Audra Ryder is ready to start her own life now that her ballet prodigy little sister Leah has aged out of her custody.
However, after Leah suffers a career-ending injury, Audra must put her own plans on hold—again—to help her recover.
While struggling to care for her injured sister, Audra learns the real reason Leah dances ballet: it has been the only thing suppressing a curse that transforms Ryder women into tornadoes.
If Audra can’t figure out a way to sever the link between the Ryders and the stormy skies of Tornado Alley, Leah—and perhaps Audra herself—will be literally lost in the clouds forever.
I saw my first tornado when I was five, before Leah was born.
It was the last beach trip we ever took as a family, thousands of miles away from Aberdeen, Oklahoma. I still remember the sting of saltwater in my eyes, the scent of sunscreen and sea spray, and the scorching whiteness of the sugar sand.
Dad spotted the waterspout first, of course. He had been hypnotized all afternoon by the spectacular billowing thunderheads that drifted across the Gulf. Each one was a towering cumulonimbus, which Dad called the Queen of the Clouds.
Droplets of beer from his open can splattered the sand when he gestured frantically at a distant storm cloud gliding along the horizon. “See that rotation!” he yelled.
My father, a lifelong ham radio enthusiast and volunteer storm spotter, was obsessed with the sky. “It’s ground truth,” he explained to me. “Best information they can get, no matter how many gadgets they’ve got in those offices of theirs. You’ve gotta see the sky to really know what’s going on with it. If nobody sees a tornado, if it doesn’t destroy anything, it might as well not even exist.”