Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Dose of Magic Could Save The World

The Apothecary
It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

Jackie says:

"This is a spy story of sorts, set in 1952 England, with some very impressive teenagers as the heroes.  It is fast paced and magical and reminds me very much of the Harry Potter's books without whisking you away to a whole other world, but with the threat of atom bombs looming large every day.

Janie is an American teen forced to move to England with her parents to get away from the blackballing of the 'Red Scare' in Hollywood (they are script writers).  She meets Benjamin, who is not afraid to state his mind to anyone about anything, at her new school.  He is the son of the local apothecary, but is refusing to learn what in his eyes is the boring family business.  That is until his father is kidnapped by the Russians, and the teens find an ancient book of his that contains spells that will help them find and save his father (and much, much more).

Though meant for middle grades and teens, once you pick up this book you won't want to put it down, no matter what your age.  It moves quickly with all sorts of surprises along the race to the very satisfying conclusion that makes the way for this to be a series.  I, for one, very much hope so!"

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