When a mysterious explosion closes his boarding school early, 12-year-old Danny Woo accompanies his journalist aunt to Hong Kong.
In spite of Danny’s persistent questions, Aunt Laura refuses to talk about her story. But when Aunt Laura is abducted, all clues point to the Black Dragon, a Chinese organized crime syndicate. Together with his godfather, Major Zamora, a dwarf circus strongman, Danny is determined to rescue his aunt and bring down the people responsible. To succeed, Danny must draw upon the skills he learned from his late parents, circus performers. Mind control, lock picking, magic tricks, and the ability to master the high wire all come into play. But what chance do an inexperienced kid and one strongman have against a ruthless gang? While Danny’s skills at mind reading, palming cards, and hypnotism are exceptional, his success is unpredictable. It is in these moments of failure that he shines. He recognizes that thoughtful problem-solving and dedicated effort are superior to any magical ability. This depth makes him a laudable and likable hero. The unusual location, intriguing characters, and a fast-paced plot further set this series opener apart.
A clever mashup of crime drama and magical realism makes for an auspicious series start. (Adventure. 8-11)