Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of magic to discover who wanted her uncle dead.
Shawn Thomas Odyssey’s middle grade debut novel is creative, colourful and imaginative. He dreams up a protagonist called Oona Crate who is something called a natural magician, believed to have a small amount of fairy blood in her makeup which makes her able to do magic naturally rather than by learning to manipulate elements etc. However, several horrible things happen which lead to Oona renouncing magic and this in turn leads to the Magician of Dark Street (who is incidentally also Oona’s uncle) to look for a new apprentice.
The novel is fairly easy to read and has that zany makeup that appeals to me and should appeal to most middle grade readers. Most of the themes in this novel, especially the guilt that Oona is carrying around and what she did for that guilt to be there is pretty heavy stuff and I can’t say I bought the resolution at the end because let’s face, Oona’s magic ways directly led to her mother and sister’s deaths so…you get what I’m saying? That’s life changing stuff right there.
The plot is straight forward as are the conflicts. There are bad guys who are simply bad – no grey area here. This is a remarkably entertaining book without diverting into anything more substantial. At least that’s how it felt to me. The world building is fun and thought out and as I said previously, this book is very creative. I recommend it to anyone who wants to pass away an enjoyable hour or two.