If you are a fan of magical adventures, mixed with some very quirky and funny characters, then this is the book for you. There are hints of other familiar stories as we are introduced to a parallel world of magicians and mythical creatures, but linked to our own mundane world.
This is the second adventure featuring Hedy and her brother Spencer as they spend another holiday at their grandparents’ house; only this time they are accompanied by their cousins, Jelly and Max. The house is very far from normal, being full of magical artifacts, as well as a talking Bearskin and Stag’s head (otherwise known as Doug and Stan), who are the epitome of a comic duo; they are absolutely fantastic . In this story the children manage to persuade their grandfather and his neighbour Mrs Pal, to take them to a magical convention and competition called the Fantastikhana. Initially they said no, but eventually changed their minds as the adults want to find a magical artifact that allows people to manipulate time; and they want to keep it out of the hands of those who intend to actually misuse it. When Hedy is accidentally linked to a ‘living map’ that seeps under her skin, things get exciting, as the map is a way of retrieving items that it has been linked to. Before we know it, Hedy and the rest of the group are on a quest to find the mysterious ‘Verdandi’s loom’, but can they trust everyone they meet?
This is a delightful escapade and I am so sorry that I had not read the first in the series, so I have just bought a copy to fill in the gaps. The new story dives straight in with all of the characters and it takes a few pages to get everyone sorted in your mind, so reading book one is definitely to be recommended. The authors have created a world and set of characters that we are easily able to relate to and there is a great sense of humour that balances the tensions created by the lurking villain. Whilst the theme of family is very strong in this story, not every group has the same closeness and we get to see that there are different kinds of family relationships; not all of them are good. However we do see how special friendship can be and this helps the children in their quest. I am desperately hoping that we are going to see further adventures for this feisty set of individuals, as they are an absolute joy, but until then I am going to settle down and read the first of their adventures.
About Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai
Australian co-authors Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai create worlds together, even though they don’t live on the same continent. This means that when they video call each other, it’s not unusual for someone to be in pyjamas.
Mikki has worked with many musicians and actors and now lives in America with her husband, dog and cats.
Kelly lives in Australia with her two sons and loves waking up to the wild story ideas that Mikki has sent during the night.
The House on Hoarder Hill is their second collaboration and is being developed for television with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House and Wiip.