I received The 13th Reality as an advance readers copy from the publisher through Library Thing on the 6th of February and finished it up on the morning of the 8th. I am happy to report that I got a real kick out of reading this book and am looking forward to the next book in the series. The premise is that 13 year old Atticus Higgenbottom (who prefers to be called Tick), our brainy co-protagonist (who enjoys chess, science, math and receives some typical for this genre, teasing and bullying at school as a result) begins receiving strange letters from all over the world with clues in them and which challenge him to undertake an adventure that the author of the mysterious missives insists is both deathly dangerous and threatens to destroy reality itself. In all, Atticus will receive 12 clues, riddles which he must solve by a certain date in order to successfully engage in this challenging and dangerous mission. I found the premise intriguing and while it's certainly not new or innovative, it's a sure crowd pleaser in the 10-14 age range of readers. I particularly enjoyed that Atticus has a strong and loving relationship with his whole family and is able to confide in his father when things get worrisome...it's a bit of a deviation from the standard abused/abandoned/orphaned child(ren) that generally populate this type of story (and a refreshing deviation at that). I like that he is able to ultimately undertake this journey with parental consent and does receive some minor assistance and support from them during the course of the story events.
Overall, The 13th Reality is engaging, fun, and managed to keep me interested to the very end. I give it 4 stars...I almost gave it three, but since I am actually looking forward to the next book in the series, I've bumped it up one star...any book that you really would like to read the rest of the series upon completion is a success in my opinion. I think it would be best received by the 10-14 age range...I had my daughter read the description on the back and she indicated a definite interest in reading it as well. I must also be quite honest, it was snatched (with great glee) off my desk when I announced I was done with it by my 10 year old daughter, I suspect that it will be a great hit! It's two down in her reading pile at her reading rate it will take her 7 to 10 days to read once she gets to it. I shall endeavor to update this review with her final verdict once she has read it...it is after all, children's fiction!