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Pixie Dust

Pixie Dust is award-winning author Henry Melton’s newest YA sci-fi novel.

In it, Jenny Quinn, a physicist getting her advanced degree, is involved in an experiment involving vacuum decay (um, what, right?) that goes awry. A huge discovery is made, but then her professor dies in an accident – an accident she finds suspicious. But just as soon as she finishes grieving and begins detecting a bit, she realizes that the incident with the lab experiment left some big changes in her own body. It’s infected her somehow. Now, Jenny has to figure out what is going on and doesn’t know if she’ll even survive long enough to find out the truth about what happened to her professor.

Okay, physics ain’t my thing. I never was very into math – probably my weakest subject. Science was interesting – but physics??? Talk about gibberish! So, I was taken a bit aback at the detail and intelligence that Henry Melton seemed to portray in Jenny Quinn’s character. I have no way of verifying that all of the basic theories brought up in Pixie Dust are correct, but I found myself convinced rather quickly that our main character is a very, very smart gal. It was easy to go with the flow and not stress out too much that I had no idea what they were talking about when it came to physics. It didn’t distract from the story at all.

It wasn’t long before I found myself really connecting with Jenny. She’s a bit of a loner, still grieving past losses, and trying her best to be independent. She’s likable and quite unique as a main character, especially in a sci-fi novel.

The plot is expertly laid out, slowly revealed piece by piece. For the first 50 to 60 pages or so, I was very intrigued and never bored, but not very invested. But quickly thereafter, things really started to pick up speed and the suspense began intensifying. I was turning pages quite eagerly, needing to know what would happen next. There was a slow build almost throughout the entire novel, and the climax did not disappoint.

There’s a cool, updated, understated version of superhero genesis going on in Pixie Dust – though I don’t want to give away too much. Henry Melton keeps it from going too cliché, yet still manages to embrace the inspiration from comic books that Jenny herself has a passion for. The character development is great! By the end you feel like you really know Jenny, as well as various background characters.

Pixie Dust is entertaining and gripping, sometimes dark and disquieting, subtly romantic, delves into family issues and managed to surprise me with the final twist. I enjoyed the way the novel was split up into sections, and took you to places you wouldn’t expect. It wasn’t one of those books that was easy to predict where it was going, or what would happen next.

I really, really enjoyed Pixie Dust and I think it has a lot of crossover appeal from sci-fi fans, YA fans in general, and adults who would just like a good read. There’s a little of everything in Pixie Dust – highly recommended!!!


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