Helen’s Story (The Star Seed Series)

Heather Leigh
Young Adult

FANTASY:  Helen’s story begins with a bank robbery.  She is in a group of hostages being held by three men committing the crime.  One introduces himself to her as James before the police arrive and the hostages are safely rescued.  Helen thinks the horrible ordeal is finished until her police chief father informs her that she did not show up on the security tapes of the incident.  Even more puzzling, neither did any of the thieves.  Suddenly, Helen is reliving days over again, watching people disappear right in front of her, and constantly running into James and another boy who looks just like him named Jackson.  Is she going crazy?  Dreaming?  Or is something more sinister taking place?  


“Helen’s Story” starts off well, grabbing the reader’s interest with a bank robbery that is not quite normal.  Unfortunately, from there the story degenerates into a bewildering mess of choppy scenes and switching timelines.  The author is attempting to let the reader feel Helen’s confusion as she figures out what’s going on, but instead of increasing one’s curiosity, the technique mostly results in frustration.  The story lacks good descriptions of atmosphere or settings, and seems more like an outline than a fully-realized novel.   A good editor is also needed to correct subject/verb agreement, run-on sentences, and punctuation errors.  Ms. Johnson has written the skeleton of a unique and promising fantasy tale, but it needs more meat on the bones to keep readers coming back for other books in the series.  


Leslie Stokes