STARRED REVIEW
October 2014

A teen ponders the price of power

By Jason Mott
Jason Mott’s second novel, The Wonder of All Things, is equal parts supernatural thriller and coming-of-age tale as 13-year-old Ava and her best friend, Wash, bravely attempt to navigate their small-town world in the wake of a public disaster. When a beloved local stunt pilot crashes his plane into a crowd of spectators at a festival, Wash is critically injured. When word travels that Ava’s simple act of placing her hands over her friend has healed his wounds, the once quiet town of Stone Temple is soon swarming with folks who are desperate to cure their own loved ones, or themselves.
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BookPage Fiction Top Pick, October 2014

Jason Mott’s second novel, The Wonder of All Things, is equal parts supernatural thriller and coming-of-age tale as 13-year-old Ava and her best friend, Wash, bravely attempt to navigate their small-town world in the wake of a public disaster. When a beloved local stunt pilot crashes his plane into a crowd of spectators at a festival, Wash is critically injured. When word travels that Ava’s simple act of placing her hands over her friend has healed his wounds, the once quiet town of Stone Temple is soon swarming with folks who are desperate to cure their own loved ones, or themselves.

The resulting mass hysteria is aptly depicted by Mott, in a way that is not entirely unsympathetic to the crowds imploring Ava to share her gift. For Ava, this discovery aggravates an already chronic case of adolescent angst, and it also comes at a steep price: After each healing, Ava is stricken by debilitating ailments and visions of her late mother, whose suicide continues to haunt her and her father, town sheriff Macon Campbell. Can she continue? But how can she stop?

Like Mott’s first bestseller, The Returned, which was adapted for television this spring, The Wonder of All Things has a premise that lies outside the realm of possibility. Still, readers who are willing to suspend reality will be captivated by this poignant story of loss and love—and rewarded with a rich cast of characters.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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