The Seven Rays, by Jessica Bendinger (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

Beth Michaels’ life is thrown into utter chaos when she starts receiving enigmatic gold envelopes containing cryptic messages, even as she starts seeing weird phenomena corresponding to peoples’ emotions and thoughts. Things only get worse as her quest for answers first lands her in a psychiatric facility, then takes her to New York City, where she discovers her true heritage, the sisters she never knew she had, and a prophesied destiny she’s not sure she wants. While the ideas, which combine a variety of philosophies and beliefs, are interesting, the execution is haphazard and the characterization unsteady. Bendinger, better known for her girl-power movie scripts (Bring It On, Stick It), starts strong but falters along the way. Hopefully future installments will help her reach her potential.

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