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Summary: Silas Heap found a safe place to keep his set of counter-feet. Unfortunately, that also unsealed the room where the malevolent ghost of Queen Etheldredda and her pet, the Aiee-Aiee, were being held. He also unleashed a terrible sickness on the inhabitants of the castle, and is mysteriously whisked into the past, into the reign of Queen Etheldredda, who was set on dethroning Queen Jenna, 500 years ago! Septimus is no longer the ExtraOrdianry Wizard Apprentice, but an Alchemie Apprentice under the greatly esteemed Marcellus Pye. Jenna, Nicko, and Snorri, determined to bring Septimus back to the present, follow him to the past, a time of knights and grandeur. While they're busy trying to move 500 years ahead, Queen Etheldredda is busy putting the finishing touches on her plan. Even if the children return to their own time, danger awaits them in the form of a spectral queen. This is the third book in this middle-grade fantasy series featuring a young wizard.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, middle grade reader, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 t o 12; read yourself: 14 and up
Young Reader Reaction: I highly recommend Physik to anyone interested in an action-packed and humorous fantasy. The book entertains and delights its readers. My only possible complaint is the time travel. The 500-year gap is a huge, slightly confusing, and sudden. To her credit, Sage keeps readers’ attention to the main plot, where the action is. In Physik the plot goes beyond the castle borders, unlike the earlier books.
Extending into new territory and a different time period keeps the story from being predictable. The new, additional main characters are welcome, too. They lend a refreshing, new perspective to the all-too-familiar castle setting. Overall, Physik is another thrilling adventure that blurs the line between science and magic. Middle grade (and older) readers will like this. The author provides rich details that allow readers to capture the whole image, and the language is easily understandable, even the parts that are similar to old English of the medieval times.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Lots of action, magic, and time travel keep readers on the edge of their seat in this fantasy adventure series.
Cons: None, really.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. You may want to buy so that you can have the earlier books to refer to.
Educational Themes: This is a series meant for pleasure reading.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, magic, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2014, December 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.