Rather than sci-fi centered around an alien encounter, in this novel a huge Comet sweeps past Earth depositing a powerful new Ninth noble metal on our planet, named Omnimetal for both its power and endless potential uses. The largest debris field is in the small, remote Northern Minnesota town, which becomes transformed by a modern-day gold rush.
The book opens with a lightening-fast bullet train running on Omnimetal-rails arriving in the small town Northfall that’s become transformed into the new wild West: everyone looking to cash in on any found Ninth Metal nugget, each worth a fortune. With each gram worth millions, the metal has become more valuable than any other precious resources form gold to diamonds. Just as boomtowns developed around the gold rush, so small town Minnesota becomes the epicenter of fortune hunters from around the globe.
Landowners become embattled with one another, and outside interested parties descend to bully their way in. The warring factions include two greedy corporations gunning for dominance and profits: the local Frontier Metal company owned by the Frontier family, and an opportunistic, aggressive Texan company, Black Dog Energy, who will seemingly stop at nothing to get what they want.
Then there’s the military, who want to figure out how they can weaponize the Ninth Metal.
They have started conducting abusive experiments on Hawkin, a young teen who’s developed superpowers based on his exposure and body’s absorption of the metal. Helping them with increasing reluctance is Victoria, a leading scientist who feels guilty at the inhumanity of it all.
John Frontier is the returning wayward son the Frontier family back for his sister’s wedding, who like young Hawkin has secretly acquired Superman strength. John gets swept up in trying to rescue Hawkin. He’s bereft at seeing his ex-finance, whom he ran away from once exposed to the omnimetal. John’s also disgusted by the intense greed surrounding Ninth Metal, and starts to uncover his own family’s unsavory involvement.
Let’s not leave out Hawkin’s Mom, who has become the leader of religious cult who worships the metal, even to the point of smoking or snorting it. Their prime directive besides waiting in rapture for an alien power to find them is to get Hawkin back into their fold.
And lastly, there’s the police, who may have been swept up into corruption. Rookie detective Stacie Toal starts investigating on her own, with the tracking abilities of her hunter Dad, to figure out what’s really going on in the disappearance of her police partner as well as Hawkin.
All these stories crescendo together like the twisted powerful metal of the debris field, leaving you scrambling to keep up.