Review of Stonefly by Scott Holliday (Jacob Duke #1)
An amazingly powerful and emotionally impacting novel, “Stonefly” deserves more than 5 stars; 36 would be nice. I am so thankful that this is the first in a series, and I can only “wish” (intentional reference) that #2 would be available tomorrow. I virtually read this in one sitting, over the course of several hours, and again, the world around me dropped away as the novel totally absorbed me into its milieu. Jacob is a protagonist unlike any I have ever encountered. His “curse” is seemingly Supernatural in nature, although he insists it was a genetic legacy from his unknown father (remember classical Greek mythology, in which Zeus and other gods temporarily transformed into humans and animals to mate with desired human females—so I guess it would be possible for someone practically a demigod to also take human form, and produce a child). If Jacob hears anyone “wishing,” he is bound to that wish, and must grant it within six days, or the wisher dies. At age ten, he does so to save a girl in his fifth grade class; and the next seven years, until his eighteenth birthday, are spent in Dover, a psychiatric institution in mid-Michigan. On his eighteenth birthday Jacob is released, but he is different; he has been deaf since age seventeen. From this point he tries to live a “normal” as possible life, a small business owner, with a female friend (not a relationship-friend), and occasional contact with his career-driven mother and the police captain who loves her in vain. But of course, when one possesses a “gift” or more properly a “curse” like this, “normal” is a thing found only in stories.