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The Magicatory, by Amy Vansant

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on May 5, 2016 at 1:05 PM

     "Brian, Anna, Marc and Cecily stumble into a wizard’s spell and are swept to the Magicatory, the magical factory / laboratory where everything is made. Too bad they picked a lousy time to visit! A mysterious girl and a horde of goblins is planning an attack, one of the shape-shifting mages has been kidnapped, and a crazed dodo bird is on the loose. Now the lost siblings have to figure out how to use their new superpowers before the multiverse is destroyed and they can never return to Earth!"

Short Summary: This is an entertaining, fast paced book that is packed with humor. It's my favorite book I've read in a long time!

Full Review: The Magicatory is a middle-grade fantasy. I would be cautious giving it to children ages 9-11 because of some violence and mild rude humor, but would easily recommend it for kids ages 12 and up.

     I was laughing the entire way through this book. The action never stopped for a moment, and while there was plenty of suspense it was also hilarious. And the plot twist at the end was certainly not one I ever would have seen coming.

     The story is told to us by "Auntie," the CEO of The Magicatory. I cannot express how much I loved Auntie. She was the perfect narrator, broke up the story at the right times, and (small spoiler alert) meeting her at the end of the book was one of the most satisfying parts of the whole thing. It was like finally meeting a pen pal or being reunited with a close friend. I loved hearing her give us some backstory at the beginning, and her comments and jokes scattered throughout the story were a nice touch. She was easily my favorite character.

     It's set in a place where magic is the norm. It reminded me of something I saw on Pinterest talking about how neat normalized magic would be in modern society, like fairy-run coffee shops where you can get a latte with a shot of charisma before a big meeting, or psychics running hair salons who always know how you want your hair to look, etc. The Magicatory did that. It was a change from the traditional awe of magic to, as soon as the kids from earth got over it, something everyone seemed to have in some form or another. I thought it was rather refreshing, and added another layer to the story. Not to mention the fact that almost every creature introduced in the story was one never invented before. They certainly made things more complicated, in a good way.

     The characters were charismatic and their interactions were quite enjoyable. Even the extras, who were only around for a chapter at the most, played their parts spectacularly. (Berg was another favorite of mine.) It was the perfect mix of adult and child. I also enjoyed that the adults had just as much fun as the kids, if not more. Most kids books portray adults as boring, or the authorities as people who never understand and are so high and mighty and worried about always being right that they get in the way of the kids. These adults and children acted like best friends and equals.

     As previously mentioned, the ending contains a plot twist that is equally shocking and satisfying. It tied up loose ends very nicely, although there was room left for a second book and questions left unanswered. I will be looking forward to Amy's next book with great anticipation.

     Overall, I loved this story. It is well worth reading. It's been quite some time since I enjoyed a story this much, and it was very refreshing. Simple, and yet complex at the same time, this book was easy and enjoyable to read. The pace never slows down, so readers never get bored, and I will certainly recommend it to fellow book-lovers

Overall Rating: 5

*I recieved this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Categories: Book Reviews

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