Publisher: Take out the Trash!
Publish Date: June 2013
Origins: From Author for Review
Order Links: Amazon
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Raven Wishmore was supposed to snatch a cauldron. Instead she accidentally blows up a library.
When Raven’s father—a spy for Kingdom Quest, a secret society devoted to protecting magic and punishing magic abusers—is charged with finding a priceless cauldron, Raven is coerced into joining the investigation. She reluctantly goes undercover at Saint Cloud Library, the supposed location at which the cauldron is being guarded. Raven—in her gum snapping, skirt wearing, ditzy disguise—is employed at Saint Cloud, which is ruled by a tyrannical library director who has declared all book sections closed. Her coworkers are wary, unfriendly, and unconcerned that the library’s magic is taking on the disposition of a chained monster.
It gets worse. Thanks to a cyber security leak an organization of magic abusers know the cauldron is at Saint Cloud. They will burn the library to the ground to get the cauldron if Raven doesn’t find it first. The only things Raven has going for her is her friendship with the mischievous Montamos brothers, who specialize in breaking and entering, and her dubious magic, the ability to read things to life. However, Raven is unwilling to use her power, as she knows firsthand that her magic-based creations are willing to destroy her. Raven must decide if saving the library and recovering the cauldron is worth the personal risk of using her dangerous magic, or if she should let Saint Cloud and its employees fall.
Review: Raven Wishmore is a fifteen-year-old reader. Readers can make illusions when they read passages from books aloud, along with a few other magical talents. Yet Raven’s not an ordinary reader…she’s a life reader, which means she can actually create real-life from reading along, not illusions. This is why Raven no longer reads aloud. She doesn’t want anyone to know what she can do or be labeled a freak. When her family is attacked, they go undercover as the McCellen family. Raven’s now Rachel, a ditzy preppy girl who is a new reader at the Saint Cloud Library. Raven’s dad is a member of Kingdom Quest’s spy service and they’re after a group of deadly magic abusers. Raven’s been tasked with finding a magical cauldron hidden at the Library. So she needs to act her cover and charm the other readers while she searches, but she doesn’t have all the pieces. As the search heats up, she may be called on to show more of her true self than she ever imagined…
‘Life Reader’ is an imaginative and fun story with mystery, magic, and mayhem. Raven is a teenage girl who is mature for her age, especially because she has to hide a forbidden power. She’s now in a situation she never thought she’d be at her age…undercover working for the Kingdom Quest Council like her dad. Raven takes to the job she’s given as best as possible while navigating the politics of a new high school and the Saint Cloud Library. I really liked Raven and the Montamos twins, Asher and Aron, most of all because they were able to connect very well to each other and to the reader. While the story starts off with a bang, the characters really bring the plot along well during some of the ‘slower’ spots. ‘Life Reader’ is an attention-grabber due to a very intriguing twist. Any reader who wishes the world/characters they read about would come alive will enjoy this book.