Genre: YA Fantasy
Favorite Quote: “She loved the place. She loved any library, big or little; there was something about all that knowledge, all those facts waiting patiently to be found that never failed to give her a shiver. When friends couldn’t be found, the books were always waiting with something new to tell.”
Nita Callahan is a very special girl. When hiding from bullies in the library she discovers one of the “So You Want To Be…” books. Usually these books are about becoming a pilot, a doctor, or a lawyer. This book is about becoming a wizard. Nita thinks the book is a joke until she hears the trees begin to speak to her. Shortly, in company with fellow beginning wizard Kit Rodriguez, they set off on a journey to complete the Ordeal. The Ordeal is a challenge that every beginning wizard must complete. To complete this challenge, they must face the one power in the universe that hates wizardry the most. This menace is the Lone Power, the creator of death. Plunged into an alternate New York full of the Lone Power’s creatures, the two kids must venture into the very heart of the darkness to find a stolen book called the Book of Night with Moon. Only with this book do they stand a chance of saving the alternate world and their own world.
This is not Harry Potter. This is totally different from Harry Potter… and I absolutely loved every second of it. I loved how the author not only made wizards unique from almost every other adaptation, but she also made the story relatable to adults and children alike. The underlying message of the book is something we all need to be reminded of every once in awhile. All the characters loved books and libraries and the ultimate power of being a wizard was your ability to use books and not memorize spells like in Harry Potter. I also loved how specified that her main characters were Latino, which not a lot of books can claim, and that two of the characters were hinted at being gay. Diversity for the win! Even though there were some very depressing moments in the book, I loved this story.
The only issues I had with the book were with the author’s writing style. The writing became overly detailed and dense at times in the book. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by the amount of detail there was in the book. It almost felt like I was drowning in words. Overall though, I found the book to be very enjoyable and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!