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Bad Magic #1 Bad Magic

Bad Magic #1 Bad Magic (edition 2014)

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15211117,443 (3.93)None
Title:Bad Magic #1 Bad Magic
Info:Scholastic Inc. (2014)
Collections:Your library

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Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch



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Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch is a fun middle grade read that includes fantasy, humor, and mystery. Clay is the younger brother of Max Ernest who is one of the characters in The Secret series, another series that was written by the same author. It seems that Max Ernest likes magic and that he has passed on that interest to his brother Clay.

Clay's teacher gives him a journal so that he can write down his thoughts, but unfortunately and maybe magically, what he writes in the journal ends up as graffiti on the school wall. For his punishment Clay must attend a camp for "struggling youth" called Earth Camp. Strangely enough the camp is set on a volcanic island. The campers are a unique mix of personalities and, even stranger, are the magical and even ghostly things that happen at the camp and on the island.

Bosch creates a story that is magical, mysterious, and humorous. The book has just the right mixture of these elements to capture the interest of the middle grade reader. It will be especially appealing to the male population who will enjoy the absurdity of Clay's punishment and his efforts at redeeming himself. Throughout the story, the author cleverly makes many references to Shakespeare's play The Tempest. He does this so effectively that the reader is exposed to the play without realizing as much. Even though the events on the island take on a magical quality, the characters have depth and believability. I would recommend this to the middle grade reader who enjoys books written about unorthodox plots and settings.

This review is written from an EBook courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.
( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
Thanks to the publisher and goodreads for my free copy of Bad Magic.

THIS BOOK, OKAY? If time travel becomes a reality in my lifetime, I'm going straight back to hand twelve-year-old me a copy. Because adult!me loved this book, but preteen!me would have been completely obsessed.

So, what did I love about it?

1. The Tempest. What a fantastic way to weave the Shakespeare play into the plot. It makes me want to reread them -- both the play and then Bad Magic.

2. The other references to books, tv shows, etc. Usually I find that a bit contrived, but the author somehow pulled it off here. Maybe because they weren't particularly recent references, they didn't make the book seem dated. And anyway, Lord of the Rings reference? Count me in!

3. The Narrator's voice. Funny, elaborate, and not condescending.

4. And finally, the characters. How much did I love Leira with her constant wallet-stealing? How about Clay and the way his parents had him parent himself? What about Caliban (shh, he totally counts as a character)?

In short, Bad Magic is fantastic, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
Eh, it was alright. It was a quick read with illustrations in the same style as the Secret Series, but (granted, I'm not the intended audience of the book) it was a bit lacking in the feel that made me like the Secret Series....I'm not quite sure what it was; I mean, it had the footnotes and appendix, and the writing was pretty much the same, but for some reason it just didn't pull me in at all, and I found myself only reading it so I could move on to something else.
(For real rating: 2 stars; it didn't do much for me, but I hate giving two stars so I'm commandeering goodreads' star system dor my own dishonest and nefarious purpouses.) ( )
  theliteraryelephant | Aug 11, 2016 |
Rating: 2.5

I love this author's writing style. It is very conversational. In the second book, we learn that this story is actually told in first person by one of the characters sometime in the future. How he gets into the mind of other characters is beyond me, but I really enjoy this style. It makes for a quick read.

The pacing of this books is quite fast. The main character gets in trouble at school, so his parents decide to send him to a summer camp for troubled youth. This camp happens to be on an island with a volcano. The cast of characters is quite unique. One of the girls pickpockets, but she always returns the items she steals. Another guy is an arsonist. Basically, they are all criminals in the making. But Clay didn't commit a crime, he just couldn't prove his innocence.

Clay works his way into the group, but over time, he becomes suspicious. A lot of the events that take place remind him of the Tempest by William Shakespeare. Could all of the teens be actors? You'll have to read to find out.

This book is a solid middle grades story. So why the low rating? Though I liked all of the characters, I didn't love any of them. This can be contributed to two factor: 1) I'm a 25 year old woman, so I'm not the intended audience. 2) There was no romance, and I typical only "connect" with characters in a romantic situation because I have something to root for. With this story, I was seeing it, but I wasn't emotional involved. I wasn't expecting to be since it's hard for a middle grades story to make my stomach flip or make me cry. This books also failed to make me laugh. With all that being said, it wasn't boring. I think I would have liked this book more had I not rushed through it. I had my kindle read it to me, which caused a slight disconnect that could be to blame for my less than ecstatic response.

If you like this book, I do recommend reading the next book in the series. I liked [b:Bad Luck|25746696|Bad Luck|Pseudonymous Bosch|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1445189532s/25746696.jpg|45587873] [bc:Bad Luck|25746696|Bad Luck|Pseudonymous Bosch|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1445189532s/25746696.jpg|45587873] slightly more, and I do have high hopes for the third book in the series.

If you want to read another camp story, there is a book called [bc:Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp|518595|Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp|Todd Strasser|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1175474957s/518595.jpg|3075007] [b:Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp|518595|Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp|Todd Strasser|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1175474957s/518595.jpg|3075007] that might be good. I own it, but have read to read it, so take this recommendation at face value. ( )
  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. The book is written in a style easily read by upper elementary and middle readers. It's a book of magic, mystery and adventure - all the current rage for readers of this age.

In a story that reminded me a little of Louis Sachar's Holes, young Clay gets in trouble for something he did not do. His choice is to be expelled from school, or spend the summer at a camp for troubled kids. From his first step on the island (after wading through the lagoon first), Clay's adventure begins. He is met, not by a camp director as expected, but by a real live camel that spits on him, but escorts him to the main camp site. Clay has to decide for himself if the mysteries surrounding the camp are real or if they are indeed magic. ( )
  Dmtcer | May 4, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316320382, Hardcover)

A magical new series from Pseudonymous Bosh, the bestselling author of the Secret Series

Magic is BAD.
As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth Ranch, a camp for "troubled" kids on a remote volcanic island, magic is the last thing he expects to find there.

But at Earth Ranch, there is one strange surprise after another, until Clay no longer knows what to expect. Is he really talking to a llama? Did he really see a ghost? What is the scary secret hidden in the abandoned library? The only thing he knows for sure is that behind the clouds of vog (volcanic smog), nothing is as it seems. Can he solve the riddle of Earth Ranch before trouble erupts?

Elusive author Pseudonymous Bosch introduces an extraordinary new series that will have you believing in the unbelievable.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:45 -0400)

The last thing Clay wants to think about after that catastrophe that landed him at a summer camp with an active volcano is magic. After all, the magic journal is the only reason he got expelled from school and shipped out to this camp for disruptive teens, anyway. But that magic book might just shed some light on the island's mysterious history--if Clay can survive his strange campmates, that is.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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