Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle by Marie Harbon is the second installment in the Seven Point Eight series. Although this book can be read as a stand-alone because the first few chapters allude to the first novel, readers may be less confused about what they are getting into if they start with The First Chronicle.
The story is about three main characters—Paul, Max, and Tahra—who have begun a project in 1967 having to do with astral projection and other dimensions. Each person has his or her own agenda, some good, others not as noble. This installment begins after the seeming failure of the project, as twelve psychics’ souls are trapped in a multitude of different worlds. Tahra, who was guiding them on their journey, must now search the ether, bringing each person back, each one changed by their experience. Tahra must also deal with the repercussions to her own psyche, as she discovers powers and instincts previously unfamiliar to her.
This futuristic pilgrimage is juxtaposed with Ava and Sam’s journey in 1994. Ava knows nothing of her past, only that she suffers from hallucinations and appears to have advanced healing powers. Twenty-seven years after the OOBE project, what does Ava’s DNA have to do with anything? And why does she feel drawn to Sam?
From the front cover to the very last page, Harbon takes the reader on an intricate journey across universes. The cover itself sets the stage with dramatic colors and a science fiction feel. The editing and formatting aid the reader in understanding the plot. There are so many different characters and worlds and timelines, that italics and scene breaks are crucial to knowing who is talking when and in what reality it is happening.
Do not begin this tale without the desire to be swept away for hours. The in-depth characterization, intricate plot, detailed worlds, and mysterious intrigue require complete attention. One moment the reader will find herself on a world with mechanical elves and in the next moment mapping genomes in the twentieth century.