Recognizing death by the black swirling holes located at the center of each corpse she can see, Chelsan Deree finds she has the ability to manipulate the dead. Not only can she manipulate these once live bodies, but she can also see those that are re-animated by others of her bent.
Chelsan learned at a young age that she has a strange and macabre talent when she killed her brutal and malevolent stepfather. Using her own talent of re-animation, she has maintained the facade not only for her mother but also in order to live a seemingly normal family life. Finding she could not be very far from the corpse though, she found herself quite restricted, including in her choice of schools. The only school close enough to keep up this charade, was a wealthy private school. Understanding she would be out of her element, she is accepted to attend.
Living in a trailer park, barely eking out an existence, she and her family do not have the type of money that those from her new school find necessary. Befriended by two different students, Nancy and Bill, she is relieved. They like her and are not ashamed to be with her.
Nancy, because she can and does not care what others think, and Bill, while he has the same motivation, is also one of the richest kids, and makes his own rules. It is Ryan Vaughn though who really intrigues Chelsan. While he tutored her, he was kind and considerate, and just a bit shy. Once the tutoring was completed though, he then barely seemed to acknowledge she existed.
In Riser by Becca C Smith, we follow the lives of Chelsan and her friends. When Chelsan’s life is turned upside down by the death of her beloved mother and her already dead stepfather, she feels as though she has nowhere to turn. In an odd dream-like state, her mother is able to communicate to her how she was killed as well as how Chelsan became the way she is.
It is only now that Ryan makes a stand to stick with her, but Bill and Nancy rally around as well. However, one student in the school, Jill, continues to mimic and create problems for Chelsan, setting her up for trouble at every turn.