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Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite
Thirteen-year-old Jackson Sheppard would like nothing more than to live under the radar, spending time with his best friend, Andie, and adding to his chewed gum collection. His aspirations seem easy enough, but the truth is he has some powers that he can't very easily control and they can empty a room and end friendships pretty fast. When Jax, Andie, and Jax's little brother Sebastian sneak out for a late night swim at the local pool, disaster strikes when Sebastian dies, and Jax is thrown into the mysterious world of the Kaptropoten -- a mirror that has been broken into seven pieces, each giving an extraordinary power to the possessor. When Jax learns that all seven fragments together can even resurrect the dead, he goes on an epic journey that takes him around the world and beyond, where he learns who he really is, and aims to set things right by bringing back his brother. Along the way, Jax makes new friends and finds he has evil enemies, discovers fantastic creatures and magnificent places, and finds that he must rely not only on the strength he has from his powers, but an inner strength that he isn't sure he has. In Sharon Warchol's Jax Sheppard and the Seven Mirrors, readers will travel to a parallel, mystical world of danger and deception where things are often not what they seem.
When I agreed to read this book, I scheduled myself to read it about ten days after I received it. I downloaded it and decided to take a quick peek at it -- and ended up reading it straight through! That's how Jax Sheppard and the Seven Mirrors rolls. In it, author Sharon Warchol gives readers just enough background and introduction to get a feel for our protagonist and his life, but then she immerses readers right into the story. One endearing quality about Jax is his humor and how it squeaks out of him at even the most inappropriate of times. Sharon Warchol masterfully wrote very real characters, despite some of their fantastic outward appearances, whose unique styles and personalities will resonate with readers. And Warchol has a real gift for writing imaginative scenarios and uses figurative language to make descriptions even richer. For example: “. . . and darn it if a sneaky, nasty guilt didn’t creep up my leg and around my torso. It snaked over my shoulder and into my ear, poisoning my brain with its venom.” Even the titles of the chapter sub-headings are cleverly written.
Jax Sheppard and the Seven Mirrors has twists and turns and a steady stream of hints to create a satisfying ending that also leaves readers begging for more. I highly recommend this book for tweens and teens, and reluctant readers of all ages.