Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier

#42 in my book challenge for the year, and #18 in my summer reading challenge, was Magic Lessons, the second book in Larbalestier’s Magic or Madness trilogy. After re-reading, and again loving, Magic or Madness, I was disappointed in the sequel. It didn’t feel as tight, either in editing (there were many extraneous and unnecessarily repeated sentences) or in plot. Reason Cansino, the 15 year old protagonist, goes back and forth between New York and Sydney and tries to avoid Jason Blake, just as she did in the first. But the introduction of a new character creates more questions than it answers, and I’m not sure that was intended, even while there is more than a little deus ex machina element to him. Some of my dissatisfaction may be unfair–this may be a typical second book in a trilogy, that begins to answer some of the intruguing questions raised in the first part, but doesn’t finish the story. I will certainly read the next book in the series, but I may get it from the library rather than purchasing it, as I did this book, based on the strength of the first.

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