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THE KEY by Michael Grant

THE KEY

From the Magnificent 12 series, volume 3

By Michael Grant

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-183370-0
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

As in the previous titles (The Call, 2010, and The Trap, 2011), this third installment in the Magnificent 12 series speeds forward with the help of over-the-top action sequences and rapid, clever dialogue.

This episode opens with Mack about to be catapulted and most likely smashed into a wall near Loch Ness, when at the last minute he is saved by French goth-girl Sylvie, who is the half sibling of evil Valin, an ally to the dark forces supporting the rise of the Pale Queen—and both Mack and Sylvie happen to be members of the Magnificent 12, on a quest to obtain the second part of the vital key. And this is how the story progresses, like an urgent, never-ending run-on sentence. With many plot twists, comic diversions involving the Golem standing in for Mack back at home, timely introductions of new characters, explanations of Vargan spells, and just-in-time fantastical feats that save lives and ultimately move the Eiffel Tower from one side of the Seine to the other, readers are in for a most entertaining if often hard-to-fathom tale. Grant’s series flows like a much-hyped Hollywood summer blockbuster: The special effects are impressive, but readers must instantly agree to suspend disbelief.  A website encourages fans to create their own avatars, review characters and settings and keep updated on the latest news about the series.

Action, adventure, fantasy, humor and a glimpse of a potential budding romance are all here, making this a great end-of-summer read. (Fantasy. 10-14)