Seven Wonders: The Colossus rises by Peter Lerangis

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Harper Collins, 2013. ISBN 9780007515035.
(Ages: 13+) Imagine waking up one morning to discover a white patch of hair in the shape of an upside down V has magically appeared on your head. Thirteen year old Jack McKinley doesn't have too much time to dwell on this puzzling matter because he is in a hurry to get to school and sit a maths test. Little does he realize that his day is going to become even more strange. There is the peculiar looking man with the red beard hanging around outside his house and then the bike accident. Jack wakes up in hospital where his doctor and a chaplain are behaving in a very odd manner. His life is never going to be the same again.
Jack is taken to a secluded island which is home to a secret research facility. Here Jack meets a select group of teenagers that carry a rare genetic marker, as evidenced by the white V-shaped hair. This mutation gives them the ability to behave in superhuman ways however it will also cause death within six months of appearing. The researchers on the island have techniques that can keep them alive but their only long term salvation involves a daring mission. Jack and his friends must find seven magical objects hidden in the ruins of the seven wonders of the ancient lands. Only when these objects are combined do they have any hope of a normal life span.
This is the first book in a series by best selling author Peter Lerangis and will appeal to younger teens. Part fantasy and part history it is a fast paced adventure with plenty of action, cliff hangers and interesting illustrations to enhance the reader's understanding of Jack's new world. This book takes Jack and his friends to the Colossus of Rhodes but things don't go entirely as planned leaving a perfect entree for book two. Readers who don't enjoy getting bogged down by lengthy descriptive passages will find this book to their liking. There isn't much time to draw breath as the characters face a new threat at every turn.
Tina Cain