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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Prophase, A Present Tale, is a young adult contemporary fantasy novel written by Mitchel Street. Piper is a senior in high school who lives with her father and younger brother. When her mother died, her father seemed to shrivel and become an angry and bitter man who terrorized Piper and Charley. Piper would worry sometimes about leaving her brother in the fall when she started school at Madison. Otherwise, her life was pretty wonderful. She had a boyfriend, Chris, a best friend, Lisa, and the closest thing to a mother, Esther, the elderly neighbor whose love and support were always there for her. Then there was Jazz, Esther's elderly Lynx-Point Siamese cat, who seemed to have adopted Piper and would appear at her window each night and snuggle with her all night long. The Coat Tails, a group composed of Lisa, Chris, Josh, another friend, and Piper, was getting ready to compete in the Senior Talent Show and Spring Fling was just days away. Then everything started getting complicated.
Mitchel Street's young adult fantasy is recommended reading for adults as well. This rather extraordinary book is one of the most impressive coming of age tales I've read. Street writes beautifully, with a poet's gift for creating light, color and song with words, and the illustrations that grace the front of most chapters are inspired and pair magnificently with the story. Piper's coming of age is special, as is every person's, but her circumstances are unique indeed. The gifts and heritage that are revealed to her are the stuff of high fantasy, as are the dazzling displays of nature, magic and light that are woven throughout this tale. Reading Prophase, A Present Tale, was an awesome experience for me and I very highly recommend it.