- Title: Catalyst
- Series: The Catalysts, #2 (reads as a standalone though!!)
- Author: Tracy Richardson
- Publisher & Release: Brown Books Publishing Group: June 2, 2020
- Length: 248 pages
- Rating & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for younger readers
Thank you so much to Books Forward for my advanced copy of Catalyst by Tracy Richardson! This is the second book in a series but reads as a standalone with no spoilers, so no worries there.
Here is the description from Goodreads:
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.
This book contains a lot of really great messages for young readers, first and foremost the environmental consequences of our actions. Marcie and her team are dealing with an energy company that wants to expand fracking in the area, and there is a great amount of info about that and other environmental disasters.
Marcie has an interesting character arc as well. She knows there is something about the world that she can sense, but isn’t sure what it is. With the help of Zeke and Lorraine, two grad students on the dig, Marcie and the other teens learn about the Universal Energy Field and the implications of the fourth, fifth, and dimensions beyond. Leo is the other main character and provides the opposing point of view on fracking, as his father works for the energy industry. Their relationship is interesting because it pretty accurately portrays how teens have trouble with opposing viewpoints, and how to talk around issues and make compromises. I really shipped them.
I’m also Greek and ran cross country and share a name with the alien space ship…so…yeah, there are those things too. I liked Marcie a lot. The book reminds me of The Celestine Prophecies, which I was obsessed with in high school, and I’m really glad that this generation of young readers gets a book like this too.
The book turns from fairly normal, to paranormal, to sci-fi Jesus in a spaceship REAL quick, and I loved it. I thought the context of spiritual leaders made sense, since it would be pretty egocentric to assume that the gods and goddesses and religious leaders are only dedicated to one planet. The sci-fi element is definitely a bit out there in left field but it worked for me.
The book is relatively short at 248 pages. The pacing is pretty even and I’m sad that it took me so long to start because once I did, I read it in two sittings. I was never bored at all. I would totally and fully recommend this for teen readers as an environmentally and self-conscious read that has some great examples of conflict resolution and interpersonal relationships within the team.
The paperback releases on September 22nd, while the Kindle version released on June 2nd.
Have you read it? Want to discuss it? Let me know!