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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > Jan/Feb 2018 > You can never go home

You can never go home

David A. Robertson’s latest thriller, the first in a series, fires on all cylinders

Strangers: The Reckoner, Book 1

David A. Robertson HighWater Press, Ages 12+

COLE HARPER – the protagonist of David A. Robertson’s impressive new novel for young adults – hasn’t returned to Wounded Sky First Nation in almost a decade. A high school senior in Winnipeg, with a part-time job and a plan for university (along with some considerable basketball skills), Harper fled the community as a child, in the wake of something tragic. The novel is coy about the exact nature of the events that drove Harper from his home: there was a fire, and the deaths of a number of children. These occurrences had something to do with the school, and were perhaps connected to the mysterious research facility on the edge of town. We learn very little from Harper, who has no interest in exploring the past – not even when he starts receiving increasingly frantic text messages from his childhood friend Ashley, still living at Wounded Sky, and desperate for Harper to return.

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