Book Review Date: October 4th, 2019
Written By: Obert Skye
What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need? What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn’t tell the police? What if you stumbled across a classified as in your local newspaper that read, “Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL”? Would you call?
Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he’s not so sure about that ad… He’s read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn’t actually exist in the world today, could they?
Enter Labyrinth, aka “Rin,” who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells.
With he help of a robotic talking raven invented by Ozzy’s father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents.
I bought the first book a long time ago, but as things usually go with me, work reading pushed fun reading back and I didn’t get to this until I saw the second book was coming out. The first chance I got to sneak in a fun read, I picked the first book up. I was so intrigued by this one. Was it going to be a fantasy or not? It’s a Middle Grade book, so there’s no division of genres the way adult books have and the way YA book start to be. It’s all mashed up together. I think this is one reason I enjoy Middle Grade because while some are obvious, others, like this one, you don’t really know what you’re signing up for. And I was amazed and impressed by how long that feeling of uncertainty about which type of novel this was lasted as I read. I have honestly never felt that way reading a book before and it was magical in its own right just for that. This book toes the line of magic and reality so deftly. And honestly, the answer to that question of which side it lands is so secondary to the story by the time you would think to think it matters. I was so wrapped up in this story and enamored by these characters. Ozzy is adorable. Resilient and charming. His robotic bird companion is similarly heart-stealing. And our resident wizard, Rin, is so quirky and ridiculous, yet I found myself underling many of his quotes because as flawed as he clearly was, he was also very wise and his words resonated with me. He’s a fascinating character, as are all the characters, and this book is equal parts heart and charm. I’m anxious to read the second book and get to spend more time with these characters and see what’s next for them on their journeys. I have no doubt it will be magical in whatever form that takes!
In the dense Oregon woods, there was a small cabin, a little wooden home with a crooked green roof and round windows.
- It is a fact that all who have lived have lived through some loss and heartache. Yes, there is happiness, but everyone alive experiences sadness at one time or another. If you ache you are not unusual—friends disappoint, betrayal is real, and there is always the possibility of losing someone dear. It is worrisome to begin a story beneath shades of shadow and gloom but it is wise to remember that despite all the worry there is magic afoot.
- If tomorrow you find happiness, don’t forget the sorrow that brought you here.
- There are no problems too big to conquer if you keep the goal in mind.
- You look at me and see a wizard. I look at everything and see magic.
- A goal written on the air is subject to the will of the wind.
- Time flies occasionally … But I have also seen it languish and whimper as it stomach-crawls across the floor.