Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Jinx series
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through Edelweiss. This was even better than the first book in this series. It’s a well done middle grade fantasy novel and I enjoyed it. There will be a third book in this series.
Jinx knows he can do magic but he doesn’t know why. Jinx is being followed by a werewolf with a notebook and the trees keep telling him that he is a Listener and needs to learn how to be a Listener to save the Urwald. When Simon goes to confront the Bonemaster and doesn’t come back Jinx is forced to journey into Samara to find the answers he seeks. Jinx wants to save the Urwald, he just doesn’t know how and he can’t figure out what the Bonemaster and the mysterious elves have to do with everything.
I enjoyed Jinx a lot more as a character in this book than the first. In the beginning he is given the responsibility of getting Reven and Elfywyn (the prince in hiding and the girl who cannot lie) out of the Urwald. On this journey Jinx is also trying to deal with the angry trees that want Reven gone. Jinx is trying to take on all of this responsibility and understand what the trees, Simon, Reven, and Elfywyn are all asking of him. I really felt for him at times…he has a lot to deal with and no one is being very helpful. Jinx isn’t a hero, but he’s practical and fairly smart and I enjoyed that.
Jinx ends up spending some time at a school in Samara (where magic is forbidden and he is supposed to learn KnIP). KnIP means “knowledge is power” and if you know something is there it is…it’s a kind of magic all it’s own. I enjoyed it, there is a lot of humor here and it’s fun to watch Jinx master KnIP as well as the power of the Urwald. I also enjoyed the new characters added in from the school in Samara; they were well done and entertaining.
There is a lot of adventure, a bit of intrigue, and some humor in here. It all amounts to a well done story. The story is complex enough to make you think, but not confusing. It’s just a perfect level for middle grade readers (and I think older readers and adults who love fantasy will enjoy it too).
Overall I really enjoyed the story and can’t wait to see how things wrap up in the third and final book. This book is fast-paced, has some fun characters, adventure and magic. It’s a fun fantasy read that I think adults and kids both will enjoy. Recommended to fans of fantasy and magic.