Timeslip Tuesday was started by Charlotte at Charlotte's Library.
West, Jacqueline. Spellbound. (The Books of Elsewhere #2)
Olive is still getting in trouble in her big stone house that was built by an evil magician. She's trying to get Morton out of his painting, but without the glasses that let her into the paintings, she must rely of the three cats, who are not being helpful. When Rutherford, an annoying boy obsessed with trivia, moves in next door, he suggests that Olive find the McMartin's grimoire, or spellbook, and use that to get Martin out. After an extensive search, Olive finds the book, but strange things start to happen once she does. Why is her neighbor, Mrs. Nivens, sneaking around? Will Annabelle manage to come back? Will she ever be able to get Morton out of the painting? Olive must use the magic at her disposal for good, rather than evil, to accomplish this.
Strengths: This sequel to The Shadows has lots of good, creepy moments, and lots of magic is being used. I'm starting to get a lot more requests for books involving magic. While technically not a time travel book, this does mess with the space/time continuum, so we'll count it!
Weaknesses: The title. Titles? Rather confusing, and just not strong.
Odyssey, Shawn Thomas. The Wizard of Dark Street.
Oona's uncle is the wizard in charge of keeping Dark Street hidden from both the citizens of New York in 1877 and keeping it safe from the fairies, with whom the denizens of the street had an epic battle. When he is supposedly killed at an interview for his apprentice, Oona starts to investigate. She was supposed to be his apprentice, but wants to give up magic for detective work. The investigation becomes more pressing when Oona finds out that Pendulum House, where the wizard always lives, is about to be torn down and converted into a beach themed resort by Red Martin, who hopes to make a lot of money by opening the street up to citizens of New York. Oona thinks she knows what has happened to her uncle, but she must figure out a way to bring him back, keep Red Martin from tearing down the house, and find out what evil forces are behind her uncle's disappearance in the first place.
Strengths: A convincing fantasy world and a strong main character make this a fresh entry into a genre that has a lot of really bad books! Fans of Mebus' Gods of Manhattan will like another book where New York is almost a character.
Weaknesses: I didn't quite believe that Oona's misplaced use of magic resulted in the death of her mother and sister-- wasn't someone watching her? I would have been happier if she would have had another objection to becoming the wizard after her uncle.