Dear Whoever Reads This,
Twenty-eight people have vanished in Greenton in the last two days. Normally, John would just watch the news with the rest of the city. But he won’t. Not with his mom being one of those twenty-eight missing persons.
But as John begins the search for her in a forest outside of Greenton, breaking laws and curfews, he discovers more than just missing people. John finds a classmate, possessed and covered in black smoke. Trying to escape from the possessed boy, John is attacked by a shadow person. He thinks he is done for, and as the shadow person’s tentacles are about to plunge into John, mysterious ice creeps over the ground, killing the shadow person.
But the ice isn’t there when John is in the car with his best friend, when another shadow person kills John.
John doesn’t stay dead long. He is reborn as an ancient, magic-wielding Lighbound. The other Lightbound tell him the shadow people and the missing persons are connected. Possessions aren’t uncommon. But this many? The leader of the Lightbound, Charles, tells John something big is happening, and if he wants to save his mom, he’ll have to control his magic, find the missing people, and stop the darkness before it kills the missing persons, the town, and even the world.
Lightning’s Rise (87,000) is a YA fantasy that incorporates elements of myth and legend (shadow people) and turns them into something unique and frighteningly real. Lightning’s Rise is similar to Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising in that they share the supernatural elements in a real world setting and play with the themes of light and dark.
John pressed his back into the tree, the bark burrowed into his back, but he didn’t care about the painful itchiness. He stared straight ahead and waited. The ground rumbled as the National Guard trucks passed along the nearby stretch of highway. There were five trucks in total, filled with men and women who could stop in the nearby field, comb into the woods, and find John. And then what would he do? The rumbling grew louder. He imagined them, camouflaged uniforms, rifles slung around their backs, dozens of them pouring into the forest. His heart ticked faster. John told himself they were only here to help, only here to help find the missing people, but it didn’t stop him from digging his fingernails into the tree, shoving bark bits under his fingernails.
But the trucks kept going, and John let out a sigh when the ground stilled. He slid down the tree, his thing sweatshirt riding up and letting some of the wood rub against his lower back. The leaves, a swirling array of orange and red and yellow, fanned in front of the blue skies, and John could almost forget there were twenty-eight people missing for two days. He could almost forget the lack of sleep. He could almost forget the hunger gnawing his stomach. He could almost forget the void he felt, the pure nothingness somewhere between terror and hopelessness he had had felt since the police came to his door and told him that his mom was one of the twenty-eight.