[button color=”black” size=”big” link=”http://affiliates.abebooks.com/c/99844/77798/2029?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abebooks.com%2Fservlet%2FSearchResults%3Fisbn%3D9780747569091″ target=”blank” ]Purchase here[/button]
Here is a funny, scary, and exciting story about a lonely boy who rides a train into the middle of a magical adventure with good and bad witches. If this sounds like a description of Harry Potter, you may be in for a surprise. Apart from some standard witch equipment such as brooms and a similar flair for creating character names, the similarities between this story and the Harry Potter books go no further.
The boy on the train is named Joe Binks. He is alone on the train from London to Canterbury, not because he doesnt have any family, but because his father had to go to Scotland on short notice and so Joe must spend the Christmas holidays with his mother, stepfather, and seven-year-old half-sister. The adventure begins before he gets off the train, thanks to a magical duel between several of the other passengers, and then a ride on an enchanted tricycle which leads him straight to the Dead-nettle Coven.
Even though Joe himself has no magical talent, he is soon thrust into the role of hero. For an evil witch is trying to gain control of a terrible power that was long considered lost. A mysterious burglar is breaking into one coven after another, swiping the strangest things. And only Joe and a young, beginning witch named Twiggy have a clue whats going on. This puts them in great danger, first of all. It forces Joe to choose between saving his father, who has become lost in a blizzard, and helping Twiggy, for seconds. And in the end it seems the whole future of witchery lies in the hands of a bitter enemy.
I think you will find this book a refreshing alternative to Harry Potter. The magic has a similar quirkiness, yet in its details it is quite different. From a broomstick that needs therapy, to a game called the Spillikins of Doom; from a midnight market for magic folk, to a National Museum of Witchcraft; from a race of nearly invisible wind sprites to some adorable and adoring cats, the book abounds in wonderful details, all linked together by friendship, adventure, and mystery.