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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Heath Cousins and the Ruby Lantern by Eileen Hobbs is the fourth book in the Heath Cousins series. Addie's encounter in Chinatown sets her on a search for a mysterious red stone to return to the rightful person. The story begins with Addie running into a familiar face which creates a catalyst for her and her cousins to embark on a new adventure. Addie is reunited with her cousins, and together with Beanie, Bodie, and Jack, she must confront new and old dangers. The epic adventure is aimed at all ages with a quest that takes the Heath cousins back into the world of Ambra. The new journey gives them a chance to reunite with their friends and face off against their arch-enemy Daiyu again. The cousins are running out of time to return the stone before they encounter serious consequences.
This new adventure is filled with the same action-packed moments and lessons as the previous installments of the series. The Ruby Lantern weaves various characters into the Heath cousins' journey with several familiar faces, including Gemma again (and her white wolf Jumani), Jadira, Mai Li, and Finley. The story checks back in with these various characters by showing where they've been since the cousins were last there, such as Finley's struggles with adjusting to life after being a dragon. Eileen Hobbs creates a world that has a tone similar to the Wizard of Oz, with the cousins stepping into another world and meeting various characters, including talking animals. Moral lessons are woven throughout, including the Garden of Choice location and understanding what's right even when in battle. Black and white illustrations provide lovely visuals to the cousins' quest and pair well with the story's lighthearted tone. The four cousins learn throughout their adventures about being brave, loyal, and heroic. The Heath Cousins and the Ruby Lantern is another delightful adventure for the series with more action-packed moments, danger, and allies to love.