Fair warning, minor spoilers might be present in the review.
An imaginative tale that deftly shows that being different doesn't mean you can't save the universe.
When I first started in the working world as an IT helpdesk technician, I was assigned to work with a colleague on the autistic spectrum. I learned more about working with people in the few days I spent installing Windows on desktops with this coworker than I have over the rest of my career.
While reading The Lost Cord by Lyndi Alexander, I found how many of the characters first misunderstand and underestimate Bee, the autistic protagonist, a believable and compelling situation. Over time, characters learn Bee possesses strengths they lack that are just as powerful and important as the ones they have. This lesson and others about acceptance and understanding ring clear throughout the tale without becoming pedantic.
The story follows a man known as The Conductor, who is on a mission to bring harmony to the multiverse. Failure means universal destruction. The stakes can't get any higher! To bring harmony, he must collect chords—manifested in youth from various alternate earths. Only by working together can they prevent discord and destruction.
One area Alexander's writing shines is the creation of the various alternate earths. Each planet feels reminiscent of our own and different at the same time. She accomplishes this with some clever wordplay in her descriptions and dialogue.
Overall, this is a fun and heartwarming story that will especially appeal to younger YA readers—I'm thinking of the twelve to fifteen crowd. The stakes are high, but the story is spun so that, while exciting, it's not too intense for the younger set. Also, I think the themes of working together as a team expressed through music and accepting others will appeal to this age group. Highly recommended!