Friday, February 20, 2015

The Magnificent Key 12 #3: The Key by Michael Grant

The Key (The Magnificent 12, #3)Mack and the gang continue to travel the world, trying to form the Magnificent 12 in order to battle the rise of the Pale Queen. The Key will allow them to learn more magic spells in the Vargran language, but they must first figure out where it's located and seize it from its keeper. The journey leads the group to Paris for another huge battle. Mack's plan includes the Eiffel Tower, and this world landmark will never be the same. Meanwhile, Mack's golem is in trouble, because Risky, daughter of the Pale Queen, has taken control of it. Golem may destroy Sedona, Arizona, unless one of the school bullies can save him/it. Mack still needs to find the last four Magnificents, located somewhere around the world, but the Pale Queen will rise any day now.

You should read this series of books in order; use the search box in the top left corner to see my reviews of the first two. I'm still trying to figure out why I like this series. The humor is silly. Paddy Nine-Iron, an old assassin, moves too slowly to kill anyone and can't catch his breath to finish sentences. The golem takes everything literally; he grows unusually large when Mack says he's a big boy. However, I enjoy the adventure of Mack traveling the world to form the Magnificent 12, and the author includes action throughout the plot. There are battles with trolls, giants, dragons, and other creatures, and Mack almost dies many times. If you don't mind silly humor, you will enjoy this book. 

The Magnificent 12 #4: The Power by Michael Grant

The Power (The Magnificent 12, #4)Valin thinks Mack's ancestors insulted his ancestors four hundred years ago, and he's been trying to kill him throughout the series. Valin is moments from success, but there are complications to the situation. Mack must unite all twelve Magnificents, or there is no chance of defeating the Pale Queen. However, Valin is a Magnificent, so he must join the team and not kill Mack! The adventure travels to San Francisco for the big showdown with the Pale Queen, but several Magificents are still missing. This fact only assures they will die quickly. The Navy and Air Force are no match for the Pale Queen, and there is no hope unless a miracle happens.

This book is the finale in the series, and you need to read the books in order. Type the author's name in the search box above to see the others. This plot brings an end to the feud, the Pale Queen, and her daughter, Risky. The twelfth member of the Magnificents will surprise readers; it's someone who rose from the dead. The series had a happy ending for all, except the Pale Queen. Unless you think Mack adding a new phobia is an unhappy thing. Even the lives of Golem and Risky change for the better. The series contains quirky humor, but it was enjoyable to read.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)Wow, it's been many years since I first read this book! Meg's father is missing, and her little "dumb" brother knows more about things than she. Charles Wallace takes her to see three old ladies, and they tesser, along with another boy, across the galaxies. The children discover a Dark Thing is shadowing Earth and is trying to control the minds of all living things across the universe. Their father is being held captive on a planet called Camazotz by IT, an over-sized, disembodied brain. All of the inhabitants of the planet live in rhythm, every person the same as the next. Charles Wallace seems to have the strongest brain among the three children, but he allows his mind to be taken over by IT. When Meg starts to lose control of her own thoughts, there seems to be no hope. However, Meg has one thing IT does not.

You will need to use your imagination in this book. The concept of Tesseract is abstract, so it's hard to picture in your mind. There are a number of religious references to God; I'm not saying that's good or bad, just letting you know. The whole conflict between people being equal and people being individuals is central to this story. IT wants to control everyone's minds, so they're all the same; does that mean equal? IT says no one on Camazotz is unhappy, but that doesn't mean anybody is happy. Three cheers for creative thoughts!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Timekeeper's Moon by Joni Sensel

The Timekeeper's MoonThis book is the sequel to The Farwalker's Quest. The moon, trees, and stones all tell Ariel that her job is only half done, and she must travel again or everything she's accomplished will be undone. With Scarl, she follows her feet to a swamp village called Skunk. They hear the story of something called Tattler, but they don't know if it's human, a deadly creature, or something totally different. Ariel leads them out of the village to find it, and they're joined by a Fire-Mage with eyes for Scarl. Ariel starts to have frightening dreams that feel very real to her, and Scarl thinks her necklace may be the source of the danger. Ariel leads them in circles, and a voice in her head keeps saying that time is running out.

Ariel's confusion adds to the plot's suspense, and the Fire-Mage creates a new conflict for the group. Tattler makes this an adventure story, since Ariel and Scarl don't know what they'll find when they reach it. The feeling of their quest is almost desperation, since it seems that everything they know will change if they fail. Now, the actual consequences of failure are unknown, but it seems certain they will be catastrophic.