Cover Image: Magic Hunters

Magic Hunters

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Member Reviews

I love fractured fairy tales, and Magic Hunters was a fun fractured fairy tale to explore. I love the idea of characters from various fairy tales, folklore stories, and even nursery rhymes living together in a single world known as the Story Realms. It’s fun to see where the characters are “after” their stories take place. Since this book follows the children of notable fairy tale characters, it definitely gave me Percy Jackson meets Once Upon a Time vibes. 

The premise is your typical quest storyline where Hunter, the son of the Huntsman from Snow White, sets out to reverse a curse that has taken all the magic from the Story Realms, leaving the many magical characters without memories. Along the way, he encounters so many different fairy tales characters, anybody from Little Red Riding Hood (who is much, much cooler than I expected) to Brer Rabbit to Merlin (who was hilarious). I love all the fairy tale references sprinkled throughout the journey. It was also fun to try and guess who Izzy was. 

The story itself was a little slow in some areas. It felt like Hunter would set out in one direction only to find out he had reached a dead end or was going to the wrong place. Then he would be pointed in another direction that didn’t really give him answers either. While I knew going into it that this book isn’t a standalone, I was hoping for a little more closure at the end that prompted Hunter next on his quest while also feeling like he accomplished something in this story, but I never got that feeling. They learned some things about where to go next, but it was really just them going from place to place, meeting character after character without much success in reversing the curse quest. It’s still fun but didn’t quite reach its potential for a great story like I wanted.

I will consider reading sequels in the future, if anything to find out what other realms and characters exist within this world.
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This was such fun, my granddaughter and I read it together and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was sort of like we knew the characters and some of the storyline and then the threads of the story went off elsewhere .
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This was a fun journey through so many fairy tale and folk tale characters and settings.

There was a lot going on and a lot of characters, and I sometimes had a bit of difficulty keeping up with what was happening because of this, but I loved the premise!
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A very cute and fun melting pot of a bunch of different fairytales and fairytales variations meshed together in a totally adorable middle grade story. I’m excited for more though … that cliffhanger !!!
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Magic Hunters is a middle-grade fantasy adventure, following Hunter, the son of the Evil Queen's huntsman, as he tries to restore magic to the world after he accidentally causes it to disappear.

The story world combines nursery rhymes and classic legends, as well as fairy tales, which gives it a little bit of a different flavor than other fairy tale mash-ups. I appreciated that the Williamsons didn't just do fairy tales, since there are already a number of stories like that published. The nursey rhymes in particular helped add a unique aspect. 

Hunter and Izzy were likable characters, though there wasn't anything super unique about them.
The plot seemed to take a little while to find its "footing." For a good chunk, it felt like Hunter and Izzy were headed somewhere, only to discover that that wasn't where they actually should go, and then decided to go somewhere else. By the end of the book though, the plot seemed to have settled into place, with Hunter having a clear direction of what to do. So the plot might be stronger in future novels. 

Also, Merlin made me laugh. 

Overall, Magic Hunters was a good book, but nothing about it blew me away. 

Cautions: light romance; brief violence
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What worked:
The story focuses on Hunter, the woodsman’s son from the Snow White story. He makes an ill-advised deal with a traveling minstrel that results in the elimination of all magic in the kingdom. Magical objects are sucked up into a giant, red cloud in the sky, and characters with any connection to magic now find they have selective amnesia. Some can’t remember their own names. Where can Hunter find help? Wizards and fairies lose their magic from the inadvertent spell, so searching for them will be useless. He ends up traveling throughout the realm in search of elusive answers. The conspiracy to eliminate magic may be larger than readers expect.
This book is a spin-off from the story of Snow White, and other fairy tales and stories are referenced too. The characters range from Robin Hood to Merlin to Mother Goose. The magic mirror is the starting point for the devastating spell, although it may not be the magic mirror from Snow White’s story. Hunter’s cousins are sheepherders named Bo and Mary, and several queens are former fairy tale characters. These details add a bit of familiarity to make connections with characters and events easier to follow. The author keeps some of the information vague allowing the story to remain fresh and different. Hunter’s main companion is Izzy and it’s unclear which fairy tale she comes from. She’s lost her memory but her clothes tell Hunter she’s probably from royalty. Her positive outlook in most situations is a refreshing attitude as the pair encounter new obstacles and challenges.
I normally prefer to have a clear conflict, antagonist, and goal in mind, but the author keeps these vague. The loss of magic is the obvious issue but why it happens is unknown. Who was the character trapped in the mirror and who was the minstrel setting things in motion? Why have they conspired to eliminate magic in the kingdom and what might be their motive for doing it? Hunter and Izzy discover missing objects and memories as they travel, but they don’t know if there are unseen consequences from the purge of magic. Readers will slowly learn the truth right along with Hunter and Izzy.
What didn’t work as well:
The first half of the book seems to find the plot mired in a rut. It feels as though Hunter is making progress only to find he’s on the wrong track. One step forward then one step to the side. It takes the plot a while to finally gain traction, but finding a crooked old man in the middle of the forest, who might or might not be trustworthy, gets things moving forward.
The Final Verdict:
Help comes from unexpected sources. The most entertaining aspect of the book is the wide range of fairy tale, nursery rhyme, and literary characters making appearances along the way. Izzy’s kindness and positivity are other highlights. This book is the first step in a series-long adventure and I recommend you give it a shot.
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Ok... So imagine that you took a Grimm's fairy tale collection and smash it together with Hans Anderson.... But then let Disney produce the resulting book.

My teen and I buddy read this one and both loved it. The way each different fairy tale lore played into and off of the others was very nice and I feel like this book would go perfectly on the bookshelf of anyone who finds themselves partial to Teen/YA fiction, especially if you like retellings.
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5 stars ⭐

I will admit, that reading middle-grade books is one of my guilty pleasures and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Brad, Jill's husband, has woven this amazing world of people from our beloved fairy tales and nursery rhymes, The extra input by the writer to these typical stories made me go "WHAT?!" but loved it nonetheless.

We follow Hunter, son of the Huntsman from Snow White's tale on his quest to bring back magic to the Story Realms. He was tricked into bringing about the curse of the loss of magic by an unknown minstrel who promised that he would be able to clear his father's name if he was to do what he was told. Alas, not all came to be.what was hoped.

The Pacing vs Plot: The story was fast-paced, moving through places and realms quickly and it was just the right speed. The plot moved smoothly, with no hiccups or confusion.

Characters and the Story: Now as for the characters, Hunter is my baby boy istg. He was extremely loveable and not without flaws. He was gentle, and kind, but also gullible and too eager to rush into things. Izzy is another character we come upon, who has lost her memory. She is a little quirky and smart little bean we would all adore so much. Her positive outlook, despite her amnesia, looked more funny than insightful to me, in my opinion. The interaction between these two characters made me go: sERIOUSLY??? ARE YOU LITTLE CHILDREN??! WHY ARE YOU SHY?? WHO CARES ABOUT E T T TI Q U E T T E S  at some points until I realised that I was even worse when I was their age (*facepalm*).

In conclusion, if I had read this when I was 12, I think I would have been obsessed with it for weeks.

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