Reviews for Magician's Tower

Booklist Reviews 2013 February #2
Oona is a marvelously gifted magician, but she wants to be a detective instead. Intrigued by the Contest of the Magician's Tower, which requires both mental and physical strength and has never been won, Oona enters but finds herself distracted by memories of her mother's death as well as a missing Punch Bowl Oracle. This clever sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street (2011) features an admirable heroine and an original plot laced with logic puzzles. Fantasy lovers will have a great time with this one. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Oona Crate, girl magician-detective from The Wizard of Dark Street, enters the Magicia's Tower Contest, but her chief rival is cheating, plus there's another mystery: the Punch Bowl Oracle is missing. Zany contest challenges are balanced by affecting plot elements such as Oona warming to her crush Adler and facing her lingering guilt over her mother and baby sister's deaths three years ago.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
Can Oona meet the challenges of the Magician's Tower? Three months after 13-year-old Natural Magician Oona Crate's last mysterious and magical adventure (The Wizard of Dark Street, 2011), the time has come for the Magician's Tower Competition. Every five years, a new tower is built along Dark Street, the only conduit between Faerie and New York City, with new challenges, physical and mental, installed on each floor. Contestants compete through four days of elimination challenges in hopes of reaching the final challenge: a puzzle box no one has solved in the 500 years the contest has been running. Oona sets aside her Wizard's apprentice duties to compete against her old acquaintances and rivals Adler and Isadora Iree and Roderick Rutherford, among others. Can she beat them and reach her goal or will she be distracted by the mystery of the missing punch bowl? Odyssey's sequel suffers from many of the same problems as its predecessor. Though it is set in 1877, the historical setting is given nary a nod. The characters don't rise above clichés, and each has one characteristic trait that quickly grows old. The flabby prose teems with detail but pays little attention to it once it is introduced. Oona's back story has a mystery or two left; sequels will likely follow and hopefully improve. (Fantasy. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

Gr 5-8--Amateur detective and wizard's apprentice Oona Crate returns in this sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street (Egmont USA, 2011). Her beloved Dark Street is a liminal, magical location. One end opens to New York City at midnight and the other serves as a gateway to smuggled items from the treacherous Faerie realm. Every five years, Dark Street hosts the Magician's Tower Contest, replete with word puzzles and physical challenges designed to eliminate contestants one by one. Oona; her friend Adler; his sneaky sister Isadora; and Isadora's boyfriend, Roderick, enter the contest, but Oona suspects Isadora and Roderick of cheating. She finds it difficult to concentrate on contest clues as she fights Faerie objects that attack Dark Street residents and attempts to solve an intriguing mystery. Odyssey continues to provide solid middle-grade mystery enrobed in an appealing fantasy milieu. A traditional mystery structure and word puzzles mix nicely with action-packed magical stunts. The story summarizes the events of the first book so new readers can follow along. Returning readers will relish clues regarding the fates of the smuggler Red Martin and Oona's fairy butler, Samuligan. Discerning readers may solve the mystery before the end, but Oona's continued anxiety over her magic powers provides an interesting subplot. Although Oona sometimes lacks emotional depth, her detective work is stimulating. Michael Buckley's The Sisters Grimm (Abrams, 2005) readers will find this series worth following.--Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT

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