In the first novel of Staub’s new mystical series, “Lily Dale: Awakening,” readers are introduced to seventeen-year-old Calla Delaney. After her mother dies in a mysterious accident, Calla is inconsolable. She decides to escape the misery by visiting her grandmother who lives in the quaint little town of Lily Dale, New York. Once Calla arrives, she learns that Lily Dale has more quirks than she expected - the community is filled with psychics who claim they can communicate with the dead. And much to her surprise, Calla’s eccentric grandmother is one of the acclaimed mediums. Calla considers leaving this strange world that she has unknowingly entered, but decides to stay when she makes some new friends and meets a few guys, all of whom can talk to the dead. The more time Calla spends in Lily Dale, the more it feels like home.
Then peculiar things begin to happen. Calla begins seeing things and feeling strange bursts of cold air. She starts questioning if perhaps she has psychic abilities as well, inherited from her grandmother. And when she begins to recall memories of her mother that she had long forgotten, Calla ponders if her mother’s death was really an accident. Could these strange occurrences be clues to find out what truly happened on that unfortunate day?
Meanwhile, Calla begins finding answers to another puzzling event - the kidnapping of a little girl that she has never met. Could the two crimes be connected? Calla longs to find out. However, Calla’s grandmother warns her that using her newly discovered psychic abilities to play detective can be dangerous. And when Calla begins to unravel the truth of her mother’s death, she realizes what a dire situation she has created for herself.
The Lily Dale series is an unsettling, yet captivating story. The paranormal mood of this first novel creates an enticing plot that will have readers yearning for the next addition to the series. And I was fascinated when I learned that this tale is not so far fetched; there is, in fact, a town called Lily Dale filled with mediums that say they can actually make contact with spirits. The thin line between reality and fantasy makes this book even more interesting.
I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mystery novels because it is eerily intriguing, and it keeps you guessing until the final page when secrets are revealed that will really excite readers for the next installation in this paranormal series.
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