Featured Review: The Magi Menagerie (Kale Lawrence)
About This Book:
Some stars aren’t meant to be followed.
For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead.
In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.
Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.
*Review Contributed by Jan Farnworth, Staff Reviewer*
What I loved: Magic, a bit of steampunk, secret societies, history, and a story rooted in good vs. evil in western Europe at the turn of the 20th century. I appreciated the range of backgrounds in the characters found in this upper young adult novel. The characters come from many regions, religions, and sexual identities woven into a "chosen family" that would do anything for each other. The addition of the letters and posters in the story also lends an extra extraordinary level to the story.
What Left Me Wanting More: The combination of time travel with people who have magical abilities to various periods of history. I wanted to stay and visit the library of Alexandria. It always fascinates me when that is a part of the story. The mystery surrounding the tablet of destinies and the background of Ezra's parents made for a fascinating path of clues to follow.
The Final Verdict: This story does not hold back on the punches, and there are some very dark moments in this story, so I would recommend it be for upper young adult readers. I was enthralled the whole time reading it and did feel it echoed harry, potter in some of the scenes. A well-thought-out plot lends itself to a beautiful and inclusive magical story that blends many religions, cultures, and people into an epic tale of hope and courage.
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