I have asked my 16 year-old son, Vincent, to write some book reviews. He is very well-read for his age, and can always be found with at least one book in hand. He has been known to walk into inanimate objects because he had his nose in a book. He prefers fantasy books, but has read a lot of other styles. What follows are his words. Enjoy!
My reviews will be divided into four sections, besides the rating, which itself will be how many stars out of five the series deserves. The first is Basic Protagonist. This one gives a few glimpses at the hero’s basic characteristics, to help determine whether the book would appeal to you. The second is Basic story, to acquaint my readers even to just the setting of the book. The third section is Possible Problem Areas. As the name suggests, this section covers any possible problems with the books. The final section is Good Areas. This area lists all the things concerning style and skill that the author excels at. As I am an avid lover of books, trying to list every positive portion of a book would require several pages of writing, so I have summarized my opinion of the book’s level of readability and enjoyability in the rating. You will never see a rating of 0 stars, since if a book is bad enough to merit that rating, I won’t be making a review of it. The lowest rankings you will ever see in this review are 3 or maybe 2 stars.
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Basic Protagonist – The hero is a spunky pickpocket who, because of his circumstances, has had to learn how to steal and hedge the truth. He does have morals, though, hating to lie and being faithful to his teacher and friends. While a rascal and a scamp, he is for the most part an all around good person.
Basic Story – A street pickpocket steals a magician’s magical stone from his pocket, and the magician takes him on as his apprentice while he tries to figure out what is wrong with the city’s magic. The rest of the series deals with the boy trying to solve the magic’s problem and his relationship with magic developing.
Possible Problem Areas – Not much violence. The hero gets into a fight, but come out alive; a boy is beaten by bad guys, but doesn’t die; and a man who eventually becomes the hero’s friend at first smacks him whenever he does something stupid, but it’s not half as bad as it sounds, and is played for comic rather than serious effect. There is a lot of magic in the book, but it isn’t dark, and in fact is a rather original take on the theory of magicians. An evil magic lives distraught, and it is eventually revealed that the reason it is evil is actually grief that it received as an animate creature, and the dark magic is reconciled in the end. No romance.
Good Areas – The author has a humorous style of writing, and somehow manages to expertly conceal things from the reader that the main character knows, and yet she keeps you well in touch with the main character, feeling what he feels. The book is humorous and light, designed for preteens or maybe even younger. I can’t find anything else tangible to compliment the author for, but it does have something, and that something makes it a very good book, and easily deserving of its 4 ½ star rating.
1 Barely doesn’t totally stink
3 Bearable with a few redeemable qualities
4 ½ Very good
5 Astronomically good