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Reviewed by:
  • Ultraviolet
  • Karen Coats
Anderson, R. J. Ultraviolet. Carolrhoda Lab, 2011. 306p. ISBN 978-0-7613-7408-4 $17.95 R Gr. 7–10.

When Alison was very young, her mother was so freaked out by her daughter’s synesthesia (experiencing the input of one sense as another) that Alison learned to keep it a secret. Now, at sixteen, she has experienced a psychotic break; her cross-sensory perception has become so intense that she is convinced she made a classmate disintegrate in a burst of anger, and it doesn’t help that the classmate has in fact vanished without a trace. Hospitalized, Alison concentrates her energies on keeping to herself and appearing as normal as possible, until a researcher named Faraday discovers her synesthesia and her ability to see beyond the ordinarily visible spectrum and helps her understand her powers. Unfortunately, it turns out that he is a not a neuropsychologist at all but a young reporter for a magazine specializing in the paranormal, a fact that has him speedily dispatched from the hospital. However, since he is the only one who believes her story, she seeks him out while home for a weekend, and the story takes a turn into Dr. Who territory as Alison finally gets the answers she needs to explain some longstanding mysteries. Indeed, Dr. Who fans are the perfect audience for this psychological drama with a sciencefiction twist, but readers who enjoy exploring non-normative neurological abilities will also find it appealing. Alison is a sympathetic protagonist whose synesthesia is presented as both enviable and uncomfortable, and her mistrust of medical care is as credible as it is wrong-headed. In other words, the realism here is very real indeed, and the plot turn to sci-fi will either delight or distract readers, according to their tastes. Everyone, though will stay on track with her bittersweet romance with Faraday and its promise that true love can break barriers and transcend even intergalactic dimensions.



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p. 69
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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