Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Review: Order of the Majestic by Matt Myklusch

by Matt Myklusch
Middle Grade Fantasy
432 pages

MAY 7th, 2019!!!

Fans of Brandon Mull and James Riley will love this action-packed, accessible fantasy story about one kid’s journey to discover magic as he’s caught up in an epic battle between two powerful ancient orders.

Twelve-year-old daydreamer Joey Kopecky’s life has been turned upside down. After acing a series of tests, he’s declared a genius and awarded a full scholarship at a special (year-round!) school. He’s understandably devastated, until he takes one last test, and the room around him disappears, replaced by the interior of an old theater.

There, Joey meets the washed-up magician, Redondo the Magnificent, and makes a shocking discovery…magic is real, but sadly, there isn’t much left in the world. It may be too late to save what little remains, but for the first time in his life Joey wants to try—really try—to do something big. Soon he’s swept up into a centuries-old conflict between two rival societies of magicians—the Order of the Majestic, who fights to keep magic alive and free for all, and the dark magicians of the Invisible Hand, who hoard magic for their own evil ends.

The endless battle for control of magic itself has reached a tipping point. For Redondo and the Order to survive, Joey must inherit the lost legacy of Harry Houdini. Will he prove himself worthy, or will the Invisible Hand strike him down? The answer will depend on Joey’s ability to believe, not just in magic, but in himself.


While the cover and blurb drew me in, I was a little skeptical about the high page count. This, however, was such a fun read that the heavy page count wasn't a problem.

Joey isn't exactly an exceptional student, but he's great at taking test. When he ends up getting a perfect score on a set of tests and is marked as genius, he's knows that this is a bunch of trash. He doesn't know anything outside of comics and movies. Definitely, not school stuff. Still, his parents are determined to chase this and soon have him registered at a school for the gifted. When he arrives to take some more test which should determine the rest of his life, things take a strange turn. He's given a box of magical tricks, 150 of them and all to be solved within one hour. Somehow, he does it and the results send him soaring into the world of magic and a dangerous war.

This is a fun read full of magic, quirky fun and tons of fast-paced adventure. In other words, it's a blast. The beginning runs fairly quickly as Joey heads from a perfect score to the gifted school and finds himself in a strange and spooky place—a deserted New York street with a theatre and tons of creepy shadows. The setting begs for a fantastical adventure, and that's exactly what this book gives.

The writing flows at just the right pace. There are enough descriptions to draw into the world, but these usually don't run extremely deep. Instead, the plot shoots forward and is pulled along with fun dialogue. Imagination takes flight, making this an adventure made for the age group. And for those adults who still know that magic is possible if one simply is ready to believe.

And here he is...

Matt Myklusch is the author of the Jack Blank series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons.

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