“Will keep readers turning pages deep into the night.”—The Bulletin “Poetic, wild language, as enigmatic and forceful as rock lyrics.”—Booklist Relly’s band is called Scorpio Bone. Screaming guitars, crusher drums, and a singer who looks like a golden god. Along comes a girl named Zee, with a bass guitar, a notebook full of strange lyrics, and exactly the right attitude.
Zee joins Relly’s band, and immediately their sound is unbelievable; it’s like silence screaming. As the band bonds together, inexplicable things start happening and Zee begins to learn her true role in the group. She finds she is the last piece in a tetrad that, once formed, gives the group supernatural powers—each teen in the group represents one of the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. At their first gig, she realizes that music isn’t all there is to Scorpio Bone . . .
In Watts's fantasy novel about gods and music, teenager Zee meets Relly on her first day of high school. Relly explains that he's inventing a whole new sound, Ghost Metal ("so loud it almost crushes your skull flat and inside the noise is a ghost"), with his band, Scorpio Bone. The author starts out by using music the way he does carving in Stonecutter, even down to the association with cemeteries. When Zee becomes Scorpio Bone's bass player, she gathers inspiration for her songs at a cemetery that Relly calls the Beautiful City of the Dead. But the plot quickly grows farfetched: after the band's debut, Relly disappears, and Zee finds him in an alley where he bursts into flames yet doesn't burn. Relly later explains that both he and Zee are gods that represent two of the four elements: Relly is fire, Zee is water. Together with the other two bandmates (earth and air) they form a tetrad. But Zee's bio teacher, Mr. Knacke, along with the school's principal and janitor-all gods themselves-have lost their water element and take desperate measures to compel Zee to fill the position. Watt's novel moves quickly and makes numerous references to 1970s rock bands, which some teens will enjoy. Unfortunately, the characters here are never fully developed, and readers do not learn how these gods came to be, nor does the author explain the gods' relationship with the real world. Ages 12-up.