By: Pseudonymous Bosch
Clayton is being framed! After someone paints something from his journal onto a school wall, Clayton is kicked out of school. The only thing that can save him is to attend a camp for troubled kids. His parents agree (which is a rare occasion) on The Earth Ranch Camp. However, when Clayton gets there, he quickly learns all is not what it appears to be. One giveaway is the talking llama who greets him. Then there's the whole mystery of a ghost in the old library. Clayton has quite an adventure on his hands. But what does magic (something he wrote off years before), his long missing brother, and William Shakespeare have to do with it?
Earth Ranch camp is far from your usual camp designed to whip kids into shape. It was fun navigating the camp with Clayton, and seeing all the oddities for the first time. Until the very end of the book, you don't really know what's going on. You just know that something is going on.
As I mentioned, some favorites from the Secret Series make appearances. Clayton's missing brother is non other than Max- Ernest. One of the camp figures is also from the previous series. There will be several names you'll read and recognize, like Cass and Price.
Pseudonymous has created another memorizing world to get lost in. From the camp's island home, to the people there, to the mysterious girl/ghost in the abandoned library window, readers will not lack for enticements to keep turning the pages. The role magic plays isn't a dark one, but one where imagination steps in where reality stops.
Bad Magic was a fun read that kept me wanting to see what was going to happen next. I do think readers may want to be 10, or older, for reading. Some references and words may not be understood by younger readers.