Magic or Madnes
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Series: Magic or Madness
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Book - Library
Synopsis: Reason Cansino's mother Sarafina, has spent her whole life trying to keep Reason away from her grandmother. Esmeralda. According to Sarafina, Esmeralda is an evil woman who believes in magic and practises terrifying rituals. Then Sarafina ends up in a psychiatric hospital and Reason is delivered into her grandmother's care in Sydney. Her thoughts are focussed on escape, until she opens the back door and finds her self in the middle of a New York winter. If magic is real, what else has Sarafina lied about?
What I thought: Justine Larbalestier may very well be my new favourite Australian young adult author. I grabbed this after reading Liar and loving it. This was brilliant! Like Rowling, Larbalestier has taken magic and placed it in the ordinary world. Reason's paranoia at finding herself in the house of the woman her mother has frequently described as evil and terrifying is palpable. You yourself as the reader are unsure whether or not to trust Esmeralda. I really felt for Reason as she faced the collapse of her world and everything she thought she knew and coped with being in New York! I look forward to reading more of this series and finding out what happens next.
Recommended for: those who are like good quality YA fantasy.