The arrival of another nefarious magician prompts further world-saving, fruit-flavored magic and bonding by a squad of small-town preteens in this laidback sequel (The Candy Shop War, 2007).
Fishy doings at the newly opened Arcadeland draw Nate and sidekicks in to play some cool games—and, thanks to free use of Peak Performance gum, to win so many thousands of tickets that arcade owner Jonas White recruits them to compete against one another in finding a set of long-hidden real-world talismans. White’s ultimate goal, as it turns out, is possession of a voodoo-doll–like simulacrum of the entire Earth called “Uweya,” which was created in prehistoric times by a great (if maybe not too bright) mage and then hidden away behind corridors of swinging blades, armies of clay warriors and like obstacles. Amid easy banter and with help from aptly named goodies concocted by magician/baker Sebastian Stott, the young heroes set out to find Uweya, rescue captured friends and scotch White’s plot. Readers unfamiliar with the previous episode may have trouble weathering both the author’s sketchy efforts to recap events and the slew of new characters, but like the tasty Moon Rocks that give Nate and friends the ability to leap buildings (short ones, at least) in a single bound, the tale floats along airily.
Action aplenty, with tongue (and candy) firmly in cheek. (Fantasy. 11-13)