More Than Magic by Kathryn Lasky

More Than Magic by Kathryn Lasky

Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Rated: MG 10+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
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Join Rory and Ryder in their adventures in our world—and the world beyond the TV. 

Ryder Holmsby is the same age as Rory, the popular TV cartoon character her animator parents created. Ryder and Rory are alike—bold and brave! But Ryder is a bit lonely: Mom passed away a couple of years ago, and Dad is dating a woman with snooty teenage daughters. Ryder doesn’t fit in with them at all. 

And then: Shazam! Rory jumps out of the TV into Ryder’s bedroom to tell her that the TV studio behind her parents’ show is trying to turn Rory into a dopey princess—no more adventures. She needs Ryder’s help! The two girls team up with a crew of animated and real-life friends to save the day in both worlds.

I've been trying to get more into middle grade fiction lately, because there have been a whole bunch of releases that look amazing, and also why not? Middle school was time when I started to really love reading (even more than I did before!), and started moving away from middle grade to young adult fiction. More Than Magic is one of the several middle grade books that I had waiting for me when I got back to university, but unfortunately due to the work load I was faced with that semester, I put it off until recently. Unfortunately, in the end, I didn't really enjoy this book. I've heard good things about Kathryn Lasky's books–I mean, she wrote The Guardians of Ga'Hoole series! Even though I've never read it, I've always wanted to because people rave and rave about it. However, this book just wasn't for me.*

*Clarification time: okay, when I say "wasn't for me" I mean that I recognise that this is a middle grade book, intended to be consumed by middle grade readers, but even so, I've read several other middle grade books and I've found them to be pretty good in terms of plot and character. Not to say that this book didn't, because it definitely did. I just think it was missing that little spark, that extra umph, because I came away from this one not completely satisfied with how things turned out in the end.

The characters were interesting. They lacked a little depth, but they were still likeable characters. I enjoyed the parallels between the real world and the world of Ecalpon, because it was cool to see how Ryder's parents applied so many of the characteristics of the people around them into the characters they created for television. Ryder was a strong main character, and so was Rory, and I enjoyed the fun moments of trying to navigate between the worlds and the reactions of characters on both sides. What I couldn't buy was the adults in the book jumping in on what's going on and being totally cool with it. A little more freak out would be slightly more realistic, but they just seemed to accept it and move on.

While this book wasn't what I hoped it would be, it was still a cute adventure with important lessons about strong female figures in media (definitely relevant in this day and age!). I don't know if this will be a series or not, but I'm unsure whether I'd pick up the sequel or not. More Than Magic, besides my criticisms, was a fun story with headstrong heroines that I can see younger readers enjoying. 

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Josh at Random House Children's Books for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about MG books. They lack depth, but still can be great. I am currently reading more and more MG because my kids are now 6 and 8 so we read a lot together. I will consider this for reading aloud.


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