cover image The Great Unknowable End

The Great Unknowable End

Kathryn Ormsbee. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2050-2

Strange things are happening in Slater, Kans., in the summer of 1977. Animals are dying and strong winds are blowing. There’s pink lightning and red rain, and a hologram countdown clock appears above the town hall, indicating that something significant will happen on August 19. But for 17-year-old Stella, the world began feeling off-kilter before the weather changed, since her mother committed suicide and her older brother ran away to join Red Sun, the local commune. She’d like to become a space engineer, but she’s stuck helping her little sister and working two jobs. Meanwhile, inside the commune, lifelong resident Galliard, who has recently fallen out with Stella’s brother, has begun to think that Red Sun is less idyllic than he has always believed and wants to see what lies outside, a desire that draws him to Stella. Told in alternating perspectives by Stella and Galliard, Ormebee (Tash Hearts Tolstoy) skillfully parallels nature’s disturbances with her characters’ internal turmoil to create a suspenseful story about self-discovery and following one’s dreams amid a life’s complications. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. (Feb.) [/em]