The Clay Lion
by Amalie Jahn
The rules are simple. If you want to travel back in time, you need to be at least eighteen years old. You can only travel within your own lifespan for a maximum of six months. And above all else, you must never, ever change the past. - from The Clay Lion
Brooke Wallace is a girl on a mission. Losing her beloved brother to a tragic decease has brought her own life to wrenching stand-still, and nearly destroyed her family. To rectify this, she decides to use her one ticket to go back and save his life, but Brooke's single-minded determination has far-reaching and devastating consequences, not only for her and her family, but also for the people around her.
The Clay Lion (the a first in a series of young adult novels) reads like a the Twilight Zone episode: it isn't so much sci-fi as it is a thoughtful coming-of-age story and Jahn keeps a good pace. The book's themes of love, loss, responsibility, trust, and learning when to let go are tough subjects to handle without slipping into melodrama, but Jahn's clear writing style and crisp pace treats the heavy emotional load with grace and ease.
Brooke emerges as a wounded, but ultimately well-rounded character that you can really cheer for, and the relationship she has with her brother is heartfelt, never cloying. With a good cast of supporting characters, an intriguing premise, and a strong, satisfying ending, The Clay Lion is one Indie book you'll want on your shelf.