Piper Walker is an average 17 year old girl. She spends much of her home life trying to avoid the wrath of her alcoholic and chronically under-employed father. She adores her younger brother, Charlie, whom she has raised since her mother died of cancer. Her closest confidante – other than her best friend, Lisa – is Esther, the elderly lady next door who fills the role of surrogate grandmother. And of course there’s Jazz, Esther’s aged cat, who spends every night with Piper despite her father’s best effort to keep him out of the house. The best part of her day is the time she spends in rehearsal with her band. She loves playing bass and singing, along with Lisa, Piper’s boyfriend Chris and Lisa’s boyfriend Josh. Yes, Piper Walker is a very average teenage girl.
Piper’s world changes on her 18th birthday. What starts as a normal day quickly goes awry when she arrives at school: suddenly she can see auras. Not just people’s auras, everything’s auras – trees, animals, everything. This is followed by the disorienting problem of suddenly exhibiting superpowers. As Piper desperately tries to understand the swirls of color and enhanced physical abilities now overwhelming her world, she realizes it’s not a problem she can discuss with friends or family. After all, they would think she’s crazy. Right?
But they would be wrong, because Piper isn’t crazy. She’s becoming a Guardian.
Written for a primarily young adult audience, Mitchel Street’s urban fantasy Prophase is a fun, well-written and intense novel of good and evil. The characters are interesting and believable, especially Piper, who has to struggle with her typical teenage angst even as her powers and abilities blossom. Street is a master of description, and the reader will be swept up in Piper’s new life, carried forward by the strange and wonderful world which Piper must master – or die.
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