Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can't understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad, Benjamin, has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he's been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn't enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has a weird ability, too. Chase wonders, Can things get any crazier?
Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him so they can learn about their supernatural heritage, and why they have these strange magical powers.
The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in a five hundred and sixty year old house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway, and hall. Chase can't believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.
It's an even bigger shock when Chase learns all their magic is controlled by a powerful four thousand year old Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this Relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He's even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy determined to steal all their magic, their house, and their Relic.
Now Chase must find a way to stop these wicked beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets, and not letting on he has a crush on the housekeeper's daughter.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the first book in The Chase Tinker series. I loved it!
Chase Tinker is a wonderful character, though he doesn't exactly endear himself to the reader with his shoplifting antics in the beginning. However, as the story unfolded, I enjoyed watching his development from a frustrated teen into someone who I would be proud to know. He knows he has a magical talent, but it's not until his younger brother Andy has his ten and a half birthday or Dimidiatus Anniversarium that things begin to get stranger. As they discover the mystery surrounding their magical talents, danger lurks in the shadows.
I received a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review in 2012. Unfortunately, due to my rather large reading list, I haven't been able to read it until now. Since then it has been re-edited. I am kicking myself for not reading this book sooner. I started to read it and was hooked immediately. The story is told mostly through the eyes of Chase and Andy, though other characters have a say too. I enjoyed meeting the other characters in the story. Chase and Andy's grandfather is slightly eccentric, but I liked him a lot. Janie is Chase and Andy's cousin and also has magic. Then there is Persephone Periwinkle, the housekeeper/chef's daughter. The Tinker house on Blackberry Island is almost a character on it's own. I found myself wishing I lived in that house, it seems like a great place to grow up in, with rooms full of magic. Though I was not enamored with the cuddlepus. I don't think I would like to be cuddled by a plant, the thought makes me shudder!
This is a wonderful story full of adventure and mystery, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as Chase, Andy, Janie and Persephone faced danger from a foe wanting the Relic hiding in the attic. There are also several twists and turns that keep a reader guessing. Secrets are revealed and I must admit I never saw some of them coming. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end. If I had one complaint it would be that it ended on a rather emotional note, rather than a cliffhanger. I understand why the author ended it this way, but with all due respect, it left me feeling rather angry and upset (just like one of the characters). Other readers may not have the same response, so I will leave it up to you to decide for yourselves if you decide to read the story. Having said that, I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets, as soon as I can to find out what happens next.
Malia Ann Haberman has written a entertaining and exciting story for middle grade children. This is her debut book. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and imaginative. The flow is wonderful too, though there are some scenes that slow it down a little (mainly the time travel section). However, I would definitely read more of her books in the future.
I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers aged 9 to 14. However, I also recommend this book (and series) to adults who love reading middle grade fantasy, or to those who are fans of books like Harry Potter. - Lynn Worton
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Years later, I'm still staying inside with books, but now I'm happily writing my own. :)