Prism Review

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Prism takes us to a slightly alternate universe in which medicine and health care do not exist, and in which sick people are allowed to die without any care. Set in New Mexico and California, the novel features three teens who fall through a cave at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico while on a field trip.

They are plunged into a frightening parallel universe—seven weeks in the past, in which their "normal" worlds of family and high school remain the same…except for the fact that no medicine exists and when people die in the street they are picked up and disposed of.
Taken from GoodReads.

Prism follows the story of Kaida Hutchenson, Zeke Anderson, and Joy Tallon who suffer through a horrific bus accident and, though their lives are nothing alike, they are thrown into a world parallel their own. It looks just like their own world, and nothing has happened - no accident, no night in a desert cave, but there's something wrong with this new world. It's a week before the class trip, and Kaida wakes in her own bed, but this world is distorted. Medicine is illegal, the punishment for crimes is severe, and they have to find their way back to their own reality before things go from bad to worse.

Prism is a collaboration between NYT Bestselling author, Faye Kellerman and her teen daughter, Aliza Kellerman. As a debut novel for the latter, I'd have to say that Prism is not half bad, but there are a few qualms I have with this book. First, I often found Zeke to be a rather superfluous character. As one of the three MCs, I would expect him to have a bit of a storyline of his own, but he didn't really do all that much, all things considered. I also feel like I never really got to know the characters and their driving force. Kaida could be an extremely interesting and riveting character, but I wanted to know why she reacted the way she did to certain situations.

There was also a pattern of things being a wee bit unbelievable at times. Prism is in an alternate world where medicine is illegal, so you'd expect for other things to be a bit different, as well. In fact, I'd expect society to be a bit more backward, but it really wasn't. I guess I was expecting a bit more of a thriller...perhaps something along the lines of The Butterfly Effect? It didn't really measure up to that though. It's a bit like mystery/thriller-light. That said, there are some things I liked about this book. It's a fairly original twist on a supernatural story, the writing is fluid, and it's not a difficult read. (Besides, who can resist that cover?! I couldn't.)

Either way, it's an easy read once you get past the unbelievability of it and just enjoy the writing. Prism definitely isn't bad, and it's a good first stab at a debut for Aliza Kellerman. I'd recommend this as a borrow-only, and I give it a 3 out of 5. It's G-rated enough to read to your kids, and it's a fast enough read for a night or two by yourself.


  1. I've heard of this one, but I've never really looked into it. I don't think it's my thing. Glad to see you liked it okay :)

  2. I just saw this book for the first time a few weeks ago at a bookstore. It sounded really great and interesting. Thanks for your review! I wanted to get some thoughts on it. :)

  3. I enjoyed this review. Thanks for the honesty!

  4. Excellent review! I find it so cool how it's written by a known author and her daughter. I'd read it just for that fact. And yes, that cover is irresistable!

  5. Nice review! Sounds interesting, that's a bummer that it seems a bit unbelievable though. :)

  6. This is such a great read! I think I would love to read this one to see the unbelievability thing you said. Kind of interesting!

  7. Although I often think about how often I do suspend disbelief in the books I read, it usually happens with books that are not as easy to do that with. Based on your great review, this book falls into that not easy part. It is an interesting premise though. Thanks for the review

  8. Great review! This one sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out sometime. :) Sorry to hear that it wasn't a spectacular, or particularly believable read.

  9. I borrowed this from the library... and never read it. Good review!


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