Jinx was one of my favorite books last year, so naturally I wanted to read the sequel.
Jinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood. HarperCollins, 2014.
Back in the Urwald, Jinx is still trying to figure out how his magic works. Using magic the way Simon wants him to is still tricky, but Simon can’t help him with the abilities that come more easily, talking to the trees of the Urwald and seeing the colors and shapes of people’s thoughts. What the Urwald is telling him is that Jinx’s friend Reven is the Destroyer, and it wants Reven out of the Urwald. And Elfwyn’s thoughts about Reven have turned distressingly pink and fluffy. Jinx’s plate is getting increasingly full, what with escorting Reven out of the Urwald and figuring out why the Urwald is worried about him to Simon’s worry about a possible return of the Bonemaster. Eventually, Simon sends Jinx through his magic door to the country of Samara to learn about their magic system, KnIP, and to talk to his wife, Sophie. Things go downhill (as they are wont to do), and soon Jinx is left with no adults to rely on, trying to figure out how to save them and his beloved Urwald.
Like Jinx, Jinx’s Magic is divided into distinct sections, happening in different places with different characters. Jinx, travelling around himself, holds the story together. As before, the characters are genuinely interesting, and there are some nice thinky thoughts, both on the lines of growing up and learning how people work in general, to the problem of how to get individualistic people to work together at need and lots of learning about magic. The action felt a bit steadier to me than in Jinx, which had a quiet first half followed by an action-packed second half. I’m just as happy with the quiet sections, but my experience is that most people like action. I feel like there’s enough going on that I’d recommend it for ten and up generally, though that of course can vary individually. My only real complaint about Jinx’s Magic was that the ending, instead of wrapping up the threads of this story, instead introduced the challenges of the next book and then ended quite abruptly. I’m still waiting anxiously for the sequel.