Blog Tour! Penumbras by Braden Bell

Penumbras (Middle School Magic #2)

Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are back! Just when they think life is normal again, a dangerous shadow creature begins to hunt them. The trio must develop their powers in order to conquer this new peril and protect their school. Filled with action and even more magic, this book continues the exciting adventure in the Middle School Magic series.

Paperback, 304 pages  Published July 9th 2013 by Sweetwater Books

In the second book of the Middle School Magic series it jumps right into the story with Conner experiencing the Shadows trying to get at him while on a school field trip. We soon find out that his room mate, Pilaf also has some of the Magi abilities, but his vary more so than the other three. For example he can hear the other Magi talk to each other in their heads, but he cannot speak back to them telepathically. An interesting twist, he can hear the Stalker! Pilaf announces to Conner that the Stalker is outside their window, right after Conner escapes from the Shadows. 

As the story continues we see that it focuses more on Conner than Alexa or Melanie, as the first book did. Conner experiences more and becomes a major plot for the Stalker's and attacks by the Phantumbra. As Conner and Melanie begin to show signs that they like each other as more than friends, this upsets Alexa (Conner's sister) and slowly the tension grows between Alexa and the others. 

We see a lot of things take place in this second book. Conner and Alexa both struggling with their inner selves (trying to find the good in all the bad/looking for their "light") as well as physical attacks by the Stalker and Dark Hands. The teachers still play a huge roll in their lives, guiding them both in and outside of school on choosing the right decisions and the building of their Magi powers. With the addition of Pilaf there are new questions brought out of how he was not discovered to have Kindled before now by the Magi Magisterium.  
Although the pacing of the story and the plot arch could have been ordered differently to make the story a little smoother to read. The writing was a lot smoother, the battles were larger and the inner battles were more thought-provoking.  
There is humor, healthy child/adult relationships that show guidance and learning. Magic and adventure to remote islands, underwater, kidnappings and most of all lessons to be learned.

Favorite Quotes:
"What would Dr Timberi Do?"
"stranger than a tap dancing coyote"
"scratched at the doggy door of Lexa's mind"

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