Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Forecast by Elise Stephens ~Tour Stop~

Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 7/9/2013

 Calvin isn’t a teenager, not really; instead, he’s spent his life trying to protect his mother and sister from his alcoholic father. Calvin keeps a knife close and sleeps with one eye open, even years after his father has left the family. A summer vacation spent at their late grandfather’s estate promises him and his sister the chance to leave their problems behind.

Instead of blissful freedom, they find the old house harbors secrets at every turn, like a mysterious stone door in the forest with rumored powers to give its entrants the gift of future-seeing. When Calvin faces the return of his seemingly-reformed father, he throws himself through the door to receive the gift of foresight. But the door offers more doubt than certainty, and the future he sees is riddled with disturbing confusion. With a revenge-obsessed lawyer hunting him down and a secret society out to control him, Calvin must figure out how to stop what he’s started before he loses what he holds most dear.

As he battles the legacies of his past and the shadows of his future, Calvin must accept help from unlikely sources, give trust he never thought possible, and learn that the greatest challenges lie not in the things to come, but in the present moment.

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My Opinion
An enjoyable read. Wonderful characters and a rich plot.
Calvin is a great character. Deeper than a normal fifteen year old. Striving to better his future, things just go awry. Brought to a thin line...cross over into corruption or.....
I'm trying my hardest not to just shout everything about this book...I mean the door is there and he goes through it....Who the heck wouldn't? The pace of the story takes you thoroughly on Calvin's adventure. You're there...You're going through everything....nothing is left wanting by NO means.
Mansions...spells.....a strange door....what  more could you ask?
I found myself not realizing I finished the book without stopping. I just COULDN'T put it down.
I had to know how it ended....And boy did it end!!!
This author did a marvelous job, not only in telling a story that spans genre, but also kept it clean.
Recommended to anyone wanting a fun story with  addicting characters, and an ending that blows all your guesses to shame.

About the Author

Elise Stephens received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Forecast is her second novel. Her first novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her short fiction has appeared in the Unusual Stories anthology, as well as in multiple journals. She lives in Seattle with her husband where they both enjoy swing dancing, eating tiramisu, and taking in local live theater

He found matches in the desk drawer. The decrepit and gelatinous oil in the lamps kindled with a cough of dark smoke. He lit both, left one hanging, and brought the other down with him. The lamps had hooked handles for attaching to the ceiling chains and flat bronze bases.
                The gray bark of the tree mural shone silver in the lantern light, and the green leaves sprang to life, revealing themselves as writing. Calvin leaned closer, squinting as his fingers traced the words. They were names of a family tree. One name was written in a slightly larger hand, as if the painter couldn’t help but underline its importance.

Percival Thomas
December 11, 1931-January 1, 1980

There were no last names printed anywhere, just first and middle, which didn’t usually change with marriage, divorce, or adoption. One strand connected Percy’s name to Ingrid Angelina, Calvin’s grandmother, and two strands interlocked beneath Ingrid and Percy’s names revealing Hazel Elizabeth and Joseph Russell, Calvin’s mother and uncle. Calvin compared the handwriting. Someone else, not the original painter, had added Hazel and Joseph to the tree. He could tell by the different slant in the letters. Nobody had added him or Cleo underneath Hazel.
He knelt. There was another detail here, one he’d originally dismissed as flecks of stray paint.
Little colored circles hovered over each name, centered like halos. The circles he saw were almost all white, but not everyone on the tree had one. Two of the circles were red, like a Japanese flag. The one over Percy’s name, however, was blue and bright like a sports jersey. It seemed to emphasize something special about him.
Calvin had set the first lamp on the floor beside the tree and was standing on the desk to unhook the second from the ceiling, when Mrs. Seabrook pushed the door open, scrunching her nose.
                “I smelled the smoke. What are you doing in here?”
                “Checking out my family tree.” Calvin let the glass cup dangle in front of him. He felt like a priest swinging a censor while the prayers of Percy’s clients echoed around him.
I see,” she said, shifting her weight uncomfortably.
                “Do you know what the little colored dots over the names mean?”
                She answered without glancing at it. “That would be the classification system that your grandfather learned from the VisumOris society.”
                “Do you know what the blue circle means? Percy has it, but no one else on this tree does.”
                She took a step forward. “There are many circles in this area—” her finger described an arc across Percy’s parents, siblings, and grandparents “—and only a few here—” she pointed to cousins, aunts and uncles, and more distant relatives.
                Calvin said, “Like there’s a concentration of whatever it is in Percy’s closest family.”
                “Something got thicker,” she agreed, her eyelids drooping. She wasn’t going to give him a full answer, even though Calvin was certain she knew exactly what the blue circle meant.
Mrs. Seabrook swept her eyes toward the exit.
You can go,” Calvin said. “I promise to not burn the house down.”
                She left with even steps. The rhythm of her walk seemed to flaunt her ability to withhold superior knowledge.
Calvin knelt again and blew out his breath, staring at the bright blue dot over Percy’s name, intensified by the glare of the lantern. When he finally blinked, he saw its shape on the back of his eyelids.            

Something got thicker, she’d said. Was it some kind of power or talent?

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