Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review: Benjamin McTish and the Wizards of Coranim

Title: Benjamin McTish and the Wizards of Coranim
Author: June M. Pace
Publisher: Pressed Leaf Publishing
Release Date: June 17, 2014

Benjamin and his friends find themselves on a ridiculously amazing ride through all that is the World of Coranim. From the enchanting magical city of Na’Talom and the splendiferous flying contraptions of one, Pips P. Toggleton, inventor slash artist of the extraordinary, to the far off outer edge Steam Powered Metropolis of Pancilet, with the expanse of Aurorus Jungle residing in between. And always close by is their mentor and guide, Esmerelda Fet, the endearing but brash Light Sorceress and the most accomplished Medicine Elder alive. The Wickcliff sisters receive the utmost in unique lessons in the Land of the Winter Light from three very idiosyncratic Wizards, while Benjamin finds himself confronting the most elusive individual yet, an Aboriginal Gnome Wizard known as Locke, who is able to tweak at Benjamin’s psyche every chance he gets. This journey broadens in scope with the addition of two family members who find themselves in the Gilley Forest in search of the missing children. After their shocking encounter with the Dark Queen in her battle of monumental proportions with the Villa, we find Claire and Emmagene traveling with the Elves to their home in the Darmon. Once in the Elven city they are inundated with the mystery and the magic of such mind boggling wonders as the Transcendental Collay Birds and the Na Temple. They also meet up with a quirky character known as Beedlebee, a Mystic Seer who owns the Shoppe of Insight and shakes up the status quo. Can they make their way into Pancilet to find Benjamin, Annabel and Mathilda...or what of Edward, Braxton and Emeline? Did they, along with the rest of the Chickerings, make their way safely into Pancilet? Is everyone out of danger from the wrath that is Tar Vigorn? The sites and bustling of the Wizard city of Pancilet is an overload to the senses as great devices of transport wheel down the glistening cobblestone roads. Parasols and Top Hats dot the sidewalk strolls of the button gloved shoppers on their way to the nearest Pub for afternoon libations. However, all is not as it seems...nor is it ever, dear reader....there are a few surprises yet in store for you as you delve into the deep waters of Coranim and the ever mysterious story of a family that appears to have some very deep secrets of their own. Our journey begins exactly where last we a Shoppe, in a magical little city in another dimension and a portrait of a woman....a woman wearing the necklace belonging to a Vila.

So this picks up right where the first book left off.  The three adventurers are immersed in the world of Coranim and begin lessons to hopefully rescue Benjamin's mother.

The girls' mother and Benjamin's grandmother decide to venture into the Gilley Forest.  Much of the book is travelling - between Benjamin, Annabel, and Mathilda travelling their separate paths, Edward, Braxton and Emmeline heading into Coranim, and Emmagene and Claire trying to get to Coranim.  But so much happens on the way that there doesn't seem to be a dull moment.

So Mathilda grew a little more on me in the second installment of the Benjamin McTish series.  Maybe it was that she grew up a little bit and didn't have so man crazy outbursts.  But I didn't find her as annoying.  But Locke was my favorite of all the new characters we met.  An aboriginal gnome wizard.  He talks funny.  We also get to see a lot more magic, which is pretty awesome.  Annabel and Mathilda even got magic wands.

The steampunk feel of Pancilet threw me off a bit.  Not something I expected from this book.  A world of fantasy and forest and then a steampunk city?  It felt kind of weirdly thrown in.  But I suppose everything has a point.  Since Pancilet was only there for like one chapter it will be more important in the third book and things like this will be more explained.

I ended up slightly confused at the end of the book, though I guess that was the point.  It's a cliffhanger, but in the "I'm not entirely sure what just happened" kind of way.

Overall I enjoyed the book.  If you liked the first book you're likely to enjoy the second as well.  There's less questioning of what to do and more action taking place. 

1 comment:

  1. Thx again for reviewing book two…nice review..although you gave a little spoiler with the mother search…but not to worry…so much happens and things change up so much it will all be absorbed into the story for the reader. So glad you found a better understanding of Mathilda and LOVED that you enjoyed Locke…totally fun to write.
    And if you think about it…Pip's place has a fully steampunk vibe to it and the city of JoyTowne is definitely heading that direction…so yes, Pancilet is fully steampunk and it does enter into much more of the next book…The Hidden Caverns of Bristonbel….I hope you enjoy the next book as soon as I'm able to get it to you. And the ending of book two was my favorite part of the book…it is supposed to make you go…huhhh? What could this mean? And I promise you will know the exact answer to that in the first chapter of the next book!
    I can't thank you enough Christina for taking the time to read and review two books in a row…you're the best!
    Cheers to you, June!