Domino Garrison knows that he is the king of all that is weird, but he would rather abdicate that throne. He would rather be a normal teenager who just goes to school and works at a bookstore—and for all intents and purposes—that's exactly how he appears to his peers; however, aside from his best friend, Griswold, no one knows Domino's secret, or his secrets. His father abandoned him and his only family—his mom—when he was 5 years old, and his mom is a drug addict who has a parade of men coming in and out of their home. Oh, and Domino has the ability to see into other people's fantasies. He thinks this ability is pretty useless; however, little does he know that his ability is more powerful and expansive than he thinks.
When extraordinary circumstances begin to occur, like massive earthquakes hitting the East coast, exotic animals wandering around zoos that they had not escaped from, and black sludge eviscerating everything in its path, Domino soon discovers that not only can he see fantasies, but he can also pull these fantasies into reality; however, doing so causes horrendous pain and mental anguish as Domino is concerned that the power he has could corrupt his mind.
However, he knows that it is up to him—with the support of his friends Griswold and Lucy, and his boss Miles—to put a stop to the unnatural occurrences plaguing the earth before it is too late.
At times a bit glib and dark, Marcus has penned a sharp-witted character with uniquely fantastical abilities in Domino, and it will be easy for readers to get pulled into the story as they glimpse the world through his eyes. Despite never really catching a break, Domino continues to regroup and keeps moving forward, problem solving and seeking solutions throughout the novel with the aid of his friends. With Lucy as a love interest, Miles acting as a mentor of sorts, and Griswold being an oddball just like Domino, Marcus has crafted an absorbing cast of main players to keep the story engaging. As the novel develops, more and more truths are revealed, alongside several plot twists that will surprise younger readers.
From a trash-dwelling, fire breathing dragon—the hallucination of a corner drug addict—to the rabbit militia Griswold is continuously imagining, fantasy fans will relish this enticing, attention-grabbing read. The curveballs, constantly moving storyline, and darker elements will keep adult readers intrigued as well, and although there is a conclusion to this particular saga in Domino's world, Marcus hints that this will not be the last readers will see of Domino and his friends.
Takeaway: A fast-paced fantasy thrill ride featuring a teenager with singular powers.
Great for fans of: Nancy Springer’s The Hex Witch of Seldom; Andrea J. Buchanan’s Gift.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A