Expected Publication: February 1st, 2013
The Return of Abracadabra (Hocus Pocus Hotel # 2)
By: Michael Dahl
Stone Arch Books
Charlie Hitchcock figured out that Brack is really Abracadabra, the missing magician. But as Brack prepares to unveil his true identity to the rest of the world, magical mysteries continue to unfold at his hotel. Charlie and Tyler Yu have solved challenging tricks here before, but can they do it again before time runs out for Brack . . . and the hotel?
Charlie Hitchcock, class geek and Tyler Yu, class bully are stuck in a tentative friendship after solving the mysteries happening at the hotel Tyler's family owns so Tyler could buy the motorcycle he had been saving up for. Now the elevator operator Brack (who is really the famous missing magician, Abracadabra) is planning to put on a show at the hotel and reveal his secret identity to the press and the rest of the world. The only problem is that the currently famous magician Theopolis comes to the hotel and performs some seemingly impossible feats of magic - all at the same time. Can the boys figure out how he managed it, or was it really magic after all? And will Theopolis succeed in stealing the show and Brack's part of the hotel right out from under him? This was a good follow-up to the first novel, which had Charlie and Tyler solving the mysteries of the hotel itself. This time they have to find out Theopolis' secrets before Brack loses everything. To me the illustrations were the best part, just like in the first book. It was a cute book about friendship and mystery, but I felt like it was lacking some of the magic in the original. The description and following picture of Brack's secret room on top of the hotel was awesome. And the answer to the mystery was plausible, but predictable. I think this book would have been a lot more fun if I was still under 13 years old and loved magic tricks. Overall, a fun book that was just a good fluffy, middle-grade read to give my brain a break from all the YA and Harlequin angst. I would recommend this to middle-school and late elementary teachers for reluctant readers and young boys.
VERDICT: 3/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is February 1st, 2013.*