The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Wizard of Dark Street

The Wizard of Dark Street

4.6 33
by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
     
 

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Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard’s apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind.

Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve

Overview

Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard’s apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind.

Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of magic to discover who wanted her uncle dead.

Full of magic, odd characters, evil henchmen, and a street where nothing is normal, The Wizard of Dark Street will have you guessing until the very end.

“Delightful cover art will attract Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman readers, who will enjoy the quirky characters and offbeat humor. Upbeat in tone, this delight is an excellent blend of fantasy and mystery with a variety of suspicious characters and enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end…”
- Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Set in 1877, in a liminal world that divides and protects the Land of Faerie from the Land of Man (New York City), Odyssey's nimble debut novel introduces pragmatic 12-year-old Oona Crate, first in line to be her wizard uncle's apprentice. She is human, but has the gift of "natural magic." Due to Oona's accidental misuse of this gift, which resulted in her family's death, she has an aversion to all things magic, instead setting her sights on becoming a detective. Meanwhile, her desperate uncle advertises for an apprentice, which draws a motley crew, including a young witch and an enigmatic blind actor. Everyone becomes a suspect when lavish gowns are stolen from Madam Iree's shop, and Oona's uncle vanishes, following an assault with a magical object. Oona journeys into Dark Street's labyrinthine domains to solve the mystery, while struggling to reconcile her remorse and distrust of magic with her loyalty to her uncle. Odyssey's lyrical descriptions ("It was a place as ancient as the wind, where candlestick trees replaced light posts, and street clocks told jokes as well as time") and consummate world-building result in a wonderfully fresh fantasy-detective story. Ages 8-12.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In 1877, Dark Street is a Diagon Alley. It sits between New York City and Faerie, open at midnight to New Yorkers and, after the Great Faerie War, firmly barred to Faerie by the Glass Gates. The vigilant Wizard of Dark Street tends its magical presence. By tradition, his niece, 12-year-old Oona Crate, is next in line to be his apprentice, but she has renounced her magical abilities because of an accident she once caused. Now she concentrates on detective work, which she must employ when her uncle vanishes right before naming his successor. Oona has a wide list of suspects to interrogate, including a witch, a blind man, a "Muggle" boy from New York, and obnoxious Isadora from across the street. Ably assisted by her talking raven and her Faerie servant, Oona sets out to prove that magic is no match for her powers of observation. This mystery has an intriguing cast of characters and classic detective elements. The concept of a magical street filled with quirky denizens will please readers, as will Oona's independent spirit. Boys and girls will appreciate the protagonist's magical Nancy Drew-type capers and her straightforward style. Less satisfying is her facile ability to forget that her magic once killed her family and to reclaim her magical heritage. Perhaps this disconnect as well as the lurking Faerie denizens will be dealt with in further volumes. Hand this one to readers who like their fantasy with a strong mystery thread.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews

Oona would rather solve cases than cast spells, but her decision not to apprentice to her uncle, The Wizard of Dark Street, has disastrous consequences.

In 1877, 12-year-old Oona is a rare natural magician, but she has reasons beyond an interest in detection to shun her magical heritage—personal reasons. Although she lives with her magician uncle on Dark Street, last of the 13 roads between the worlds of Man and Faerie, Oona wants to follow in her dead father's gumshoe footsteps and solve crimes. When the ceremony to name a new apprentice to The Wizard ends abruptly with the disappearance of her uncle and prompts local crime boss Red Martin to attempt to take possession of Pendulum House, magical linchpin of Dark Street and traditional home of The Wizard, Oona and her talking raven Deacon are on the case. Odyssey's debut is a sad thicket of extraneous detail and repetitive exposition with a regrettably unexplored historical setting. Oona is engaging enough, but those around her don't rise to her level of characterization. The mystery offers some appeal, but the "magical" setting is a pale reflection of Diagon Alley.

The interesting and satisfying conclusion to the mystery just doesn't make the long rambling journey worth the trip. (Fantasy/mystery. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606843864
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Publication date:
08/14/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.48(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Shawn Thomas Odyssey is a professional music composer for film and TV, with works including HBO’s Deadwood and the video game release of Kung Fu Panda. He is married to a mysterious dancer whom he met while working at a haunted theater. Shawn lives in Nevada City, California, and you can visit him online at www.shawnthomasodyssey.com.

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