The Arcade Catastrophe - Brandon Mull
Brandon Mull is getting better and better! The Arcade Catastrophe is packed full of good, clean excitment and suspense. The story was engaging, the message was positive, and the characters are strong, honorable, and brave.

If you haven't read The Candy Shop War, you absolutly need to read it first. The Arcade Catastrophe references back to that first book several times, and some key plot points are dependent on a knowledge of what's happened in the past. This time, Mazog and John Dart are missing . . . and for those of you who are still uninitiated to the world of magical candy, this is a VERY bad thing. With the worlds most powerful magician and the worlds best magical law enforcer M.I.A, there isn't much to keep magical bad guys from doing what they do best--using kids to do their dirty work by giving them magical powers! That's why is lucky for the safty of the whole planet that Nate, Trevor, Summer, and Pigeon are once again up to the task of beating the bad guys and saving the day. Mr. Stott is back to help, and we get to meet several new friends too, including Lindy, Mr. Stott's adopted daughter--who has a secret past that must be kept from her at all costs!

Not long after I got into the book I began to get nervous about an unresolved ending . . . because of Harry Potter it's my personal mission to avoid reading any book series until all the books have been written, thus avoiding the agonizing wait for a new book to resolve the conflict. The first Candy Shop War was written as a stand alone story--Brandon Mull wasn't planning on more. It received such good feedback though that he found more story to tell, and I was worried that his "more" would become a series like Fablehaven where you don't learn the whole story until you've read all the books. I needn't have worried, everything is wrapped up with a nice neat bow at the end. This time around though, there is the briefest of set ups for the next story--and I can handle that.

I'm excited for my kids to read The Candy Shop War, and I give my highest recommendation that your family join in on the fun!