Author: Shawn Thomas Odyssey | Website
Release Date: July 26th, 2011|
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Magical| Pages: 346
I received this book a while ago (that’s how far behind on my list I am,) and I am SO MAD that I’ve waited so long to dig into it! Oh my goodness, I have book two waiting for me, and I’m starting it right now. No waiting. Seriously guys, this was one of the most fun MG reads I’ve picked up lately, and I am so excited to share it with you!
Thank you to Egmont for the chance to read it!
I was graciously provided a copy via Egmont, USA. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.
Oona Crate is a marvel. She is the first natural magician to be born in hundreds of years, and she’s destined to be the wizard’s apprentice. Despite having the rare gift of natural magic, she’d rather be a detective. She wants to follow in her father’s Inspector footsteps, and prove to her Uncle–The Wizard–that logic is just as important as magic.
But when the Wizard is attacked, Oona must delve into the world of magic to find the clues about who wanted her uncle dead.
And it’s in her journey that Oona discovers just how magic, and logic, work together.
5 Reasons Why This Book is Marvelous!
- First of all, this story is pretty much everything I loved wrapped into one. It’s a full on fantasy with wizards, and faeries, and magic–but it’s a mystery! Oona is sort of like an old school (and by that I’m talking 1877) Nancy Drew. This is definitely a genre mash-up sort of story, and one that has now found a place in my heart. I absolutely love how Odyssey has taken a basic mystery story and weaved it into the world of fantasy.
- Which, um, is AWESOME! The concept behind Dark Street is fabulous. It’s the last faerie road connected to earth, and every night at midnight, the Iron Gates open for one minute and New Yorkers (where it opens in our world) can shift through worlds. The Glass Gates, which are on the other side of the street, are connected to the world of Fay but no longer open. We only get snippets about Fay and the Great Faerie War, so I’m curious to learn more about that part of the story. But Dark Street just sounds like such a fun place. Odyssey’s descriptions and imagination create such a fabulous setting for the story that I not only felt as if I was there, but if it was a real place I could visit.
- The other elements that make this story fabulous are the characters themselves. Oona (Um… awesome name!) is a hoot. She’s this stubborn, young girl, determined to fight her natural magic abilities. It’s not that she doesn’t believe in magic, it’s that there was a situation that makes her believe reality is better. It takes her awhile to open up in the story about what exactly happened with magic, and when she does, my heart just broke for her. But I can understand her blaming magic and why she believes in the importance of science and logic over it. I think her smarts drive her, and I simply felt pulled into her character. I love how, even though she is somewhat outcast and different than others on Dark Street, she doesn’t let it stop her. She has a dream, and she makes her dream happen.
- Beyond the fun characters–and I haven’t even mentioned Deacon the talking raven, and Samuligan the faerie servant–the plot was fantastic. I kept changing my answers to the “who dun-nit” throughout the whole story, and when all was revealed, I was genuinely surprised. I had had a hunch about the culprit at one time, but by the end of the story, I had gone a different way. I can deeply appreciate when a story makes me think, or makes me try to figure out the mystery. I was able to follow along really well, but not so well that I figured it out. To me, that’s fabulous mystery writing. I know that the mystery genre can be hard to write, mostly because one doesn’t want the reader to figure things out too early. As an avid reader, I have an penchant for figuring out stories too early, but that wasn’t the case here. It’s a solid mystery that will keep readers entertained and working for clues until the very end.
- I have to go back to the story’s genres. Honestly, I just fell in love with how mystery and fantasy were mashed together. Odyssey is a fabulous storyteller, and I simply love what he has imagined and written. I am so excited to dig into The Magician’s Tower, and I’m hoping there are more Oona adventures to come!
- Book Talk: Have you discovered Oona Crate yet? What do you think about the mashing up of true detective stories and fantasy?