factual. This book weaves them all together in a fascinating way, within a highly entertaining story. Lucy is a sympathetic character, and although she is depressed about her mother’s death and her new disability, even angry, she isn’t whiny or bitter and is certainly likeable and believable. Her love story with Jonathan is sweet and sensitive, and Jonathan is also a likeable character with depth. I enjoyed the main story arc of Lucy finding something to overcome her new limitations, and to give her (as she felt) a real reason to live; I enjoyed the romance development for this YA novel. The science fiction aspects were fun and definitely intriguing. The only frustration was near the end of the book, where I felt that a new, completely different conflict and resolution was crammed in too short a space. However, there is another book in the series that will develop this conflict further. I couldn’t put this book down, and I can hardly wait to see where the author will take us next. This is a great new YA novel with an intriguing premise you won’t want to miss!
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