Author: Jennifer Bell
Similar books: The Maloney's Magical Weatherbox by Nigel Quinlan
The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli
Summary (provided by publisher): Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems…
When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush.
Ivy and Seb make their escape only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, a secret underground city called Lundinor where ordinary objects have amazing powers. There are belts that enable the wearer to fly, yo-yos that turn into weapons, buttons with healing properties, and other enchanted objects capable of very unusual feats.
But the forces of evil are closing in fast, and when Ivy and Seb learn that their family is connected to one of the greatest uncommon treasures of all time, they must race to unearth the treasure and get to the bottom of a family secret . . . before it’s too late.
Debut novelist Jennifer Bell delivers a world of wonder and whimsy in the start of a richly uncommon series.
My opinion: Books of this sort are always going to be compared to Harry Potter. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Rowling set a high standard that pushes other fantasy writers to be more. Its not enough to give a character magic; you have to create a world, complex rules, and a fantastic villain. Bell does pretty well with these elements. Lundinor is complex with lots of consistent magic rules. The book has a complete plot on its own while also contributing to a larger series plot. Characterization is not particularly complex but with more volumes coming we can expect to see depth added in the future. I wouldn't put it under the "best book ever" banner but it's solidly entertaining and well worth the time spent reading.
More Information: The Crooked Sixpence releases January 31.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.