Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (Aryan Bad Guys? That's a Twist!)
This book was exactly what I think of when Middle Grade comes to mind. Two young boys discover they have powers while their dad's missing and their magical grandfather comes along and whisks them to this ridiculously awesome house full of magic rooms and adventure. They find out they have extra family they didn't know about and get to exercise their powers in the house of Tinker, a gigantic, constantly evolving place. The tone reminds me of early MG where the tone is very light and even though things upset them, it's a time of black and white and even on adventures they don't fully understand the repercussions of their actions. Chase is a likeable lead and his brother Andy, his cousin Janie and Persephone make for a motley crew.
Chase and Crew's Discovery #1: The magic. Chase and his brother are worried about their missing father, but amidst it all discover they have magical powers. Chase can make things move with his mind and Andy can freeze time. Like clockwork, their grandfather shows up to explain said magical powers and whisk them away to his castle of fun delights. Creepy, right? The grandfather's a great character and even though they haven't known him well, they quickly step into the role of troublesome grandsons.
Chase and Crew's Discovery #2: Once they find out that House Tinker has enemies, Aryan enemies in fact, (blonde hair, blue eyes) Chase and crew take it upon themselves to help grandpa out, even if he doesn't want it. Using the variety of rooms to their advantage, the kids manage to go back in time to stop Original Tinker from losing the shard from the Relic. All their trip through time does is make the kids fight more though and their group splinters apart, urged onward by the arrival of James, Janie's evil brother.
Chase and Crew's Discovery #3: The best discoveries came at the end, because they pulled the twists well. Most of the book was very straightforward, so I wasn't expecting any real twists, just kids playing around in a giant magical house and having fun. So the entire time, Doctor Dan's been creepy and all of the kids think he's the bad guy. Turns out, he's not and he ends up helping them towards the end. The biggest surprise happens when they reveal where their dad's been all along. He's been cross dressing as Aunt Clair, since his ability involves changing faces. Aunt Clair died trying to save Ben so he took it upon himself to spent some time examining his ladylike side.
Good, easy read and it fits the Middle Grade category perfectly. Aryan bad guys, Gender-bending fathers, who could ask for more?
*I received this book for review purposes