The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

What if there were a place where you could get magical candy? Moon rocks that made you feel weightless. Jawbreakers that made you unbreakable. Or candy that gave animals temporary human intelligence and communication skills. (Imagine what your pet would say!) Four young friends, Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon, are befriended by Belinda White, the owner of a new candy shop on Main Street. However, the gray- haired, grandmotherly Mrs. White is not an ordinary candy maker. Her confections have magical side effects. Purposefully, she invites the kids on a special mission to retrieve a hidden talisman under Mt. Diablo Elementary School. However, Mrs. White is not the only magician in town in search of the ancient artifact rumored to be a fountain of youth. She is aware that Mr. Stott, the not- so- ordinary ice cream truck driver, has a few tricks of his own.

I was interested to see where this book would land on my rating list. See, because I loved FABLEHAVEN but I hated the Beyonders. So it could’ve gone either way. But it’s perfect. This book landed right in the middle. I couldn’t peg an exact rating on FABLEHAVEN or this book. I just know I liked Fablehaven. There were faults to it, just like every other book, but I still liked it a lot. And this book, this book I disliked a lot more than FABLEHAVEN, but I liked a lot more than the BEYONDERS.

The jokes weren’t funny to me. That’s just it. I mean, there was no real great explanation for Pigeon’s name. If you want a cool explanation, check out Rebecca Stead’s Liar and Spy. And then the Honeylips comment? Not even a mental-smile.

Didn’t like the characters either. Nate and Trevor? Felt like they were made from the exact same framework. Summer was dull as well. Typical tomboy in a small town. Seen it before. Pidgeon was okay, but the thing that stood out the most for him was his name. It would’ve been nice if Brandon Mull had thrown in a rival in there, someone who the exact opposite of Nate to make things interesting. A Shapeshifter.

But the ending? Nailed it. A slight twist, but it went exactly the way I wanted it to. Was impressed with that. Besides the characters and some more nitpicking, this book was really enjoyable for me and a lot of passages I had a lot of fun with. An amusing, well-written read. The pacing was eh, the beginning was a little weird, but the middle got really good. It was where I began to understand a lot. Fairly predictable, but fun. If I had to peg this on a star, I’d say 3 stars. i’d still stick with FABLEHAVEN.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next book of this series.

pg count for the hardback: 404

Series: The Candy Shop War

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