Saturday, December 29, 2012
ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
The world is fascinating. Everything is done by magic, so an ord is feared because a lack of magic is a horrifying possibility to most of the populace. The politics, with the various people standing for or against ords, was included enough in the story to make sense and stay interesting, without detracting from the more personal story of the characters (think of Harry Potter's wizarding world, if all the wizards decided to hunt down their non-magical relatives and enslave them).
The characters were, in fact, FABULOUS. I loved the protagonist, who is optimistic, idealistic, and loves her family. The novel is written in her voice, and it is solid throughout and very entertaining (a large part of why I started reading and couldn't stop). I also love her family, who don't care that she's an ord and commit themselves to helping her and kids like her. All of the teachers and students at the school have their own stories and fleshed out personalities. One of her classmates, Peter, is a perfect foil for Abby (and not just because he's a Pessimist and she's an Optimist).
Ordinary Magic is one of those perfect books where every page is not only necessary to the story that the author is telling, but entertaining and gripping as well. This is a Middle Grade book, but the story is still complex and deals with some pretty intense issues. It would be easy to read it strictly as an allegory of race/religion/sex discrimination, but there’s a really great story here, too.
I gave Ordinary Magic five out of five stars. WARNING: contains complete win. I need more of this series immediately.