written by Justine Larbalestier
Magic Lessons starts off strong, asking lots and lots of exciting new questions, building suspense, as any good book does. This, however, gets overdone. By the time the reader is in the denser middle section, there are too many questions and not enough answers and a lot of frustration. I'm still extremely ticked off that Sarafina doesn't show up at all in the book, as she is my favorite character and the one I would love to learn more about, so it's frustrating, and I'm really hoping the third book sheds more light on this intensely interesting woman. Magic Lessons does a great job of combining realism with a greater dosage of fantasy than seen in Magic or Madness, and it does so with perfect balance. Reason's dilemma at the end of the book was painfully obvious, though, and I was disappointed--it was the one part of the book that definitely lacked the suspense the rest of the book upheld. There are still questions left unanswered, but since it's a trilogy, I expect they will be answered shortly! The one thing that left me most gleeful was the SPAGBOL reference--hooray for married authors!