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***Sequel to the Agatha and Edgar nominated THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET*** Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest. Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets ***Sequel to the Agatha and Edgar nominated THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET*** Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest. Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets or defeating a horde of angry apes). As the competition commences, a case emerges. A rare punchbowl—one with unparalleled magical powers—has disappeared from the carnival surrounding the Magician’s Tower. If Oona can find the culprit, she could use the bowl to answer her question about her mother’s and sister’s tragic deaths so many years ago—was she really at fault? Full of magic, mystery, and fun, THE MAGICIAN’S TOWER continues the wonderful adventures of Oona Crate.


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***Sequel to the Agatha and Edgar nominated THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET*** Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest. Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets ***Sequel to the Agatha and Edgar nominated THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET*** Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest. Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets or defeating a horde of angry apes). As the competition commences, a case emerges. A rare punchbowl—one with unparalleled magical powers—has disappeared from the carnival surrounding the Magician’s Tower. If Oona can find the culprit, she could use the bowl to answer her question about her mother’s and sister’s tragic deaths so many years ago—was she really at fault? Full of magic, mystery, and fun, THE MAGICIAN’S TOWER continues the wonderful adventures of Oona Crate.

30 review for The Magician's Tower

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews Rating: 4.5 out of 5 I love Oona Crate. What, you need more than that? OK, I really love Oona Crate. Oh fine, but you really could just skip the review and go buy a copy. It’s a much better use of your time. The Magician’s Tower picks up three months after the end of The Wizard of Dark Street, one of my favorite 2013 reads. Thirteen year-old Oona has re-settled into her duties as the Wizard’s apprentice, as well as launching her own detective Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews Rating: 4.5 out of 5 I love Oona Crate. What, you need more than that? OK, I really love Oona Crate. Oh fine, but you really could just skip the review and go buy a copy. It’s a much better use of your time. The Magician’s Tower picks up three months after the end of The Wizard of Dark Street, one of my favorite 2013 reads. Thirteen year-old Oona has re-settled into her duties as the Wizard’s apprentice, as well as launching her own detective agency. Unfortunately, that agency isn’t doing so well. While her friends have been summering in New York, Oona has only had two small cases. Like, missing barrette small. Disappointed, she looks forward to the Magician’s Tower contest, a quinquennial trial combining mental and physical tests culminating in a puzzle box that hasn’t been opened in 500 years. Her father made it to the top two when he competed and, when she was just a toddler, Oona promised him that someday she would win the contest in earnest. Since his death at the hands of the villainous Red Martin, it’s become even more important to her to be the first contest winner. The book deals a lot with grief and loss, even more so than the first. Oona is finally moving on from the death of her parents, but that forward momentum carries a lot of guilt as well. It’s a major element in both the narration and in actual mystery, and as grief does, it makes for a darker and deeper story. One reveal near the end of the book is down-right cruel and I’ll admit I missed some of the whimsy. The mystery of The Wizard of Dark Street was well constructed and the sequel is no different. The clues to play along at home are (mostly) presented directly in the narrative, giving readers every opportunity to solve the mystery first. The book is structured differently than the first, so the detective work didn’t feel like a retread. Because the story revolves around the contest, there are also a lot of riddles and word problems presented. As for magic, there’s a lot more this time around. As Oona’s accepted that there’s nothing evil about her natural abilities, we’re able to explore more of magic system itself. Most spells require a conductor to direct them, such as a wand or the handle of a magnifying glass, but not all. Seeing the future requires a special artifact, but is possible. Uncle Alexander makes flowers bloom and close and Samuligan magically switches hats. And that’s all on top of the flying carpets and angry apes in summary. It’s very nice to see some world building and separate Dark Street from New York and London. One final, minor spoiler for parents and guardians who care about romantic content: (view spoiler)[Hold it, hold it, this is a kissing book! Well, two kisses, between Oona and Adler at the very end. They’re chaste and not what I would call inappropriate for a pair of thirteen year olds, (one is only on the cheek, even,) but I do know there are some who prefer no romance in their MG. (hide spoiler)] Shawn Thomas Odyssey has quickly become a must read author for me. Twice now he’s given me a vivid, fantastical take on London with a lovable main character. Oona continues to be logical, brave, and driven without becoming bossy or annoying. Side characters are nice, although still not as fleshed out as I’d like. I’m very excited to continue visiting Dark Street with him.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Much to my surprise, I was able to give the first book in the Oona Crate series four stars. (I say “much to my surprise” because, for one thing, I'm a tough critic most of the time, and for another, I'm not in the intended age bracket.) While I can't say it blew my mind, I found it highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, this one, while still pretty good, didn't make me smile quite as much. Partly, I'd guess, it's just that the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. But it's also Oona herself. I really enj Much to my surprise, I was able to give the first book in the Oona Crate series four stars. (I say “much to my surprise” because, for one thing, I'm a tough critic most of the time, and for another, I'm not in the intended age bracket.) While I can't say it blew my mind, I found it highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, this one, while still pretty good, didn't make me smile quite as much. Partly, I'd guess, it's just that the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. But it's also Oona herself. I really enjoyed her character in book one, but in this one, she started to get on my nerves. Oona was introduced to us as a young girl who, though she retains enough girlishness that we don't forget that she's not an adult (the way so many authors seem to when it comes to their own YA characters!), is sensible, and logical, and practical, and highly intelligent. The combination of little girl and capable protagonist was very well done. In this one, though, she...I dunno, regresses? Her bad traits start to come out a bit more — she's headstrong, she makes foolish decisions, she allows herself to get needled by her rivals... She doesn't seem quite as mature, which makes her harder to relate to. I'd have expected Oona to apply her impressive mind to her problems. And...well, she does, but not after indulging in a bit of scowling and foot-stomping first. Another (fairly minor) irritation was the inclusion of a couple of devices that quickly grew tiresome. Isadora, Oona's main rival, has a boyfriend, and as soon as he's introduced, Isadora refers to him in conversation as “my BOYFRIEND.” All caps, just like that. I assume that it was written that way to imply bragging. Well...it does. To the point of obnoxiousness. Another bit I didn't care for was the recurring theme of “chivalry,” which didn't have as much of an impact on the plot as I'd have expected, given how often it came up. I suppose I just didn't care for these characters, and not because they're antagonists, but because they're annoying. The whole not-having-an-impact thing brings up another thing: there are couple of situations that Oona finds herself in that don't really go anywhere. I'll assume they were included to set up a plot line for book three, but it felt a bit untidy. But, I'm doing a lot of nitpicking for a book that got a respectable three stars, so I ought to make it clear that I did like it. Not as much as I liked the first book, but it wasn't bad by any means. I enjoyed the light, cheerful plot, I enjoyed most of the side characters — I love the wizard, I love Samuligan, and I really really love Deacon! — and I enjoyed the little flashes of humor. Despite my three-star rating, I've already purchased and started book three; The Magician's Tower may not have been perfect, but there's...well, a magic to this series that suggests I'll find myself back on Dark Street sometime down the road.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    4.5 stars. The mystery was a bit more predictable here, and the book overall took on a much more Harry Potter-slant than the first, but still a tremendously charming and engaging supernatural mystery, ostensibly for children, but definitely enjoyable for those well past that stage in life. In this installment of the series, Oona Crate enters a competition held every five years to solve a riddle that no one in the past few centuries has been able to crack. The competition itself is enthralling, w 4.5 stars. The mystery was a bit more predictable here, and the book overall took on a much more Harry Potter-slant than the first, but still a tremendously charming and engaging supernatural mystery, ostensibly for children, but definitely enjoyable for those well past that stage in life. In this installment of the series, Oona Crate enters a competition held every five years to solve a riddle that no one in the past few centuries has been able to crack. The competition itself is enthralling, with neat little puzzles, and once again the mysteries have been carefully constructed. Character motivations are believable and often hilarious, such as arch-rival Isadora's adolescent insistence on stressing the word BOYFRIEND in conversations. The only thing that really took away from this book was the lack of editing for things such as use of the word "assent" when describing an upward motion: very jarring in an otherwise elegantly written book. That said, I gobbled up this book in a day, bought the final installment immediately and am planning on devouring that, as well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Oona is pretty irritating. Not only is she inexplicably full of herself, but she is easily tricked. Even as she remembered how Isadora got her agree to something in the last book, she DOES IT AGAIN. And immediately regrets it, realizing she was tricked. Um. Sorry, not sure how she has a reputation for being smart. Isadora is a cardboard character - she has no personality and is apparently only capable of saying "BOYFRIEND" (in all caps, no less). The author has attempted to shoehorn some romance Oona is pretty irritating. Not only is she inexplicably full of herself, but she is easily tricked. Even as she remembered how Isadora got her agree to something in the last book, she DOES IT AGAIN. And immediately regrets it, realizing she was tricked. Um. Sorry, not sure how she has a reputation for being smart. Isadora is a cardboard character - she has no personality and is apparently only capable of saying "BOYFRIEND" (in all caps, no less). The author has attempted to shoehorn some romance and danger into the books, but it's really just not working.

  5. 5 out of 5

    aem

    good middle grade fantasy story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    A worthy sequel to the first. If shenanigans are allowed to be compelling, then these certainly fall into that category.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Randall

    Not bad... just, not amazing. Good enough to keep me off social media...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Piruvi

    Awesome. Nicely told, never boring and has magic. Seems suitable for all age groups

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    Second book in the series and a decent middle grade story full of magic and interesting quirky characters. A bit detective, a bit of a contest and a fun read overall.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Raven R. (AvalonReadsBooks)

    Is it bad that I hate Isadora more than I ever hated any story book villain ever? That includes Umbridge. Otherwise, this was an interesting mystery. I like that Oona is growing as a character and still learning. Even though I would have let Isadora fall to her doom I'm glad she helped the dumb girl out. It was an easy read and an easy mystery to figure out. Good read. I can't wait for her and Adler to figure out they like each other. Is it bad that I hate Isadora more than I ever hated any story book villain ever? That includes Umbridge. Otherwise, this was an interesting mystery. I like that Oona is growing as a character and still learning. Even though I would have let Isadora fall to her doom I'm glad she helped the dumb girl out. It was an easy read and an easy mystery to figure out. Good read. I can't wait for her and Adler to figure out they like each other.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mabel

    Maybe it's because I'm not a kid anymore but it just didn't grab my attention. As much as I like Oona, I think the "romance" is overdone and the pacing is kind of slow. Maybe it's because I'm not a kid anymore but it just didn't grab my attention. As much as I like Oona, I think the "romance" is overdone and the pacing is kind of slow.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Spoiler Alert! This was a decent book, so if you read the first one in the series and liked it, go ahead and read this one before reading my review. --------------- I like the characters in this series, and that fact kept me reading The Magician's Tower when its problems made me want to toss it aside. (Not literally, as I was reading it on my tablet.) I didn’t find the plot as compelling as book one, and how Oona discovered the precise spell she needed to open the box was a little too contrived. T Spoiler Alert! This was a decent book, so if you read the first one in the series and liked it, go ahead and read this one before reading my review. --------------- I like the characters in this series, and that fact kept me reading The Magician's Tower when its problems made me want to toss it aside. (Not literally, as I was reading it on my tablet.) I didn’t find the plot as compelling as book one, and how Oona discovered the precise spell she needed to open the box was a little too contrived. These and a few other quibbles aside, the main source of my disappointment was the extremely poor proofreading – and to be honest, after a while I began to think it was less a proofing problem than it was that the author just has difficulty with homonyms. Some of the proofreading errors first: In chapter 10 we are told that Deacon has perched on a nearby tree twice in the space of a page; in chapter 12, “Tick-Tock” is spelled “Tic-Tock”; and in chapter 17 we read “shinny” when “shiny” is meant. These are just three of many examples of sloppy editing. Worse are the times when the excuse “it’s a typo” doesn’t fly and the reader has no choice but to question the author’s command of the language, or, at the least, his spelling ability. (In both cases I ask, Where is his editor?) As with the proofing errors, I didn’t start keeping track until chapter 10, and these aren’t the only mistakes beyond that point, but they’ll serve as good examples: In chapter 10, “assent” and “immerged” are written where the correct words are “ascent” and “emerged”; in chapter 12, “shuttered” is used where “shuddered” is meant; and in chapter 13, as befits its unlucky status, we find a punch-bowl full of troubles starting with the sign in the clock farm, which confusingly states, “within each of these dummy clocks are three working clocks” – if that were true, the challenge would be over in seconds. The sign should read “among these dummy clocks are three working clocks”. Also in 13, we find “rung” where “wrung” is meant, another “assent” for “ascent”, and “heals” instead of “heels”. One thing I appreciate about Odyssey is that he uses the word “fay” correctly. Too many YA authors, and even some adult fantasy writers, mistakenly use “fey” thinking it’s a noun when it’s actually an adjective. So I’m at a loss as to why this book is riddled with mistakes (though the homonym problem causes me to wonder if dictation was involved). One prefers to blame anyone but the author, yet as any writer will tell you, the final responsibility for the quality of their manuscript falls solely on his/her shoulders. As I said above, I like the characters in these books – and the romance that began to blossom at the end of two – and because of that I’ll read the next entry, but it’ll be with fingers crossed that the author and his editor more thoroughly do their jobs.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brandy Painter

    Originally poste here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile. The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey has been on my TBR since it came out. Sadly, other things keep coming up. When its sequel, The Magician's Tower, was nominated for the Cybils I decided to go ahead and give it a try anyway. At least I would know if it could stand on its own. It can and it is such a fun story I am now looking forward to reading its predecessor even more. (Come January.) I adore a good fun mystery, and that is Originally poste here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile. The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey has been on my TBR since it came out. Sadly, other things keep coming up. When its sequel, The Magician's Tower, was nominated for the Cybils I decided to go ahead and give it a try anyway. At least I would know if it could stand on its own. It can and it is such a fun story I am now looking forward to reading its predecessor even more. (Come January.) I adore a good fun mystery, and that is what The Magician's Tower is first and foremost. It is also an adventure full of riddles and, of course, a fantasy. All things prepared to make me have quite a bit of fun with a book. And did I ever have fun reading this one. The competition is set up in an interesting manner and watching as Oona attempts the feats and tries to solve more than one mystery at the same time is thrilling. Oona is a wonderful main character. She is persistent, brave, clever, and also possessing of a remarkable amount of common sense. And when her common sense fails her she has a talking pet raven to remind her when its gone missing. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between these two characters. Oona's rival in the competition, Isadora, is a bit over the top, but that is what makes her character fun and a perfect foil. She was frightfully annoying, as she is intended to be. Oona's cursh on Adler is sweet and perfectly described for the intended age group. I quite liked the villain as well, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not able to figure every piece of this mystery out before the reveal. I enjoyed the mixture of genres and am delighted to have found another book and series I know I can get my students, many of whom also love both these things, interested in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaleena Melotti

    Odyssey has done it again! I love Oona Crate! In case you didn't read my review of The Wizard of Dark Street (Oona Crate Mystery, #1), let me tell you this again... I love Oona Crate! The Magician's Tower picks up three months after The Wizard of Dark Street ended. Oona had solved her first real mystery and officially started her detective agency while still being the wizard's apprentice. However, very little detecting has actually gone on. Oona is now awaiting the Magician's Tower trials (and hop Odyssey has done it again! I love Oona Crate! In case you didn't read my review of The Wizard of Dark Street (Oona Crate Mystery, #1), let me tell you this again... I love Oona Crate! The Magician's Tower picks up three months after The Wizard of Dark Street ended. Oona had solved her first real mystery and officially started her detective agency while still being the wizard's apprentice. However, very little detecting has actually gone on. Oona is now awaiting the Magician's Tower trials (and hoping for some mysteries as well). The Magician's Tower is a combination of mental and physical trials which culminates with an attempt to open a puzzle box, which hasn't been done in 500 years! Oona's father had made it to the final two and when Oona was a child, she had promised him she would win. With these memories and her father's death, she is driven even further to succeed. Fresh off a summer of a serious lack in detective work, the night before the trials begin, a mystery pops up. Despite the fact that she is very dedicated to the tower trials, she can't help but attempt to find clues and solve this mystery. This book is a truly well-written Oona roller coaster sequel with a smooth blend of trials and mystery. You'll be sucked right into Oona's world and try to solve the clues for the mental trials, as well as figure out the mystery. There is also a lot more magic this time around! Not only are there more spells from Oona, Uncle Alexander, and Samuligan, but there's also a more in depth look at how magic works as well. And, it wouldn't be complete without a bit of romance, but I'll leave that for the pages of the book. ;) Odyssey hit it out of the park a second time and I can't wait to read more of Oona Crate and Dark Street!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The Magician’s Tower is an underwhelming sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street. As much as I had my problems with the former, I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the latter. The main problem, to me, is that Odyssey didn’t seem to have a set goal in mind for the sequel, so he cobbled together a few random things and threw in some old villains and ridiculous capers. The thing that redeemed The Wizard of Dark Street for me was the mystery; The Magician’s Tower mystery was set aside for some strange cont The Magician’s Tower is an underwhelming sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street. As much as I had my problems with the former, I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the latter. The main problem, to me, is that Odyssey didn’t seem to have a set goal in mind for the sequel, so he cobbled together a few random things and threw in some old villains and ridiculous capers. The thing that redeemed The Wizard of Dark Street for me was the mystery; The Magician’s Tower mystery was set aside for some strange contest and its weakness showed in the rushed and contrived way it was explained, investigated, and solved. That’s not to say I disliked The Magician’s Tower. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t want to stop reading it. But I thought Odyssey was simply rehashing a lot of things that had already been accomplished in the first book, and the villain reveal felt forced. Not to mention Oona seemed slightly less likeable in this book, or maybe I simply got more impatient with her “I know everything and only I can do things the right way and I won’t accept help” attitude. I liked the eventual connection to the world and plot revealed in The Wizard of Dark Street, but I was hoping that Odyssey would do more with that than what he did. I wish there had been more overall setup to the contest as a whole, rather than a very rushed explanation at the beginning of the book. I wish that the entire book didn’t feel like some magical escapade meant to be funny but failing, with a weak mystery trying to thread its way through the nonsense. Most of all, I wish that The Magician’s Tower felt less like a sequel written because the first book was popular and more like a sequel that actually wants to continue the story and expand on it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Bernard

    Oona Crate is back and seeking out a mystery. But she won't be using magic, only her wit. She has made her way to Oswald park to attend the famous Magician's Tower Contest, which takes place every five years. Oona hadn't been to the park since a failed magic spell cost the lives of her mother and baby sister. Moving forward Oona will rely on the facts instead of magic. With her raven companion Deacon, Oona's latest adventure begins. Oona gets a break in her boardom when she encounters a fortune t Oona Crate is back and seeking out a mystery. But she won't be using magic, only her wit. She has made her way to Oswald park to attend the famous Magician's Tower Contest, which takes place every five years. Oona hadn't been to the park since a failed magic spell cost the lives of her mother and baby sister. Moving forward Oona will rely on the facts instead of magic. With her raven companion Deacon, Oona's latest adventure begins. Oona gets a break in her boardom when she encounters a fortune teller named Madame Romania from Romania who promises to unfold information that will release Ooona from the burden of her mother and sister's deaths. Upon her visit they discover that the punchbowl oracle, which has the power to reveal this truth, is missing. It was out of the question for the fortune teller to go to the police. As a result, Oona takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of the missing oracle, in-spite of the wizards request for her to stay focused on the contest. It's up to Oona to solve this mystery, win the contest and make her long gone parents proud. Odyssey has created another great adventure for middle grade readers. This latest mystery is full of puzzles, clues and a magical mystery that is sure to keep readers engaged and eager to solve the “whodunit” story. Mystical characters and vivid imagery make for a quick easy read. Parents and teachers will enjoy having this in their library.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Crissy

    In The Magician's Tower, Oona Crate returns, determined to win a centuries old contest to boost her confidence after a disappointing start to her magical detective career. The contest consists of three unknown challenges in a strange tower erected in Oswald Park, ending with the winner's attempt to solve the mystery of the Puzzle Box, a challenge that has never been met, even by Oona's late father.Two of her competitors are familiar -- Oona's crush, Adler Iree the magical lawyer and his sister, In The Magician's Tower, Oona Crate returns, determined to win a centuries old contest to boost her confidence after a disappointing start to her magical detective career. The contest consists of three unknown challenges in a strange tower erected in Oswald Park, ending with the winner's attempt to solve the mystery of the Puzzle Box, a challenge that has never been met, even by Oona's late father.Two of her competitors are familiar -- Oona's crush, Adler Iree the magical lawyer and his sister, Isadora, the beauty queen of Dark Street who immediately goads Oona into agreeing not to use her magic -- and Isdadora's handsome and courtly boyfriend, newcomer Roderick Rutherford, whose pompous father, Sir Baltimore, competed in the challenge against Oona's father.Treachery, unexpected alliances and life-threatening danger ensue, as Oona gradually uncovers and must thwart a criminal conspiracy to destroy the Glass Gate and wreak havoc in the mortal world.Like its predecessor, the book's setting is intriguing and well-detailed, Oona is strong and compelling, and the peripheral characters and subplots are well-done. I give it three stars rather than four because some of the challenges are set up as logic puzzles that can theoretically be solved by the reader, but I think they require too many assumptions about the nature of magic in Dark Street to be solved in any logical manner.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dorine White

    The Story- Oona Crate is the apprentice to the Wizard of Dark Street. This year the Magician’s Tower Contest is happening, and Oona is finally old enough to enter. The contest is divided into dangerous tasks, and at each level, someone is eliminated. The ultimate goal is to accomplish the final task, opening a wooden box at the top of the tower. No one in two hundred years has completed the final task. But, it seems like someone is cheating, and Oona is determined to find out who and how. My Though The Story- Oona Crate is the apprentice to the Wizard of Dark Street. This year the Magician’s Tower Contest is happening, and Oona is finally old enough to enter. The contest is divided into dangerous tasks, and at each level, someone is eliminated. The ultimate goal is to accomplish the final task, opening a wooden box at the top of the tower. No one in two hundred years has completed the final task. But, it seems like someone is cheating, and Oona is determined to find out who and how. My Thoughts- First off, I never read the first book in the series, and this book didn’t confuse me at all. The character of Oona is interesting. She is overwhelmed by guilt over the deaths of her mom and sister. So much so, that she rarely uses magic. She even agrees to complete the contest without its help. This is a shame, because I found that I wanted her to use her magic. Throughout the story we hear how powerful she is as a natural magician, but we don’t get to see it. Too bad. However, Oona is very witty and smart. She uses her mental talents to solve the tower contest’s puzzles and also to solve mysteries as an amateur detective. I enjoyed the fun flavor of the book. The tasks the contestants had to complete were weirdly unique, and I liked reading about flying carpets and angry monkeys. This is a great middle grade book that I think kids 8 and up will find appealing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    dsneaks

    I received The Magicians Tower sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey for free through Good Reads First Reads giveaway. I had not read The Wizard of Dark Street but I felt like a book one was not needed for this book. It was a story that stood all on its own in my mind. I felt like I was not missing anything from the start and that it ended where it did just fine. I felt like it was a stand alone story. I think it is good read and it goes much quicker then I expected. I sat I received The Magicians Tower sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey for free through Good Reads First Reads giveaway. I had not read The Wizard of Dark Street but I felt like a book one was not needed for this book. It was a story that stood all on its own in my mind. I felt like I was not missing anything from the start and that it ended where it did just fine. I felt like it was a stand alone story. I think it is good read and it goes much quicker then I expected. I sat down to read the book and before I knew it I had read over fifty pages. The story was interesting and kept my attention though I must say some things in this story drove me insane and I was just sitting there thinking “seriously??” For example the punch bowl oracle the name of it alone I was seriously turned off cause it just sounded so ridiculous then I remembered that this is a book for ages 8-11 and I was like okay its really not that bad. I think kids around the age this book is meant for would really enjoy the name of some of the things. I felt this book is good for the ages it is meant for even older people like myself. It keeps you guessing with the clues and can be an interesting book to read with a younger kid.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Particle_Person

    This was a pretty decent sequel to "The Wizard..." but not as good as the first book. Oona remains as clever as always, which is one of the delights of this series. Without giving too much away, in this book she shows how vulnerable she is to emotional and other kinds of manipulation, against which her intelligence provides only so much help. The reader is in the position of watching this happen and not being able to do anything about it. (I think this was a realistic choice for the author to ma This was a pretty decent sequel to "The Wizard..." but not as good as the first book. Oona remains as clever as always, which is one of the delights of this series. Without giving too much away, in this book she shows how vulnerable she is to emotional and other kinds of manipulation, against which her intelligence provides only so much help. The reader is in the position of watching this happen and not being able to do anything about it. (I think this was a realistic choice for the author to make, but it really made me squirm.) At several points I had to stop myself from banging my iPad on my forehead. "Come ON, Oona, you're not going to fall for that tripe?!" But of course she does. I hope she learns from it in the next book. A thing that really bothered me: Oona considers the possibility freeing Samuligan near the end but immediately seems to reject the idea because she likes him too much to let him go home. I thought that was more than a little ugly. He's essentially a slave, in a time when, on the other side of the iron gates, slaves have recently been freed. Too bad that sentiment didn't make it to Dark Street. Maybe I'm expecting too much insight from such a young character.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    After reading the first book in this series, The Wizard of Dark Street, which I loved, I was really looking forward to this one. And it didn't disappoint. Oona Crate wants to be a detective but no one will hire her. So in the meantime she decides to compete in the Magician's Tower contest, which her father had almost won years earlier. But when a case presents itself just as she should be focusing on the contest will she be able to handle both? Once again, Odyssey writes a light, fun mystery with After reading the first book in this series, The Wizard of Dark Street, which I loved, I was really looking forward to this one. And it didn't disappoint. Oona Crate wants to be a detective but no one will hire her. So in the meantime she decides to compete in the Magician's Tower contest, which her father had almost won years earlier. But when a case presents itself just as she should be focusing on the contest will she be able to handle both? Once again, Odyssey writes a light, fun mystery with great characters and an entertaining plot. I mean I've never read another book that involved apes throwing fruit, floating furniture, and booby-trapped clocks not to mention a grade school appropriate romance (just a brief kiss and some blushing). I think one of the things I love the most about this series is how Oona uses her reasoning skills to figure things out and not her rather remarkable magical skills. Part of that is fear from a past tragedy that she blames herself for and part of it is admiration for her father a past police inspector with no magical skills. I really like that this is not only a mystery but an untypical one, and it's quite refreshing to combine mystery and fantasy in such a fun way. Highly recommend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    This is a solid goodreads' 3-stars, meaning "I liked it". Like the first, it's a cute book with a few twists and turns, and the same cast of characters to contend with - the incompetent police officer, the big bad villain, so on. Also, like the first, Oona has to overcome her own self doubt and fears in order to triumph. Overall, I did like it - but I would've liked to see more Adler, and also for Oona to not be so easily lead astray. My favorite character continues to be Deacon - the magical rave This is a solid goodreads' 3-stars, meaning "I liked it". Like the first, it's a cute book with a few twists and turns, and the same cast of characters to contend with - the incompetent police officer, the big bad villain, so on. Also, like the first, Oona has to overcome her own self doubt and fears in order to triumph. Overall, I did like it - but I would've liked to see more Adler, and also for Oona to not be so easily lead astray. My favorite character continues to be Deacon - the magical raven with his encyclopedic knowledge and sharp wit. And I did like to see the Wizard seem a bit more competent and helpful this time around. My biggest complaint, though, I think is that the "whodunit" aspect seems more accidental. Like, Oona sort of stumbles across clues and has eureka moments, but there doesn't seem much in the way of actually solving the mystery. Read as more of an adventure story, though, and it's easier to get caught up in the various goings on of the challenge. Will definitely continue the series, as it is fun, but I still hope for a bit more development in the characters who still mostly remain charicatures. Then again, for a kids book maybe it works as it is.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bobbye Hudspeth

    I was the recipient of an advance copy of this book via winning a Goodread's giveaway. A very enjoyable read, one that I'll definitely recommend to my adult friends that enjoy reading good quality young adult books...and to my friends have young adult children. Very well-written and well-edited with interesting characters, a nicely managed "lesson" and lots of well-placed magic. Note to author: I tried to write you privately but was told that you were unavailable for private messages...I noticed I was the recipient of an advance copy of this book via winning a Goodread's giveaway. A very enjoyable read, one that I'll definitely recommend to my adult friends that enjoy reading good quality young adult books...and to my friends have young adult children. Very well-written and well-edited with interesting characters, a nicely managed "lesson" and lots of well-placed magic. Note to author: I tried to write you privately but was told that you were unavailable for private messages...I noticed a couple of typos. Probably they were caught before going to final print ,but if not: p. 114 "How does/dose she smuggle it out of the park..." p. 205 "...after finishing in forth/fourth place..." Thanks for offering a copy of your book in the giveaway program. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and will be purchasing the first book of the series for my nieces!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Akoss

    A mystery/detective book just the way I like it with the bonus of magic and fantasy. Oona is one sharp girl who is all amazing before her magic even comes into play. How often do you get detectives with magical powers and super savvy raven as a companion? The writing is rich, sometimes so rich that it was a distraction from the story. It's not exactly a bad thing but it may (or not) prevent potential middle graders from diving into it or finishing it. The world building is great. So great that it's A mystery/detective book just the way I like it with the bonus of magic and fantasy. Oona is one sharp girl who is all amazing before her magic even comes into play. How often do you get detectives with magical powers and super savvy raven as a companion? The writing is rich, sometimes so rich that it was a distraction from the story. It's not exactly a bad thing but it may (or not) prevent potential middle graders from diving into it or finishing it. The world building is great. So great that it's kind of mind blowing to imagine that everything is happening in a small community down a street. I found the beginning to drag a little but once things picked up that was it. Looking forward to Oona's next adventure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I enjoyed the first book, The Wizard of Dark Street, and was anxious to read the second book, The Magician's Tower, to see what new adventures Oona and her Dark Street friends would find themselves in. The contest is an adventure in itself. Lots of twists and turns allowing the reader the opportunity to hone their own powers of deduction with hints and clues earned through exciting contest challenges. There are, of course, additional mysteries involved in daily life on Dark Street (which Oona is I enjoyed the first book, The Wizard of Dark Street, and was anxious to read the second book, The Magician's Tower, to see what new adventures Oona and her Dark Street friends would find themselves in. The contest is an adventure in itself. Lots of twists and turns allowing the reader the opportunity to hone their own powers of deduction with hints and clues earned through exciting contest challenges. There are, of course, additional mysteries involved in daily life on Dark Street (which Oona is compelled to solve) adding to the fun and the excitement. If you like Harry Potter and are a fan of Sherlock Holmes I think you'll really enjoy The Magician's Tower. Its a fun series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Addie Bishop

    I LOVED this book. In my opinion, much better than at least the first half of the first one. It was interesting through out the whole story and the ending... there HAS to be another book. Tell me there is another book. Please? Loved. This. Book. I especially loved the challenges. They were really creative. The mystery was so thick you absolutely couldn't solve it until the very end.. although who wasn't suspicious of the "girlfriend eyes only" letters? It seemed obvious to me at least that somet I LOVED this book. In my opinion, much better than at least the first half of the first one. It was interesting through out the whole story and the ending... there HAS to be another book. Tell me there is another book. Please? Loved. This. Book. I especially loved the challenges. They were really creative. The mystery was so thick you absolutely couldn't solve it until the very end.. although who wasn't suspicious of the "girlfriend eyes only" letters? It seemed obvious to me at least that something was not right about them. It wasn't exactly very shocking that Red Martin was going to end up involved somewhere, seeing as he played such a huge part in the first book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anoush

    I enjoyed this book a lot and enjoyed Oona's interactions (limited) with Adler, although it seemed weird to me (might be just me) that she is 13 and is so twitterpated about this guy. Then again, thinking back on junior high, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. ;-) A couple random story elements irritated me and in this book, it seemed I figured out how certain story elements were going to turn out LONG before Oona even had a clue. The first book kept me guessing longer. Nonetheless, I really hope I enjoyed this book a lot and enjoyed Oona's interactions (limited) with Adler, although it seemed weird to me (might be just me) that she is 13 and is so twitterpated about this guy. Then again, thinking back on junior high, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. ;-) A couple random story elements irritated me and in this book, it seemed I figured out how certain story elements were going to turn out LONG before Oona even had a clue. The first book kept me guessing longer. Nonetheless, I really hope this series continues.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anita McDivitt Barrios

    These two mysteries were published a while ago, but the plotting is exquisite and the content is truly MG - no one dies, no one's ever seriously hurt, while the witch / investigator uses her mental prowess to solve each mystery (and there are several in each book!). The second book features the MC figuring out simple codes and a rudimentary, but engaging, cipher. They were so good, we bought them! They've been read to smithereens. Visit my blog for more great middle grade book recommendations, fre These two mysteries were published a while ago, but the plotting is exquisite and the content is truly MG - no one dies, no one's ever seriously hurt, while the witch / investigator uses her mental prowess to solve each mystery (and there are several in each book!). The second book features the MC figuring out simple codes and a rudimentary, but engaging, cipher. They were so good, we bought them! They've been read to smithereens. Visit my blog for more great middle grade book recommendations, free teaching materials and fiction writing tips: http://amb.strikingly.com/

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pam Torres

    See complete review here: http://soimfifty.blogspot.com/ This clever sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street (2011) features an admirable heroine and an original plot laced with logic puzzles. Fantasy lovers will have a great time with this one. —Booklist A traditional mystery structure and word puzzles mix nicely with action-packed magical stunts. Michael Buckley's The Sisters Grimm readers will find this series worth following. —School Library Journal See complete review here: http://soimfifty.blogspot.com/ This clever sequel to The Wizard of Dark Street (2011) features an admirable heroine and an original plot laced with logic puzzles. Fantasy lovers will have a great time with this one. —Booklist A traditional mystery structure and word puzzles mix nicely with action-packed magical stunts. Michael Buckley's The Sisters Grimm readers will find this series worth following. —School Library Journal

  30. 4 out of 5

    April

    Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge through NetGalley for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own. Really interesting tale that had my attention the whole time. The pace was wonderful and the characters engaging. Beautiful storytelling that kept me on the edge of my seat! Great cover art!! Really beautiful illustration!

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