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Book Review: The Prism Effect

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“Just beyond Earth’s atmosphere, orbiting like a shining beacon of hope, is the celebrated Skylight University and only the brightest students are accepted into its hallowed halls.

Not surprisingly, Jet Stroud can hardly believe it when he receives his acceptance letter. Afterall, who would want a kid with glowing eyes and a deadly disease called ‘The Youthful Death’ on their campus? Thanks to his rare condition known as ephebus mortem, Jet has always been avoided and feared because of his eyes. When he learns the legend claims he will die before his twenty-fourth birthday, his excitement at being accepted into Skylight University is suddenly crushed.

Determined to find answers, Jet quickly picks himself up. Accompanied by another kid from his hometown, a loner named Cutter Jade, they seek out the other three students with ephebus mortem. Despite their differences, the small group develops a shaky friendship and begins a quest to find a cure.

But not all is as it seems at Skylight University. Mysterious shadows lurk in the hallways and bizarre visions of serpents and prisms haunt Jet’s dreams. While reading the obituary of a former student with ephebus mortem, Jet discovers several clues hidden in a trilogy of old paintings. As the group follows the breadcrumbs left behind by this former student, their quest takes an unexpected and deadly turn.

The pace to find clues quickens when strange voices, ghostly apparitions and bizarre events threaten to splinter the small group apart. With the semester roaring to a close, and tensions running high, Jet fears they may not survive long enough to crack the code.

Could the clues hidden in the paintings hold the cure to the strangest disease ever known to the human race? Can Jet and the others unravel the mysteries of ephebus mortem in time? In the end, Jet discovers something so profound that it will change his life forever.”

Title: The Prism Effect

Series: Skylight #1

Author: J. Wint

Page Count: 318

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 20th, 2023

The Prism Effect by J. Wint was my fourth full read from SPSFC-3 assigned books. This one caught my interesting in our first pass through all of our reads and I knew I wanted to return to see where things continued on to. As always with these SPSFC reads, the below is strictly my own opinion and does not reflect the overall rating or scores from Team Peripheral Prospectors.
The most surprising aspect to me from this read was the fact that a large portion of the story revolves around a school or university. For anyone following along with my reads this won’t be anything new but for those new to my reads and reviews, I struggle with younger characters and especially school themed stories. This was contrary to that for some reason. I think the author did a good job in keeping the school theme in the background while other aspects shined. It worked well for me.
The pacing worked really well for me throughout this read. I didn’t really come across many editing issues or vocabulary to trip me up either. I also didn’t have any moments where I thought things slowed down and make me feel like I was slogging through to the next interesting scene.
The world building was uniquely entertaining to me. I always mentioned the school setting that somehow seemed to work for me. Another thing I wanted to point out so that this world continue to open up as I read on. It starts off rather limited at the school but things begin to spread as piece after piece unfolds with this story.
The character development was solid in book one. I phrase it that way because as this one wrapped up it felt like some missed opportunity for some characters but I have a feeling that is mostly due to laying the foundation for the next book(s) in the series. Jet’s character development has quite the road throughout book one. We see a lot of changes with him as he struggles with his own situation as well as his new friends.
All in all this turned out to be a stronger read than I thought initially going in. It seemed polished from my first sampling but I thought it would end up more of a not my style kind of read. The ending was more than a bit of a surprise for me which has me wanting to see where the series goes from here.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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