Title: Bad Magic
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2014
Page Count: 393 (Hardcover)
Age Recommendation: 10
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. ~ Goodreads
Bad Magic is honestly something I probably should’ve read BEFORE summer was over. After all, reading books about summer and summer camp after summer is gone just makes you sad. I’m still glad I read it, though. Bad Magic is a super cute and sort of wacky middle grade series starter. From the start, the writing style is like nothing I’ve ever read before. There are editors notes and comments from the author inside the story. I picked up this book because I was a fan of Pseudonymous’s Secret Series. If you’re also a fan of that series I’d recommend this book. 😉
Paul-Clay *winka winka get it???* is a pretty cool main character. He has an agenda, he makes mistakes, he has a pretty intertwined backstory and he’s pretty funny too. He also is smart and as the plot of the book thickens it had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen.
What happened, is that things got really weird. One thing I really liked about this book is about three quarters of the way through the book was so mysterious and confusing that it felt sort of like looking at an optical illusion. It was wild.
I have to admit that magicians and weird summer camps aren’t exactly fresh material. But when you combine them and come at it from a different angle than anyone else you get something very original. Personally, I enjoy Pseudonymous Bosch’s writing style. It’s fresh, funny and a tad annoying but it keeps the story alive. It kind of reminds me of Lemony Snicket’s writing style: you either hate it or you love it and there’s really no in between.
The only disappointment I had was that the ending was a little less exciting than the rest of the book. I guess too many things were wrapped up at the end with answers that weren’t as plot twisting and cool as I’d hoped. But other than that, it was a very enjoyable read.
“Guard bees?” Clay had never heard of such a thing. He could feel sweat trickling down his forehead. The dark cloud–now clearly a swarm of bees–was approaching at an alarming speed.
“The Tempest is my favorite Shakespeare play.” Clay didn’t mention that it was the only one he knew.
“They must be really old.”
“True art never gets old.” Mira sniffed.
“How old are you anyway?”
“What a question to ask a lady!”