Prelude for Lost Souls

Helene Dunbar. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6737-7
In the small town of St. Hilaire, N.Y., everyone is judged on the strength of their ability to speak with and summon the spirits of the dead. Pianist Daniel “Dec” Hampton just wants to escape his deceased parents’ legacy and leave as soon as possible, while his best friend Russ Griffin yearns for the prestige of joining the town’s Guild Youth Corps as a student leader. The teens’ plans are disrupted when 17-year-old piano prodigy Anastasia “Annie” Krylova is temporarily stranded in St. Hilaire en route to the funeral of her mentor, Dmitry Petrov. Bonding over their love of music, Dec and Annie attempt to fulfill Dmitry’s lifelong quest—finding the missing portions of the Unfinished Prelude, a mysterious piece of music that seems tied to St. Hilaire and Dec’s family. But as they and Russ speak with the dead, they stumble across the town’s darker secrets. Combined with the story’s many elements, a meandering plot saps the mystery’s sense of urgency, but Dunbar invokes small-town intrigue and plentiful atmosphere with this haunting, romantic tale. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lauren MacLeod, Strothman Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/25/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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