Fans of Harry Potter and X-Men will enjoy this coming-of-age mystery. A relatively clean "PG-13" style fantasy and adventure, the story centers around 16-year-old Jakob as he treks to another country with his father. They are on a mission to find out why his grandfather died and to discover what makes his family blood so "special." Jakob's adventure is one of super powers, friendship, and puzzle pieces left by his grandfather.
The fairytale-esque plot features elements of the supernatural and even includes some time travel. The addition of eerie vintage photos sprinkled throughout the book adds a surreal atmosphere. While some readers may find the photos gimmicky, I found them original and perfectly in line with this mysterious, quirky read. The book has a great sense of strangeness, and the plot builds with a satisfying tension, held together by descriptive and quotable passages that you will want to share.
Although the book has some pacing issues, the story and writing are intriguing enough to make you want to get to the end. And for readers who love the book, good news -- this is the first part of what could be an amazingly original trilogy.
If all goes well, watch out for the Tim Burton film in the works. Seriously. The script is in the works.
Recommended by Matthew Lowder