The Magnum Opus: A Review

The Magnum Opus by Christine & Christopher Kezelos is a branching story based on their short stop-motion animated video¬†The Maker. It’s on their Zealous Creative channel on Youtube, which has many other stop-motion animated videos as well. As soon as I found out they had written a novel based in the same world as their short video, I immediately bought it.

Don’t worry if you have never watched¬†The Maker, although I would highly suggest doing that first, but the video is summarized within the first couple of chapters in the book. One thing I wish was in the book, that was in the video, is the showing of the music alphabet. The Makers are a race of magical beings that use music to bring other Makers to life, after making them, among other things. I think that was one of my favorite parts of the video was when you could see the translation of their music alphabet to ours. But I move along.

The story begins with the explanation of how the Maker cycle works. A Maker opens its eyes, the hour-glass turns, and a beautiful symphony blares to life inside the workshop. The music pushes the newly brought-to-life Maker to make a brand new Maker. When the Maker is finished building the next one, they must play the Maker song and bring the freshly made one to life. The book describes this so well, I recalled this scene from the video. After the first couple of chapters, we break into the new part of the plot. The Maker cycle is broke, and it is up to Ario to fix it.

The plot flows beautifully. I really like all of the characters. All of the main, and even the annoying Lorcaan, feel well fleshed out. One thing that I’m not a fan of is the name Lord Crone because generally the word crone is associated with an old woman who is ugly, or a witch, or something along those lines. Other than that, I really liked the characters. I liked how some characters were from different seasons, it was like each one was represented. They each worked together, and did well.

The setting of this was beautiful. The entire kingdom and surroundings were described in such detail that you can see it clearly in your mind. The time is set in Winter for the most part. I liked how the weather had an effect on the journey to find the Magnum Opus. Just the entire idea of the seasons and what the Makers do for them, is so cool. Read this book! Watch the video! This is really good, the plot is well thought out, the characters are fleshed out, and the setting is beautiful. Buy this book! It really is good.

The Novice: Summoner; A Review

I just finished The Novice by Taran Matharu and I need the second book! I couldn’t put this one down. Other than the names, the wording was kind of simple, which is why I think they categorized it under Young Adult, but other than that, the plot was well layed out and I loved it. The characters are well planned out, well, main characters, the secondary ones you think are important at first and think, oh no, we have another Harry, Ron and Hermione on our hands, but then things change. We see Fletcher become friends with a dwarf and an elf and how their relationships actually shape the flow of the plot.

I love the relationship each character has with their demons. Fletcher and Ignatius work amazing together, feeding off each other’s emotions and the fluidity in their movements can only mean their relationship can only go higher from now on. It’s kind of cool how the summoner and the demon become one with their demon with they infuse. I really liked how that was portrayed. I hope to see Othello’s golem grow more; I want to see what he can do. I also think it was important to see Rory’s reaction when Malachite was hurt pretty badly. These demons aren’t just trinkets to pass around, they are an extension of the summoner.

With the ending of the first book, I can’t wait for the second. I love how the first one brought in a few plot points that will be hopefully played out in the second book, if not the third. The second book is called The Inquisition, which can mean any number of things considering the ending of the first. I’m not going to spoil it, but I can’t wait to find out! Even if the Young Adult genre turns you off, I think this is a well written medium between YA and fantasy. The plot and characters are interesting, and I can’t wait for everything to come to fruition. I highly recommend The Novice: Summoner by Taran Matharu.