Chase Tinker and the House of Magic by Malia Ann Haberman
(The Chase Tinker Series Book 1)
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Full Length (212 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen
In Chase Tinker’s world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination…
Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can’t understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he’s been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn’t enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has a weird magical ability too.
Can things get any crazier? Chase thinks.
Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him for the summer so they can learn about their supernatural heritage and why they have magical powers in the first place.
The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can’t believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.
It’s an even bigger shock when Chase learns that all their magic is controlled by a very powerful and mysterious Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He’s even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy that is determined to steal all their magic, their house and their relic.
Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets and not letting on that he has a huge crush on the housekeeper’s daughter.
What would you do if you had magical powers? If you could stop time or use telekinesis, how would you use these powers? Chase Tinker and the House of Magic is the story of two brothers and how they come to discover not only their own powers but also the powers which all members of the Tinker family have. Included in all the magic is a fantastic house where each room has a different power. The Tinkers have used their magic over the centuries for good, but now a dark and powerful force is out to destroy them all.
Malia Ann Haberman has an incredible imagination which she has used to great effect in this novel, the first in a series. The descriptions of the rooms in house of magic are great fun. The room which is sure to win the hearts of adolescents, especially boys, is the room where any kind of food or liquid can be produced and it comes squirting out of the wisher’s nose. And then there is the room where extra eyeballs attach themselves so that the user can see out of the back of his or her head. But Chase Tinker and his friends thought that “one of the best rooms by far was where they were able to change into any bird they wanted.”
Ms Haberman’s characters are also very engaging and true-to-life. She does an excellent job of portraying the world through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy and his friends. The adults are suitably protective and hence there are secrets to uncover and lies to sort out. Chase and his friends feel, as that age usually does, that they can handle anything, but when things do get out of their control, they demonstrate the maturity to realize that they are in trouble.
The story itself is exciting and well-paced. I found myself totally engaged in both the plot and the characters, and I ended up reading the novel in one sitting. I can recommend this fantasy to all who enjoy watching what magic can do, and personally, I plan to keep reading this series to find out how Chase and the rest of the Tinkers cope with dark evil.