Sunday, October 15, 2017

Book Review: 'Sail' by Lindsey R. Loucks

Kansas author Lindsey R. Loucks is a school librarian who writes paranormal mystery thrillers. Her sense of the possible is what draws readers to her books, which in addition to SAIL include THE GRAVE WINNER, PETRIFIED CITY, MAD FLASHES, THE TRINITY BLEEDS, WHAT GIFTS SHE CARRIED, and HAUNTED CHEMISTRY.

SAIL represents Book 1 in a series Lindsey calls ‘Haunted Stars’ and she is off to an intriguing start! From the opening paragraphs she sets the tone for what is to come – ‘When Earth still existed, iron gates often surrounded cemeteries to keep the ghosts contained. Some people nailed iron horseshoes to their front doors to repel evil spirits. Me? I consumed iron like candy. Its tangy, sweet flavor, the safety it promised— it hooked me. Doctors called it pica; I called it living without fear. But iron couldn't protect me on the day I became a fugitive. A soft shudder rolled under my feet, a welcome sensation even though it chased tingles up and down my legs. Bright lights tracked across the floor-to-ceiling windows, shimmering through the snowflakes that clung to the glass. Deep blue ink had poured over the sky hours before, a reminder that I’d been sitting here all day. I stretched my legs out in front of the red circular benches that dotted the Waiting Room as feeling pricked its way back into my limbs. “Now docking the Nebulous passenger cruiser and the…” a soothing robotic voice said over the loudspeaker, but a nearby wailing child drowned her out. The Sky Dock, nicknamed the Waiting Room by me for obvious reasons, was the tallest building in the city and shaped like one of those ancient staples on elongated legs. Passing ships that were on the smaller side could dock under our feet for a short length of time to trade passengers or drop off and pick up cargo.’

Lindsey invites us into this strange word with her summery ‘Nineteen-year-old Absidy Jones is a ghost magnet, a sensitive person spirits flock to when they can’t cross over. After her brutal past escaping the hordes of ghosts vying for her attention, she spends her reclusive existence melting down iron into bite-sized pieces. Whether alloy or wrought, ancient paper clips or nails, consuming iron is the only thing that keeps the ghosts away. But when Absidy’s sister goes missing in deep space, a dangerous place brimming with rogue planets, ship-eating nebulas, and vicious aliens, Absidy vows to find her. She leaves her safe haven and boards the first ship she can that’s on a direct route to deep space—a ship that turns out to be haunted. To keep the malicious ghosts from killing her, the alluring bad boy pilot gifts her a small bundle of all the iron on the ship. But their growing relationship is tested with the crew’s prying eyes and hidden secrets. While the ship sails into deep space, it’s not just her sister’s life that Absidy fears for. It’s her own, as well. Especially since her stash of iron has shrunk to zero.’

Odd? Yes. Intriguing – most certainly. Jump on for a truly wild adventure by a dandy author. Grady Harp, December 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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