Two magical series feature in this month’s review catch-up: The Chase Tinker series and the Time Quintet. Actually, I’m not sure I should speak of magic in relation to the Time Quintet, but fabulous beasts are involved, so I will. The latter goes into my list for the Spacetime reading challenge, which is great, too.
Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (Chase Tinker #1)
by Malia Ann Haberman
Join Chase Tinker and his family and friends for some wild and crazy supernatural escapades while living in a gigantic, 560 year old magical house where magic, adventure, excitement, and danger can be found around nearly every corner.
Root for Chase in his pursuit of a way to outwit, out-magic, and outmaneuver dangerous and wicked villains who are planning to destroy the Tinkers and get control of this incredible and unique house.
Be on the edge of your seat as Chase searches for his missing dad, fights through frightening family secrets and betrayals, and tries his best to save his family, his house, and the world.
It’s an adventure for the ages, and for all ages. Don’t miss it. In just moments, it can be on an ereader near you. [goodreads]
I have a horrible feeling that I had a free copy of this book from the author on GMGR, and so a review is long overdue.
The cover is magnificent, and although I loved the blue in thumbnail, it’s only now when I’ve seen it in all its glory that I realise how excellent it is. On this occasion, you should judge a book by its cover!
The story starts as so many middle grade books do, with a youngster feeling lost and lonely and seeking a purpose in life. In Chase’s case, his father has reported killed, his mother has left him with a relative, and he hates it. Then a grandfather appears to whisk him off, and to teach him about his magical skills.
What marks out this book from its peers is the extensive, not to say overwhelming, magical world-building that has gone into making his grandfather’s house. There is a dynasty of magic involved, and every generation has added a room with different magical powers. So not only do the people have their own specialisms in magic, they can borrow other people’s by using those rooms. Great thinking!
It’s a good story with plenty of twists, and some great and sombre-ly lurking baddies (which reminded me to un-Darth Vader my own baddie I was writing at the time, as he was creeping ever closer to a clone). Danger abounds, and Chase has friends (and maybe some not-so-friends) close at hand to help.
Goodreads lists four books in the series all with different ‘house of’ titles, so it looks like its a series that’s going places!
A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet #3)
by Madeleine L’Engle
In this companion volume to A Wrinkle In Time (Newbery Award winner) and A Wind In The Door fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo. They are not alone in their quest. Charles Wallace’s sister, Meg – grown and expecting her first child, but still able to enter her brother’s thoughts and emotions by “kything” – goes with him in spirit. [goodreads]
Having come late to this series, I enjoyed, but was not really swept away by the first two. This one I loved. I think you could easily go into this on its own terms without reading the previous two. There are several trips to the past using Gaudior’s magical skills, but Charles manages to help him extend those skills, to time and place together, but not without considerable danger. In fact, the dangers in the story come from all the things to do with Time, and not to do with where they go, which provide a totally different puzzle.
A merger of time travel with great children’s historical fiction: two ticks for the price of one. I learnt a great deal about native Americans, settlers, and about Welsh legends, too.
My family with a Welsh connection will surely enjoy this one, as did I!