Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Kathryn Littlewood's middle-grade novel A Dash of Magic started out perfectly as far as sequels go. There is just enough review of what happened in the first book (Bliss) to refresh the reader's memory without lingering for too long. After only a couple of pages, we're off having new adventures!
No detail was left unturned. Why is the cookbook itself needed? Why couldn't the recipes be copied? Didn't they have any recipes memorized? Every question that came to my mind was eventually answered.
Littlewood cleverly incorporates historical and cultural facts in an unobtrusive way throughout the novel. And I would venture to say the "Head in the Clouds" chapter is a lighthearted homage to a scene in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The first book in the Bliss series really seemed to focus more on the magic itself, and a lot of humor. This second book had those elements, but was far more adventuresome, with some turns I didn't see coming. The characters have mellowed out a bit, too (in a good way). Bliss was certainly enjoyable, but A Dash of Magic was a page-turner. This sequel did not disappoint.
Plus, there's a talking cat and a flutist mouse. Enough said. ;)I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.