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Monday, April 27, 2009

Fish and Sphinx (Juvenile)

Released on April 2008

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The third novel in Rae Bridgman's MiddleGate series finds cousins Wil and Sophie returning to their second year of wizardry/magic school. Readers of this series know that Wil and Sophie always get drawn into a mystery, and this time is no different.

The school year starts with a project that plays a part on leading Wil and Sophie into their latest mystery. When the cousins see fish appearing on Wil's medallion and on various objects in the academy and around town, they stumble upon a plot to overthrow the Palace of the Blazing Star. This time they'll be aided, though in a vague manner, by a mysterious homeless woman who happens to be a catfish. As she delivers clues in the form of riddles and unusual lyrics, Wil and Sophie do all they can to make sense of her words and keep their town safe from the evil society known as the Serpent's Chain.

Don't worry if you've missed the other books in this series, FISH AND SPHINX works well as a standalone novel. You can go back and catch up on Wil's story by reading the previous two novels, however.

FISH AND SPHINX takes place throughout MiddleGate, which appeals to me because snippets in the school remind me a lot of the Harry Potter story. I find that my mind focuses on comparisons to the Potter series, so having the setting switched around from time to time helped keep my focus on this story.

I loved the second novel in this series and expected something along those lines again. For me, FISH AND SPHINX seemed harder to follow. I'm really not sure why, but my attention wandered and I'd have to stop reading and start back up flipping back a few pages to refresh myself with what happened. I think part of my problem lies with Sophie's backstory. Her father disappeared after being accused of murder. I'm tired of waiting and want to see that decade old mystery tackled in more depth.

I loved the appearance of Catfysh, and I still love the Latin phrases at the beginning of each chapter. It does appear that the fourth book in this series will find the kids traveling to Iceland with their aunts. I'm excited to see where things will go when they leave MiddleGate.

1 comment:

  1. Tracy, thank you for this nice review. You'll find out more about Sophie's father in the fourth book, promise! My regards, Rae Bridgman