Esme’s Indie Highlights/SPFBO: Joss of Seven by J Philip Horne

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This was part of pornokitch’s grouping, and has since been eliminated. The review:


The book starts out with a young kid, Joss, who seems fairly typical of a middle schooler. He’s kind of immature, he really loves pranks, and has a few close friends he hangs around with.

He received a mysterious note from someone telling him to meet him in a park after he follows the directions in the letter.

The letter is a series of instructions that sound absolutely bizarre. The first one asked him to imagine his finger wasn’t there, and have him touch a solid surface. He freaks out when his finger passes through something on the playground, and he gets home obsessing over what just happened.

He calls his best friend to have him accompany him on his way to meet this mysterious person who left him the instructions in the park the following day.

A woman shows up and she knows a lot about Joss, an unsettling amount, and she tells him she’s a friend who can help him hone his powers, and she wants to bring him back to her group for testing – she wants to go through the rest of the list to find out what kind of powers he has.

As it turns out, he’s not just abnormal, he’s SUPER abnormal, he has all 7 powers known, hence the name Seven. She tells him she’s a part of the Guild of Sevens, and that he is in danger because of Mockers – people who hunt down and abuse 7’s.

Final Score: 7/10


Joss is the main character, he really loves pulling pranks, he seems like a normal kid for the most part. He doesn’t get along especially well with his younger sister, but that’s also typical for a teenage boy and his 12 year old sister. His little sister is also a pretty annoying person, constantly wanting to be around him and a source of anxiety because she can find things out she shouldn’t.

He handles things fairly well, considering he was just told he has superpowers. He cares a lot about his mom and dad but still disobeys and hides things from them. For being in 8th grade he wasn’t too terribly immature, but he’s def still within what you’d expect from someone his age.

Final Score: 7.5/10


World Building:

There was a pretty complex magic system that I think people who are into middle grade fantasy would really enjoy, and if you’re into training your powers this could scratch that itch.

  • Most people only have 1-3 of any of the 7 talents, it’s rare but not unheard of to have all 7
  • Bruising: the ability to harden yourself and have things like bullets bounce off you
  • Reggie: Regeneration, the ability to heal yourself
  • Ghosting: The ability to make yourself pass through things like walls
  • Telly: Telekenises
  • Blending: the ability to camouflage
  • Kinny: the ability to move extremely fast
  • Shifter: the ability to change shape
  • The Guild of Sevens is an old organization that some people even from families who produce sevens think it’s just a myth
  • there have been hints that werewolves are a thing, his great grandmother apparently used to fight werewolves

Final Score: 7.5/10 


This was pretty fast paced and it wasn’t that long, it’s pretty clearly a middle grade book and I think back in the day this would have been just the kind of book for me. It’s really tough for me to rate YA and middle grade books.

Tone was very light, the main character was an upbeat and pretty positive person

Pacing Final Score: 8/10

Writing Final Score: 8/10


The ya/middlegrade market is over flowing with urban fantasy books with the main character is super over powered and something like a chosen one. However, those books do tend to sell.

The magic system was fairly original in the way that all of those powers are in the same world, not that they by themselves are anything new.

Final Score: 5/10


  • For people who like OP main characters
  • For people who like middle grade/YA books
  • For people who like a more light hearted tone
  • For people who like a LOT of magic
  • For people who like fast paced and shorter books

Final Score: 43/60 or 7.1/10 or 4 stars on goodreads

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