New ARC Review: Catalyst


Paperback, 248 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Brown Books Publishing Group

Rated 3.5 of 5 stars

While this is my first Tracy Richardson book, I doubt it will be the last. I found her writing well done and her concept thought-provoking, albeit a little over my head at some times. Before I tell you my thoughts on this soon-to-be released novel, here’s the synopsis per Goodreads:

Marcie is spending her summer working on the archeological dig that her mother runs: Angel Mounds, a site of an ancient indigenous civilization. Soon after she arrives, she meet some intriguing individuals, and becomes wrapped up in a supernaturally-charged mission to save the planet from the destruction man has brought upon itself.

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit . . . But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.

This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke. The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds-something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.


My review:

Richardson writes a likable main character in Marcie. She’s got the makings of being a strong-willed yet kind-hearted protagonist along with other abnormal (not quite paranormal) gifts. The story starts with Marcie, her twin brother Eric and his girlfriend Renee going to a summer dig site headed up by their mom. At the site, they meet up with two graduate students who seem strange to them at first and later, show them their uncanny powers. They claim this power is from Universal Energy Field. I started to get lost in this portion of the story and realized that I was reading Book 2 of a series and that I had missed a huge chunk of what UEF is and why Renee’s Dad works on it alongside Eric. I also didn’t get a full read on Marcie’s ability to talk to a Native American spirit and how that tied to her ability with UEF, which I’m guessing was in the last book. I would have liked to have been brought up to speed a bit before being thrust into the storyline of these two lanes, because the confusion took away from my ability to fully understand and grasp the relationships between the graduate students and Marcie. I felt like Marcie was way too calm to see the weird things she saw and too quick to jump on board and bring friends along (even one that was resistant). I also was quite surprised at how knowledgeable young people in the story were about fracking and other matters. I chalked it up as it being a family interest with the father and mother but found it odd that teenagers wanted to spend their summer digging in dirt and rallying against fracking. But maybe I’m too hard on teenagers!

As the story progressed, we learn more about fracking and its dangers to the environment through discussions and visions. I did not much care for the two graduate students in the story because they seemed like they were brainwashing, rather than inviting any and all to learn more about furthering their sensory depth. All in all, I think this story had tons of information about Universal Energy Fields and environment, which seemed realistic and valid (although I admit, I didn’t check to see if it was real or not) but it seemed real…and sometimes, that’s enough for a good story. Even though I did get lost in the science a few times and might have liked the story better if it wasn’t YA and maybe New Adult, I think the story was successful in creating a thought-provoking message in a unique way.

Raging Book Reviews

*Special thanks to #brownbooks @theagencyatbb for sending a copy for review. Want to grab an early copy? Toss a copy in your cart:

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