Thursday, December 6, 2018
Book Review: The Mystic Video Game
The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game by Alex Woburn is the third book in this series, filled with color, magic, action, danger, ghastly monsters, fun and whimsical creatures, and lots of adventure. Melody and her mom, Violet, find themselves homeless after their house was burned down. While Melody stays with her friend Max, Violet gets a job helping to clean up a charming cabin in the woods and is able to live there while doing so. The owner, Saxon, and his son, Charlie, just disappeared many years ago, and Dante, Saxon’s brother, has finally decided to tidy things up and put the cabin on the market. Melody and her friends decide to help Violet, but while cleaning up they discover a very old video game console … and are invited into the World of Whimsy by Ollie, the singing octopus. The kids need to help save the World of Whimsy from great evil. Will they survive the terrible dangers contained within the game? Are they ready for the incredible surprises waiting there?
Since this is the third book, young readers might like to pick up the first two books to acquaint themselves with Melody’s story and how she got her powers. However, since Alex Woburn drip-feeds backstory into the rollicking adventure as it unfolds, there is enough detail to keep readers apprised. The story is a non-stop, helter-skelter ride that whisks young readers headlong into a world of magic and mayhem. The author has an incredible imagination and kids will just love the amazing creatures – both the frightening and then fun ones - he has created. Ollie the singing octopus is just adorable. There are numerous life lessons and messages interwoven into the action and the encounters Melody and her friends have with the real world and the magical one. Teamwork, accepting others for who they are, being kind to others, believing in yourself, looking for answers from within, caring for the environment, and many more.
The author sets the scenes in the real world very well, with Melody’s school and social life nicely outlined. Young readers will relate to the teachers and the mean girl scenario. The entry into the magical World of Whimsy is done in a way that reminded me of the movie Jumanji, where the kids get to choose various powers. These powers are suited to their personalities. The question of would anyone really want superpowers in their daily life is addressed in an interesting way at the end. The story wraps up nicely with, of course, a new adventure looming as Violet takes a job helping the owner of a creepy old mansion turn it into a lovely hotel… A wonderful tale for young readers who love adventure and action stories with a difference!