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Jinx by Sage Blackwood
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Jinx (2013)

by Sage Blackwood

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2502545,873 (3.86)8
  1. 20
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar in style and tone, both books are filled with magic and wizards, spells and rumors about mysterious and dangerous beings to be avoided.
  2. 10
    Which Witch? / The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson (LongDogMom)
  3. 10
    The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both feature a young boy taken under the wing of an older wizard with strong magical power.
  4. 00
    Magyk by Angie Sage (Anjali.Negi)
    Anjali.Negi: Both have a boy wizard, same medieval high fantasy..
  5. 00
    The Blood and Thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak by Margaret Mahy (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: A magical adventure
  6. 00
    The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (foggidawn)
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» See also 8 mentions

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This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Now this is a book that I so totally regret not reading sooner.

I mean, seriously. I read all those rave reviews on Goodreads when it first came out, but it just sort of slid under my radar. Yay to my new library, though, because it was sitting on a shelf right at my eye-level! I snapped it up and brought it home, and read it in a grand total of two hours - I know, I'm a hopeless speed-reader. But to be fair, this was a really awesome book and I just couldn't put it down.

It reminds me of a lot of different book series I've read, in the best possible way. I can't go into all of the similarities (both because that would take forever, and because then I'd pretty much spoil the entire book), but here are some of the series it particularly reminded me of: the Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas, the Trelian books by Michelle Knudson, the Half Upon a Time trilogy by James Riley, and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. You'd think, with all this similarity to other series, that the Jinx books would have been dry and cliche - they weren't, though. Blackwood does a marvelous job of keeping everything fresh, inserting twists to the formula until the basic premise only feels comfortably familiar, rather than boring.

The wizard Simon is my favorite kind of character: he's all grumpy and mean on the surface, but then he's also kind to Jinx in ways that make you think he's actually really nice inside. He basically adopted Jinx as a six-year-old and "raised him" (if you can call it that when he had him keep house all those years). Jinx very obviously loves Simon very much, and while he never once refers to Simon as his father-figure throughout the entire trilogy, it's very clear that this is essentially how he perceives him. That's what makes Jinx struggle so much with what Simon does in Jinx, and why I honestly struggle with it as well. I can't talk about that, though, because of spoilers.

I love Jinx, too, even though he's a little bit more of a stock character in the first book. By the end of the trilogy, though, I love how he develops away from the usual underdog hero trope and, rather than turning into the charismatic heroes of many of the series I listed above, becomes very grumpy and blunt and awesome as he constantly loses his patience with people. It's hard to describe Jinx's personality development, but it's fantastic to read.

Basically, this is a really great book. I enjoyed the second and third Jinx books as well, but it's this first one that holds the true magic. Go on, check it out. If you're anything like me, you'll gobble it up in one sitting - and then immediately request both sequels. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Sasquatch Nominee 2016
  Liz_Haggerty | Jul 28, 2015 |
Jinx is abandoned is an orphan who is abandoned by his step-family and taken in by a Wizard named Simon. They live in the Urwald where you learn at a young age to stay on the path, because leaving the path means you will be eaten by trolls, werewolves or more. Simon plays with magic and Jinx yearns to learn magic too. Sophie, Simon's wife is against magic and does not want Jinx to learn. However, Jinx learns magic and and learns to stray off the path and explore the Urwald. He also enters the world of Samara to find Sophie and there his magic grows.

The story is told through the eyes of Jinx and we watch him come to age during this fantasy novel. ( )
  StephanieFeist | Jul 14, 2015 |
Jinx is a wonderful story about a boy who is discarded by a family who sees him as a thorn in their side and less of a person. This unfortunately is a realistic concept as many children feel left out, but here Jinx makes friends with a wizard, Simmon who ends up taking Jinx special power, to see the true color of people, revealing their thoughts. I think this book is a great opener because it teaches about learning to use ones skill to help himself and learn how to adapt. After defeating the villain of the story it is only the beginning as the book is like the Harry Potter series which has a much bigger worlds, ready to be explored.
  josephumana | Mar 16, 2015 |
Jinx lives with his stepparents in the Urwald forest where small communities live in the clearings and people learn quickly to stay on the path (as it says on the cover, you grow up quickly or you don't grow up at all). But when his stepfather takes him off the pathway in an attempt to abandon him he ends up being taken in by Simon the wizard, who is cranky but seems to be a safe guardian. He even tries teaching Jinx a little magic, but it turns out Jinx has his own magic.

Although I'm a fan of The Hobbit and the Harry Potter series, I was never a fan of the fantasy genre or other such books. Nonetheless, this one was quite charming and I actually found myself entertained. Although Jinx is young, he's hardened to life and has learned to survive and you quickly learn to like him. Simon the wizard is interesting, though, and the issue of whether or not he (or any other grownup, for that matter) is trustworthy becomes an interesting wrinkle in the story. Eventually other kids his age are added to the story, but they have their own challenges as well, making them more than just stick-figures in the story. And that seems to be one strength of this story - its characters. It's not Tolkien or Harry Potter, of course, but I enjoyed it and I think a lot of kids will, too. (I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.) ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
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To Jennifer Schwabach
because it's her kind of story
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In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A young boy named Jinx encounters magic and danger as he grows up in the deep, dark forest known as the Urwald and discovers that the world beyond--and within--the Urwald is more complex than he could imagine.

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