Even returns with this impressive, promising story with exhilarating adventures and relentless twists in the second installment of Dragonstone Story, his middle-grade fantasy series. Ten-year-old Mandy Mandez and her extended family are gradually coming to terms with their newly-found magical powers when a deadly fire in a building prompts them to use their magic and save a group of firemen entrapped inside. Their magic doesn’t go unnoticed though. Soon, they are working with the FBI to fight crime. But when an evil wizard abducts Mandy, Mandy must make her escape or risk letting darkness empower her as well. Even’s brisk adventure follows a standard quest structure while touching on themes of family bonds, solidarity, hard work, and sustainability. The action-packed narrative brims with magic, and intrigue while rich worldbuilding and surprising twists mount its exciting action. Even creates characters with skill and precision: Mandy is expertly characterized through her interaction with others, quickly establishing herself as a charming lead. Secondary characters are equally fleshed-out. The cousins’ bond is endearing and their unity inspiring. The dialogue is sharp, and there are plenty of humorous situations. Middle graders with a taste for cheerful fantasy will revel in these fantastical adventures. This is a sure-shot hit.
Categories: middle grade