The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin
by Jagi Lamplighter
You know, a lot of books are touted as “the next Harry Potter,” but this one actually is, and it’s not derivative.
Rachel Griffin is the youngest of her siblings to attend the Roanoke Academy of Magical Arts, hidden from the magically “Unwary” on the upper Hudson River. If she has a superpower, it’s a photographic and eidetic memory. This will cause her to see things out of the corner of her eye that others miss, and remember it and be intrigued. She can see through the spells of others with a twist of her phenomenal memory, but what does it all mean? She’s not just missing parts of the mysteries because there are more clues to unfold, she is handicapped by being only 13 years old – a time when much of life is a mystery.
The characters are great, the piled up mysteries pull you along, and while the story arc for this book comes to a satisfying conclusion, you’ll want more and more is hinted at. The message of the doom-of-worlds raven and the mysterious statue with the disappearing wings seem placed to be handled by a wider story arc for the whole series. Get this for a young person in your life, but don’t be shocked if you get hooked on it, too.