Friday, January 10, 2020

Review: The Alchemist's Shadow by Gregory Funaro

The Alchemist's Shadow
Watch Hollow, Book Two
by Gregory Funaro
Harper Collins
Middle Grade Fantasy
240 pages

FEBRUARY 18th, 2020!!!

“There is magic, there is good and evil, and there is love all woven into a suspenseful and entertaining mystery.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

New York Times bestselling author Gregory Funaro brings us the second installment of the thrilling Watch Hollow series, where magic exists, monsters roam, and wooden animals come to life.

Having defeated the Garr, a vicious tree monster who lived within the enchanted woods of Watch Hollow, Lucy and Oliver Tinker now have the home they’ve always dreamed of: Blackford House. Powered by a magical clock and full of curious rooms and improbable knickknacks, Blackford House brims with the promise of new adventures.

Yet when a strange governess arrives from England—bringing with her the Kojima twins, Agatha and Algernon—the Tinker children’s once bright future quickly begins to dim. The Kojimas claim to be the rightful heirs to Blackford House, and soon after their arrival, a great evil enters the Tinkers’ new home, cursing it and turning it into an ever-changing labyrinth.

As a result, Lucy and Oliver, along with their clock animal friends, must now join forces with the twins to escape this labyrinth and save Blackford House, all while a new monster lurks around the corner.


With only a few scattered pauses to gain time to breathe, this is a fast-paced novel packed full of mystery, danger, intrigue, and tons of imagination.

Lucy and Oliver are settling down into their home. Finally. But things, of course, aren't calming down. A surprise visitor shows up with two children in tow. Agatha and Algernon, with claims that the house actually belongs to them. Not only does this cause large issues for Lucy and Oliver, but the house and creatures start acting up and appear even during the day time. Also, an evil settles in, one which brings more danger than imagined. Lucy and Oliver must somehow work together with the two newcomers if they want to have a chance of defeating the new threat.

Like in the first book, this one offers so much excitement and suspense. The author has created a magical world with amazing creatures, but it doesn't stop there. Around every corner, there is something to discover and more often than not, it's not something good. These children are kept on their toes and that makes it hard to set this book down. A few loose ends are left, but for the most part, things come together nicely.

Each character is a delight to meet. The children have their very own, individual personalities and quirks, and each one is fun to get to know and root for. Their personal issues make their choices understandable. Readers will sympathize with them and wish they could jump in and join in on the adventure.

This is definitely a fun adventure which is sure to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.

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