Sleepwater Beat, by Kathrin Hutson, is the first in the Blue Helix series. The first taste of this speculative fiction world immerses us immediately with an honest certainty. I read the sequel first--so each installment can and does stand on its own. Here, we follow Leo, a young woman raised in a world of pharmaceutical addiction and information overload. Told in alternating timelines of her past and present, we watch her go from a lonely childhood and street life to the tentative relief of a found family.
We encounter a detailed and real cast as Leo gets to know Sleepwater--the group of people who, like her, can change the people around them with just their words. Some "beats" bring entertainment, or pleasure, others control and pain. Like its sequel, Sleepwater Static,Beat moves seamlessly through desperation, explosions, and despair. The thread connecting each of these pieces, however, is one of hope and faith in one another--and ourselves. Another winner: 5 out of 5 stars!