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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The long-awaited sequel to The Candy Shop War! In The Candy Shop War, friends Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon met the evil magician Belinda White, whose magical confections enabled the kids to do incredible feats of strength and magic. In the sequel, Nate and his friends meet Mrs. White s brother Mr. White who owns Arcadeland, a local amusement center. At Arcadeland, kids can play games and earn thousands of tickets, which are redeemable for one of four kinds of stamps jets, tanks, subs, and racecars. Could it be true that these stamps allow kids to fly through the air? Or breathe underwater? Or run faster than a car? But Mr. White is hiding a secret: when all four clubs are filled, he will be able to retrieve perhaps the most powerful talisman ever. For Nate and his friends, it will take more than candy to fight and win this war!…

Overall Book Review:

The Candy Shop War:  Arcade Catastrophe picks up where the first book left off.  There is no exposition on characters and hardly any reference to the first book; however, Arcade Catastrophe is a self-contained story so it can be experienced as a stand alone.  (That said, the first book is highly recommended because it has an unbridled sense of imagination and creativity so it would be a shame to miss out!–And it had a brilliant and surprising ending.)  

Most of the main characters are back, but there isn’t as much performance-enhancing candy.  Instead, there is a new mix of magic in an environment just as alluring to kids–an arcade.  This book has the perfect of amount of peril for middle grade readers and it is refreshing to have some truly nice kids who are team players.  The story is not quite as fresh and creative as the first book and the children characters are generic, but young readers will still find much they like in this fast-moving and action-packed story.  It also has high boy-appeal.  The ending hints at a set-up for another book so readers can probably look forward to more of Brandon Mull’s Candy Shop War adventures.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Property is destroyed; characters are threatened; arrows are shot at characters and one characters is hit by an arrow; report of a disappearance; tranquilizer guns are shot at characters; a character is pepper sprayed; a scene in which shots are fired (no one hit) and there is struggling, a character is put in a headlock, injuries are sustained and a stun gun is used; a fist fight with punching; an extended scene in which there is punching/kicking/animals biting/tranquilizer darts and bashing into walls; extended fight scene against some magical items and injuries are sustained; perilous situation involving booby traps results in minor injuries.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Ethical situations.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!