Whit and Wisty Allgood have finally triumphed over the evil that has long overshadowed their world with their defeat of The One Who Is The One. Now they move on to their next mission: becoming members of a governing Council that will return the Overworld to a place of creativity, magic, and freedom from persecution.
But it isn't long before the city is threatened from inside and out. The adults on the Council want to control the use of magic in the city, and a fearsome Wizard King threatens war. As Wisty begins a new relationship with an intense and mysterious boy and the pressures of leading the city bear down on them, Whit and Wisty find themselves growing apart. Will they be able to come together to fight the mounting threats that could return their world to the hands of a tyrant?
James Patterson delivers what the fans have been asking for—the story of what happens next—with an epic fourth installment about the heroic teen witch and wizard that have captured our imaginations.
Book One | The First Truth: You Can't Trick the Inner Eye
“SERIOUSLY, WHAT’S WRONG?”
“Let it go, Wisty,” Whit warns as I try to keep up.
Okay. Good sister that I am, I’m just going to ignore the fact that my brother had a complete meltdown at a party for our friends that was supposed to be about celebration and happiness. I’m going to forget that he stormed out of the gallery without any explanation, and then refused to answer a single one of my questions when I chased after him in the street.
“If you just tell me what happened, maybe I could help,” I prod, turning the key to let us into my sweet new apartment. (The upshot to using your magical powers to save basically the whole world from a psycho villain is that your parents freak out a little bit less when you mention you’d really like to get your own place.)
“There’s nothing to tell,” my brother insists. He steps over one of the piles of stuff on the floor, and perches on a counter stool. “Wow, Wisty, you’ve really done wonders with the space.” Whit shakes his head. “Have the rats moved in yet?”
“Organized chaos,” I say, cheerfully ignoring the dig. A little mess keeps me sane, and I can do as I please here. “And you’re the one living with weaselly Byron Swain. That’s what I call rodent’s paradise.”
“Har har,” Whit answers dryly.
Then the doorbell rings, and we both glance toward the front door, surprised. Whit raises an eyebrow. “Visitors this late?”
I shrug. “It’s probably Janine, wondering why you acted like a total freak and just left her at the gallery.”
“Wisteria,” Whit warns, looking at me sternly. He never uses my full name.
“Whitford,” I reply mockingly, and chuck a couch cushion at his head as I walk to answer the door.
“I said, Let. It. Go.”
“Yeah, yeah.” I smirk and look through the peephole. I glimpse the height, the dark hair…
Oh. Em. Gee.
It’s Heath. The guy who asked me to dance at the art festival. Here. At my apartment. I totally spaz out, flattening my body against the door.
“What? Who is it?” Whit asks, standing up.
Ignoring my brooding brother, I finally pull myself together enough to open the door.
“Hi,” I say shyly.
“Hey,” Heath answers, and it’s like a little velvet purr.
Neither of us moves for a moment; we just blink at each other, not sure of our boundaries. Under the porch light, Heath’s pale eyes glow a cool shade of blue I’ve never seen.
“I was thinking maybe you had the right idea,” he says softly, finally breaking the silence. “Maybe we should just stand here. Looking at each other. Like this.” There’s no denying it: this instant connection feels even more intense than before—almost blinding.
I laugh then, shaking my head. “And I was thinking maybe it was time to move.”
“I’m game if you are,” he answers.
“What’s going on?” Whit opens the door farther behind me.
“Um.” I pull my gaze away from Heath. “My friend just stopped by to…”
“I couldn’t stop thinking about that magnificent fireworks display your sister put on earlier,” Heath answers cordially. Then he looks at me. “I felt like I might burst, too, if I didn’t see her again.”
The line is clearly extra cheesy for my brother’s benefit, but it still makes my stomach flutter.
“Okay, lover boy,” Whit says, stepping out onto the porch, frowning. “It’s late. Let’s wrap this up.”
“I wasn’t planning to take much of anyone’s time. I just wanted to show Wisty—”
“My sister isn’t interested.” Whit’s in hostile-big-brother mode now. “Wisty, let’s go. Back inside.”
“Whit!” I’m sure the humiliation and anger is written on my face, but Heath’s eyes sparkle with amusement.
“You’re going to keep Wisty locked in her own apartment? Maybe she wants a bit of freedom. Isn’t that what you two fought so hard for?”
“Maybe you don’t know what she wants.”
Heath cocks his head. “Hey, now,” he says. “There’s no need to feel threatened, big guy.”
Yikes. This isn’t going to be pretty.
Whit blinks at him. “Threatened?” he asks incredulously, crossing his arms. “By who? You?”
“Okay, okay,” I groan. Boys. “Relax, both of you.” I push Whit back toward the door, then turn back to my visitor, sighing. “I really should go back inside….”
Heath holds up his hands. “Of course. Didn’t mean to intrude. Good night, Firecracker.” He smiles and places a single flower on the doorstep at my feet, nods to Whit, and walks away, just like that.
I stand on the porch after he leaves, staring into the night. He called me Firecracker. He doesn’t even know me! I should zap him right to Shadowland, shouldn’t I? But there’s something about the way he said it—something familiar yet exciting and new. I can’t explain it, but I feel incredibly drawn to this boy with the sharp tongue and the strange eyes. The highest part of the sky is in those eyes, cool and vast, and they seem to see right inside me.
Maybe I’m afraid of what they see. Freedom… to do what?
I pick up the flower he left. It’s lovely. Pale silver with a bright flash of orange in the center—like nothing I’ve seen before.
“I wonder what he wants….” I mutter softly.
“I bet I can guess,” Whit says, startling me. I thought he’d gone in.
I roll my eyes and step back inside, brushing past him. “Oh, come on. He seems like a nice guy. And he’s right—it is my apartment.”
“Nice guy? Every guy wants something. Usually the same thing. Trust me, Wisty. You haven’t been in a foolball locker room. You learn a lot in there.” I roll my eyes at my overprotective brother.
The One Who Is The One wanted me for my power. Since the victory, politicians seem to want me for my fame. Heath said he just wanted to see me again. Not my magic, not my fire.
I feel a weird sort of vulnerability. Not fear, exactly. I know my power, hot and true, will protect me, and if that fails, my watchdog brother sure will. But with the electricity of my interaction with Heath still making my whole body hum, I’m just not sure I want to be protected.
It can’t be that Heath wants to be my boyfriend… could it?
Copyright © 2013 by James Patterson
Read by Spencer Locke, Justin Long,
and Cassandra Morris