After an exciting summer away at Camp Ravenwyng, Jason, Bailey, and the other Magickers return home to start school in this second book of The Magickers. The young people are adjusting to their new magick skills, and many challenges face them in the weeks ahead. Not only must they learn to live in the "real" world without talking about their Talent, but the Dark Hand is also seeking them, and the elders have still not found a safe haven for them. As Halloween approaches, the young magickers experience vivid nightmares and are stalked by wolf jackals. All of them are finally drawn to the old McHenry house, where a decisive confrontation takes place with Brennard, leader of the Dark Hand. Readers are reunited with the original characters back at home with their families, but they might find this book harder to get into than the first. There is not much suspense until about halfway through, although there is plenty of foreshadowing. The final third of the novel is quite suspenseful and moves to a rapid conclusion. The reader never finds out, however, what the Curse of Arkady really is. Despite its slow start, the book leaves readers anxious for the third installment. Recommend this book to everyone waiting for the next Harry Potter episode and to Magicker fans as well. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2002, DAW, 305p,
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Overwritten and full of awkward prose, this sequel to The Magickers (DAW, 2001) does not stand on its own. Jason Adrian is the principal protagonist, though the point of view switches among many characters. His pleasure in making the soccer team is muted not only by a bully at school and a sinister school counselor, but also by the sense that the Dark Hand is after him and that he and his Magicker friends might be vulnerable to the Curse of Arkady. No one seems to know what that Curse is, but it's bound to be bad. The reappearance and sudden death of a long-lost elder Magicker indicates that the Curse may cause rapid aging and death in those who use mana, or magical energy. The good versus evil battle is not presented as a terribly cosmic one-it's more that the bad guy employs dirty tricks and ugly beasts ("wolfjackals"), and is possibly committed to an ecologically unsound coastal development project. Despite the occasional humorous moment and a few scenes of creepy excitement, the text is rarely rewarding, and details about critical plot elements remain unclear to the end. Undiscriminating readers who liked the first book, however, will want to read the continuation of the first adventure. For a far more satisfying read about older children learning to wield magic, try Diana Wynne Jones's Year of the Griffin (Greenwillow, 2000).-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"The Magickers is America's answer to the Harry Potter series. Young adults, teens, and even geriatric boomers will enjoy The Curse of Arkady...[and] will be eagerly awaiting the next installment...reminiscent of the early teen fantasies written by Andre Norton." -BookBrowser
"Drake has done a good job of giving her novel its own flavor...a fun and involving tale of youngsters introduced to the dangerous and exciting world of magic." -Locus