Horten's Incredible Illusions, by Lissa Evans

Horten's Incredible Illusions--Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure, by Lissa Evans  (Sterling Children's Books, September, 2012, middle grade)

In Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms (my review), we were introduced to young Stuart Horton, transplanted to the small town in England where his illustrious great-uncle Tony, a renowned stage magician, had lived, invented magical mechanisms, and mysteriously disappeared.  Stuart followed the clues his uncle left, and found the cache of miraculous mechanisms....but does he have a legal right to them? Not unless he can find his uncle's will...

So Stuart and his friend April (one of the triplet girls next door) are off following a second hunt devised by Uncle Tony that requires them to enter each of the illusions.  In the first book, true magic only came into play right at the end.  But here, it soon becomes clear that each of the elaborate mechanisms--the Well of Wishes, the Arch of Mirrors, the Cabinet of Blood and more--holds a magical trap, from which only the keen witted can escape.

I found this book more entertaining than the first--I loved the various mechanisms and their tricks, and enjoyed the little humours side plots spinning off from the main story.   But on the other hand, it was perhaps not as emotionally involving as the first book--Stuart is now established in his new life, so there is less emotional angst...

Still, a good, fun, fast read!

So fun and fast that I just finished it in the first hour of Dewey's Readathon, in which I am a last minute participant.

1 comment:

  1. The kid and I read the first Horten's together and did great until right at the end when it went all weird. We'll definitely be trying this one out!


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