Patrick Matthews is a writer and game designer who lives in Winter Springs, Florida. When he s not writing or playing, you can usually find him out exploring the roads, searching for new adventures with his wife and two boys. You can learn more at www.pat-matthews.com."
Gr 4-7-It's Testing Day for Al Pilgrommor and the other 12-year-olds, the day that humans receive their rank marks from agents of the dragons who rule their world. Their rank-a number from one to seven carved onto the backs of their necks-will determine their entire future and social standing. With his parents both fours, Al is not unduly worried, so when he is marked a zero, he is shocked. A guard helps him escape, warning him not to go home or the Cullers will kill him and his entire family to destroy his bloodline. As Al moves from place to place, trying to survive and barely keeping one step ahead of his murderous pursuers, he learns more about his world, the different races that inhabit it, and the Potentia that gives the dragons their power. Being a zero might be a death sentence, but not for the reasons he's been told, and Al may be the key to changing the world. With an interesting premise, the story is fast paced enough to hold readers' interest. Al is an appealing hero, though his supporting cast is full of flat and underdeveloped characters. Nevertheless, fantasy fans will find much to enjoy in this action-filled adventure.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.