In the year 2098 America isn't so different from the USA of today. But, in a post-9/11 security-obssessed world, "secured" doesn't just refer to borders between countries, it also refer to borders between states. Teenagers still think they know everything, but there is no cure for cancer, as Kelsa knows first-hand from watching her father die. The night Kelsa buries her father, a boy appears. He claims magic is responsible for the health of Earth, but human damage disrupts its flow. The planet is dying. Kelsa has the power to reverse the damage, but first she must accept that magic exists and see beyond her own pain in order to heal the planet.
In this disappointing science fiction/fantasy hybrid set at the end of the 21st century, humanity, after years of environmental malfeasance, has finally taken steps to clean up the planet. Unfortunately, from massive forest die-offs to increasing cancer rates, there is ample evidence that it's too late. Fifteen-year-old Kelsa, deeply depressed after recently losing her father to cancer, steals his ashes, intent on burying them in the wilderness. There she is accosted by a beautiful young man named Raven, who tells her, "I've been looking for you for a long time." Raven, it seems, is actually the trickster figure of Native American mythology, and he has chosen Kelsa to help him reverse Earth's ecological collapse. Of course, while recruiting her, he neglects to mention that most of his fellow supernatural beings are actively, even violently, opposed to his plan, preferring to allow humanity to die off. Bell (the Farsala trilogy) is a veteran writer, but this tale fails to generate much tension, and her cartoonish biker villains simply aren't very scary. Ages 12 up. \n