Magickeepers: Pyramid of Souls

Nick is part of a family of Las Vegas magicians who hide their real magic behind a fabulously successful stage act. When they're not performing, Nick and his cousins are in training in the deeper magical arts. When an important magical artifact gets stolen---the Pyramid of Souls---Nick sets out to try and retrieve it from the evil sorcerer he knows is behind it all: Rasputin.

This book was sent to me by a publisher, and I realized as I read it that I really should've read the first one first. Sounds like it was a pretty fun backstory, and if I'd known the characters, had their full, first-book introductions before reading this book, I probably would've liked it more. As it was, the odd thrown-in references to famous historic figures didn't seem necessary to the plot to me, and the characters' reactions to things weren't believable (why does Nick take off by himself without seeking help from his far-more-powerful uncles to retrieve the pyramid?). The whole plot felt kind of choppy, and I was left with several unanswered questions (e.g., if it's always snowing on their Winter Palace Hotel in Vegas ... don't the casual, nonmagical outside observers notice that and kind of wonder about it? Manipulating the weather seems a bit beyond acceptable stage magic ...). I was wishing for a little more depth, but it was a pretty short book intended for a younger audience. So ... not my fav, but it's possible that a younger reader who just loves stories that have anything to do with magic in them and who has read the first book in the series might like it. That's my take.

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