Review copy courtesy of Sourcebooks; reviewed by my brother Robbie, age 15.
The story begins with school ending. Nick Rostov is looking forward to summer break and his birthday, which is the following day. Nick lives in a hotel with his father, an amateur magician who is facing a career change. Nick thinks that this summer will be no different from his past twelve, but when his Grandfather gives him his birthday gift, things begin to change and Nick is “kidnapped.” Nick finds himself on the top floors of the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino.
This is where Nick’s magical relatives hide from the dark powers of the Shadowkeepers, a cult of dark wizards who have been trying to gain complete domination over magic since it came into existence. Nick’s family, though in hiding, puts on a top-of-the-line magic show, and since their magic is real, the crowds flock to their performances.
Nicks family collects magic relics and stores them in a special vault below the Winter Palace. They must keep these relics safe from the Shadowkeepers, who would use them for evil. But the Shadowkeepers are seeking a certain relic that has been passed down through the ages to some of the greatest magicians, including Houdini. Nick decides that it is up to him to stop the Shadowkeepers from obtaining this relic, which had the ability to stop time itself.
Although Magickeepers has a good plot, there really isn’t a buildup or preparation in the beginning for what happens later on. There isn’t much of a foundation that the story is built on so you really don’t feel like it actually happened, a feeling I think a book should impart. In spite of this, I did enjoy reading this book but I just didn’t feel that it was especially well-written.