Monday, February 13, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: MAGORA, THE GALLERY OF WONDERS, by Marc Remus

Holly O'Flanigan wants to be an artist, but everyone tells her she has no talent. She is also forced to live with nasty relatives who make her sleep in the attic and do all the cleaning. Then her grandfather, the only relative who loves her, dies in a mysterious fire. Holly receives some mysterious items and before she knows it, she and her friends and some nosy busybodies have fallen through one of her grandfather's paintings into a magical world called Magora.

In Magora, painting is magic. Magical paintings provide doorways to other worlds, where the people of Magora, living under siege, obtain everything they need to survive. Prophecy says a very talented painter, a Gindar, will one day appear to defeat the enemy and save Magora. If you guessed that this savior is supposed to be Holly ...

At this point there are just too many Harry Potter parallels to go into. Maybe I'm too picky, or just jaded after having read too many "misunderstood, gifted child who is a tool of prophecy and gains entrance to a magical school where he/she trains to become a hero while facing bullies and nasty teachers" books.

However, the world-building is clever and some of the characters are fun and original, like Cookie, the troll, and the tree house -- meaning a tree that is a living house -- and the Ledesmas with their communal mind maintained by magical butterflies. If you're not as picky and jaded as me, you'll probably enjoy this, and the other books in the series that follow.

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