I have been reviewing books for quite some time now. The biggest, or certainly one of the biggest, upsides of being a book reviewer is I have not had to buy books for almost a decade now. But in a quest to both grease the wheels for getting a local book store let me do a book signing (Didn't work) and also trying to support a local author, I bought a book of the shelf. Miscast Spells
by Rose Corcoran
is a fantasy novel designed more for young readers. Yes, I read another young adult book and I have no one to blame but myself this time. But I liked this one a lot. It was really cute. and certainly appropriate for young children.
Miscast Spells has a little of the feel of a Grim Fairy tale to it. Early on in the story, Princess Emmaline is turned into a rabbit by an Imp. The young magician Bostwick sets off with her to discover a cure. They find a goblin queen that does have a potential cure, but then get caught stealing it. The queen decides to make Bostwick a servant for a hundred years or he will be cursed.
A sweet green haired girl is also lives in the castle with the queen and her name is Millicent, She begins to crush on Bostwick hard. Bostwick does not return her affections as readily (Which is weird, because she seems close to perfect). The story had some teen angst, but does not dwell on it to the point of being annoying.
The story takes place in a land controlled by goblins and these create a comic situation more often than not. Most of the novel is a cute light hearted romp through this fun fantasy land. There is a mad bomber that they need to track down and a mysterious feline who could be evil, but we are not sure. Again this book does not take itself too seriously and is an easy enjoyable read.
Downsides include that there is not much focus. Huge sections are the characters doing things like just going shopping. These are fun comic scenes, but besides a few laughs do not race the plot along too fast. Also the plot itself is a bit of an afterthought, but it can be forgiven, since this is really a novel for young children, but I enjoyed it to. It would certainly be a book a parent could read to their kids while finding pleasure in it themselves. The only other thing I didn't understand was why Bostwick was hesitant about Millicent. I think if I was some sixteen year old boy, I would have fallen madly in love with her, but he is like ehh. Maybe I am weird, but that made no sense.
I will probably read this book to my boys when they get older. I will happily read the next in the series. This book is much safer for younger kids than even Harry Potter. I would say eight and up. She made a delightful romp with wonderful characters. It is a great book for kids with good imaginations. Nicely done.
Skinjumpers, by Michael D. Griffiths