By: Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman
Publication Date: June 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: July 2009
Kaida Hutchenson really doesn’t want to go on the upcoming school field trip. It’s a five-day excursion into the darkness of the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. To make matters worse, Kaida will be stuck in a van with Zeke Anderson, a popular school jock, and Joy Tallon, a chain-smoking loner. What could be worse?
Once the van leaves the school, the three students briefly, somewhat uncomfortably, talk, then, as dusk approaches, fall asleep. Kaida is jolted awake by a terrible, thunderous noise. In the darkness of night she is momentarily confused but quickly realizes that the van has crashed. Struggling wildly to get free, she manages to escape moments before the van is engulfed in flames. Zeke and Joy also escape, but where is Mr. Addison, their teacher/driver?
As fire swallows up the van, the three frightened students move further away from the heat. Soon, the wind picks up and lightning brightens the sky. Making a mad dash for a nearby cave, Kaida and the others watch as rain comes down from the sky in sheets. Moving deeper into the cave, Joy falls down into a pit and hurts herself. Kaida and Zeke do their best to help, and before long, all three are trapped. After spending hours in the cave, they eventually discover a light source. Eagerly following it to anticipated freedom, Kaida is quickly blinded by the bright light and has a sensation of falling. But then her alarm is blaring and she wakes up in her warm bed. Was the van crash just a bad dream?
Kaida forgets about the dream until strange things begin to happen. When Zeke and Joy confirm that they had identical dreams, the search is on to find out what is happening. Are they really home or have the three students fallen into an alternate universe where life can be threatened by a simple infection?
Written for the teen reader, Prism is a fast-paced ride through the supernatural. The story is interesting and the authors hold onto the secret just long enough to keep readers turning the page. Faye Kellerman, author of over 20 books, primarily in the mystery genre, co-authored this jaunt into the paranormal with her teen daughter Aliza. The additional teen voice adds a bit of credibility to the story and language, although there are spots where the dialog is a bit forced, perhaps by the authors trying too hard to fit into the teen world. Nonetheless, the unique plot, the search for the truth and possible way home, keep the characters and story moving at a brisk pace.
Quill says: A fun story that will keep teens away from the tv as they scramble to find the truth behind Prism.