Supernatural: An Anthology of Magic and Secrets by Heather Beck

Supernatural: An Anthology of Magic and Secrets by Heather Beck
Publisher: Treasure Cove Books
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (117 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Age Recommendation: 10+
Reviewed by Astilbe

Enter a world where anything is possible.

Heather Beck presents Supernatural, an anthology of magic and secrets.

Black Magic Wish
A curse, cast thirteen years ago by a black magic witch, causes chaos for the unfortunate Jamie Banks.

The Amazing Amber Cook
Strong, smart and independent, Shane’s new friend would be perfect if only she wasn’t an alien.

Jupiter’s Revenge: An Amber Cook Sequel
After being abducted by an alien, Shane must devise a tricky plan in order to escape.

Revenge Of The Fortune-Teller
The magical life of Sage Michaels is revealed when she becomes a fortune-teller’s assistant at the local carnival.

Home Grown Flowers
The Walker sisters have an unsettling secret, but when Bridget discovers the truth, will anyone believe her?>

Would you still make a wish if you knew the forces that grant them sometimes grant them in unexpected ways?

Each story in this collection contains a character who is about to have his or her wildest dreams come true. The problem is, not all of their dreams are good ones, and not everyone has actually thought through the logistics of their deepest desires.

“Black Magic Wish” feels like a modern day fairy tale. What Jamie’s parents intended for good has turned out be far more complicated than either one of them could have ever imagined. While the premise caught my attention, Madeline’s explanation of what was actually happening to Jamie never quite made sense to me.

“The Amazing Amber Cook” and “Jupiter’s Revenge: An Amber Cook Sequel” work best if they’re read an one continuous plot. Amber’s self-confidence made me like her despite her tendency to steamroll over social conventions, although I would have preferred to hear her explanation for how she planned to make Jupiter’s atmosphere palatable for Shane’s lungs. She weaved around the topic so often I expected it to finally be answered at some point, and I was a little disappointed when the dialogue never revisited to this question.

In “Revenge of the Fortune-Teller,” Sage’s need for a summer job takes her to places she never would have visited otherwise. While her lack of emotional maturity and social awareness made Sage seem much younger than seventeen, the final scene was deliciously creepy and will be stuck in my head for a long time.

Skip ahead and read “Home Grown Flowers” first. This perplexing mystery is perfect for the age group for which it was intended, and it is by far the strongest tale in this anthology. Ms. Beck piqued my interest in the Walker sisters’ unusual secret, and I hope her hints about a possible sequel at the end of it will come to fruition. The Walker sisters and their friends have only scratched the surface of their adventures. In the meantime, consider reading this tale aloud as you huddle around the fireplace!

Supernatural: An Anthology of Magic and Secrets is a terrific choice for late elementary students who are beginning to request more nuanced reading material. The frights are real, and I will be recommending this collection to friends and family members in this age group.

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