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Windchaser (Phantom Island #1)
Krissi Dallas. Thunderfly Productions, $15.99 paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-73554-080-1
Best friends and rising high school seniors Morgan Armstrong, Caleb Austin, and Whitnee Terradora, all presumed white, return as mentors after five years to “therapeutic support” Camp Fusion in Texas Hill Country, where overcoming trauma is part of the program alongside typical summer camp fun, romance, and drama. But as the Terrible Trio partake in new flings and confront self-revelations, specifically about Whitnee and Caleb’s bond, a rift grows between them, unfortunately coinciding with Whitnee’s increasingly strange and disturbing dreams and visions, which unearth her trauma. Attempting to cross the mysterious river that borders the camp, Whitnee is transported to the Dorian Island, where she discovers she has the power to control various life forces, based on natural elements, and that she—and her father, who disappeared six years ago—might be linked to the Indigenous peoples of the unfamiliar island. The confusion Whitnee experiences will be shared by readers, given the book’s uneven pacing and contrived dialogue, and tropes regarding race, power dynamics, and consent are questionable. Still, Dallas is adept at describing the teens’ emotional turmoil and visceral heartbreak, and themes including nostalgia, disappointment, jealousy, and grief are well-rendered in this fantastical series starter. Ages 12–up. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 07/02/2021

Release date 08/01/2020

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