Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Level Three's Dream

Level Three's Dream
Level Three's Dream by Matt Posner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy/Magic Reading Level: Young Adult

Disclosure: I purchased this copy for myself, and am therefore under no obligation, but am happy to provide an honest review.

Synopsis: America's greatest magic school is back -- and fourteen-year-old Simon Magus, Goldberry, Mermelstein, and the rest of the team have to face the frustrating creatures in Lewis Carroll's Alice world to help the dangerous young magician Level Three to control his deadly power! Level Three is autistic -- but he's a magician, too, and there is no way to block his ability to trap people within his imaginary mental worlds. When magic doesn't work, and they have only their wits, how can the kids survive in the deadly realm of an unpredictable genius child? Thrill to a bloody and costly magical battle in Paris -- smile at a new love for elementalist Robbie Ravitz -- puzzle at the frightening mystery of why Mermelstein is stalking Level Three's sister -- and wonder at over a hundred pages of comedy, mystery, poems, songs, and logical puzzles as Simon and his friends struggle against all your favorites from Lewis Carroll -- and new creatures as well! Magic fans of all ages will never want to wake up -- from Level Three's Dream!

My Thoughts: Is now a good time to disclose that I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass? Of course I’m aware of the basics – it would be difficult not to be – and love the song “White Rabbit” by the Jefferson Airplane, which is somewhat remotely related to the story, but have never actually read the story itself, nor have I seen any of the movies related to them. So, I went into this book without that knowledge. As it turned out, it really wasn’t necessary, although I think I might have caught a bit more of the subtle humor if I had.

Not to say I was disappointed – far from it! This book was a great continuation of the story and I read it pretty much straight through (only pausing briefly to post a cover reveal). We learn a bit more about some of the characters, as well as meet some new ones. We learn more about the troubling events around the world that had been distracting Dr. Archer in the first book. The students advance in their studies, although there is really very little about the school itself in this book – there is more action outside the school than inside it in this book.

It was really weird how, after everyone went into the Lewis Carroll-based world, they all started to basically act like jerks to almost everyone they met. They had, after all, gone in for a reason, they had a plan, and it seemed like once they got there, they decided – somewhat arbitrarily – that most of the characters they met were unimportant to that quest. This is one thing that bothered me and it is never really explained, nor is there any real consequence for it. That surprised me.

Having spoken briefly to the author in between reading these books, I’ve learned that there are a number of books planned in this series: at least five in total, maybe more. The next book is to be called War Against Love. At this point I’m not sure when it is due out, but I am planning an author Q&A with Matt Posner coming up in the next week or so, so watch my blog for that! I know I’ll be waiting for the rest of this series and picking it up as I can – great stuff!

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