I completely fell in love with this book. Donna Galanti gives life to her characters, they live and breath on these pages.
Ben is hiding from his parents on the shore of Coopersville Lake when it happens.
A meteorite crashes into a group of 12 or so cabins, one of which contains his parents, and now all that remains is a huge crater of steam and fire. In one bright green flash Ben's life is forever changed, and for another, it is just beginning.
No one could know the long-reaching consequences of that fatal night.
9 months later.
A young girl struggles to bring her child into the world. She came to the doctor in secret. Not even the Armstrong's, the kindly couple who took her in, knew where she was.
The doctor doesn't know why the mysterious man waiting outside wants the baby, he only cares about getting paid.
In a rush, the baby is born. Sadly, the young mother doesn't survive. But wait, there is another baby fighting to be born, a twin, a beautiful baby girl. An exchange is made, but the doctor doesn't mention the baby girl, he will give her to the Armstrongs to raise.
Many years later, that baby, Laura, is all grown up and back home to find out why the people closest to her are being slaughtered. The answers lie here. Laura has always had the headaches and nightmares and she knows everything is coming together - the monster chasing her in her nightmares, the mysterious man who has always been on the periphery of her life, and whatever happened the night of the meteorite crash. It is all connected.
Laura and Ben are thrown together as death races towards them. Both need answers about the night of the meteorite if they are to survive what is coming.
I want to keep telling you more. I have only scratched the surface of this story.
Two babies were born that night, Laura, and the boy child called X-10. One looked human in every way and the other looked like a monster.
The many secondary characters made this story real for me.
Everybody should have a friend like Jim, a grumpy curmudgeon with a gentle soul and a fierce love and loyalty for Laura.
The Armstrong's, Laura's adoptive parents, who though they knew she was different and had special talents, loved her as their own.
The mysterious man in black, who has always been around, lurking in the shadows.
The cruel and sadistic Dr. Bjord, who thrills in tormenting X-10, his failed experiment.
And X-10. The monstrosity who's only thought is getting out, finding Laura, and tearing her to pieces.
From the first page to the bittersweet end, I was totally immersed in this book. A story of wonder, love, humanity and absolute evil.
Donna Galanti's debut novel has, at it's core, an energy, an essence, that gives it life.
Superb writing and a thrilling, all-out race to the end, A Human Element is an excellent read.