Friday, November 2, 2012

Magic Motel

Hocus Pocus Hotel by Michael Dahl

* Provided by the publisher for review


3 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

This is one magic trick filled quick read.  Most of the action takes place at the Abacadabra Hotel, which is owned by Tyler’s family.  There is magic and several mysteries afoot.  

The characters were kind of caricature like at first.  Charlie’s the nerd/smart kid and Ty’s known around school as a bully.  As a matter of fact Charlie thinks he’s about to be his next victim when they meet and then things change between them. 

Ty is looking for Charlie’s help because he thinks that he’s the only one that can help him.  Charlie’s know for his photographic memory and his love of puzzles.  Ty has some really interesting puzzles for Charlie to solve.  They slowly but surely seem to be becoming friends, just not at school.  Tyler and Charlie make a great team and the mysteries are solved rather quickly.  I hope there friendship continues to develop and that their adventures continue. 

The illustrations really help bring the story to life.  I felt while reading it that it would make for a great cartoon series especially with all of the eccentric magician characters.  A hotel built by a magician would make for a really good set piece in which to tell a bunch of different weird stories.    

The characters found around the hotel are a lot of fun and will leave you wanting to know their whole stories.  My favorite magician they meet is Mr. Madagascar (because he is one crazy old magician.).  I think Madagascar pulls off one of the best tricks too. 

The final reveal is really cool but then the book just kind of stops, it just doesn’t feel like it ends where it should because only one person finds out the big final reveal.  This book definitely feels like it would be on the younger side of Middle Grade. 

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