Horten’s Incredible Illusions picks up where Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms leaves off. The illusions Stuart found stored in the bandstand are moved to the museum for preservation and 10-year-old Stuart Horten is given a job curating his uncle’s magical contraptions. Stuart and April (the one of the April, May, June triplets who is serious about uncovering a mystery) are charged with naming and describing these illusions. They give them enticing names like “The Cabinet of Blood,” and “The Book of Peril,” but the magical devices each hold a secret – a secret that must be revealed in order to find Uncle Tony’s long-lost will. Once activated, the contraptions whisk Stuart and his friend April away to other realms, where their wits and their friendship are gravely tested.
“So maybe that’s how it works,” said April. “We find how the trick operates – the switch or the swivel or the lock or the handle or whatever – and that’s where the Magic Star goes.”
She gave a bounce of excitement. “So let’s get going! This is the next one, isn’t it? The next adventure.”
There’s more going on in this story than illusion and adventure. Have you ever thought that maybe illusions work by knowing what people will look for instead of seeing what is actually there? Have you ever wondered what the difference between seeing and observing is? You might after reading this book. How often to you slow down enough to notice how you might help those around you? When you’ve finished reading Horten’s Incredible Illusions the magic will stick with you. You’ll be hoping for more.
a note: You don’t have to have read the first to enjoy the second – but I bet when you finish, you’ll find the first and read it too. The characters and the story are too fun to miss.