This series continues as unlikely hero Mack, accompanied by bully-turned-bodyguard Stefan and spunky Jarrah, try to find the remaining 10 members of the Magnificent 12.
With only 35 days before the evil Pale Queen’s 3,000-year banishment ends and unthinkable terror begins, the apparition of ancient Grimluk sends them to China, where frightening creatures commanded by Nafia assassin Paddy “Nine Iron” Trout repeatedly attempt to kill them. Rapid action and death-defying adventures lead the trio into a hidden dragon world where Xiao, a shape-shifting dragon girl, joins them as the third in their quest. On to Germany they go, dodging the queen’s daughter Risky’s attacks, and discover annoyingly logical Dietmar, the fourth. In a most unwelcome twist, the group learns that old wheezing Paddy “Nine Iron” has an enthusiastic apprentice, Valin, who is the fifth. All the while Mack occasionally receives texts from Golem, who sincerely tries to pass as Mack back home with comically disastrous results. Whew! Where the first book was an exciting, fun-packed fantasy-adventure in which all the humor and action dovetailed nicely, the sequel feels a bit overdone. Readers may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of new characters and befuddled by several hard-to-follow action sequences.
That said, Grant’s talent for quick dialogue and vivid descriptions still shines and will have fans eager for book three. (Fantasy. 10-14)