Friday, March 30, 2018

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye


What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need? What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn't tell the police?

What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, "Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL"? Would you call?

Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he's not so sure about the ad....He's read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn't actually exist in the world today, could they?

Enter Labryinth, aka "Rin," who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells.

With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy's father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents.


I thought going in that this was going to be much more fantastical than it ended up being.  In fact, it may be up for debate whether there is even any magic in this book which is odd considering the title.  But the author leaves it up to the reader to decide whether to believe Rin is really a wizard or not.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure myself.  Rin is definitely an eccentric character, calling himself a wizard, running around in half a robe and a sorcerer's hat, along with his sneakers and jeans.  He loves breakfast for every meal and delights in quoting profound sayings that don't always make sense.  Ozzy, the main character, wonders himself whether Rin is a real wizard or not, but he is desperate enough for help to take whatever he can get.  Although he does have moments of regret, flipping cars, anyone? 

At the age of 7, Ozzy was left alone in a cabin in the woods when his parents get kidnapped by a bunch of men in green.  Thanks to his parent's preparations, Ozzy has enough food to live on while he figures out his next step.  For the next seven years, Ozzy survives on his own in the cabin in the woods, seeing few people.  He reads the books his parents had and searches the house for clues.  One day after an unexpected discovery, Ozzy learns more about his parents while simultaneously finding a friend, a mechanical bird named Clark.  It's when Ozzy and Clark meet that things start to pick up.  In fact, most of the best parts of the book involve Clark who is both fierce in his defense of Ozzy, and sincere in his interest in things made of metal, dumpsters, anyone?

Ozzy meets Sigi after sneaking into the local school for a few weeks (I had a hard time buying this, working at a school myself, but young readers won't).  Sigi is the only student in the whole school who is friendly to Ozzy and he remembers her from an encounter he had on the beach which is what inspired him to leave the woods in the first place.  Sigi, along with Clark, and Rin help Ozzy as he searches for his parents having multiple adventures involving cars, police chases, and an unexpected relative.

All in all this is a rather unusual book about magic, family, and persistence that takes the reader on quite the ride.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm- I haven't heard of this one, but the cover and title has me intrigued. Interesting that there may not be any magic in this book- since it sounds like it would be very magical. Thanks for sharing your review.


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