I really enjoyed 'The Great Fox Illusion' (my review here) and its sequel 'The Great Fox Heist' is perhaps even better. The stakes are higher, the twists more confounding, the magic more incredible and the mystery even more compelling. Justyn Edwards really knows how to build a gripping narrative, like a tower of cards, using 'sleight of writing hand' to surprise you and thrill you. Questions grow, the peril increases and the ending, just like a great magician's trick, is truly satisfying, while laying the ground work for the third book too. I really love this series!
In this second installment, Flick and Charlie must represent the Great Fox in a new competition in the Swiss town of Linth. The Global Order of Magic is electing a new chancellor. Determined to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance and of The Bell System, Flick must pull off an impossible diamond heist to win. But danger lurks around every corner, and nothing is what it seems.
The world-building in 'The Great Fox Heist' seems bigger and grander, while deepening the mysteries. Like an illusionist spinning words, Justyn Edwards brilliantly sets the scene in Linth - the combination of the old and the new creating a perfect atmosphere for trickery, history and drama. As with the 'The Great Fox Illusion', the narrative framing of the competition, with cameras and showmanship, only adds to the spectacle and the tension. Yet, in this second book, Justyn Edwards' mythology of magic is deepened, given historical weight and immediate global threat. It seems this will be even greater in the third book too, with the devastating significance of the Bell System realised and finally suggestive of its power.
While the magic tricks and narrative tricks make reading 'The Great Fox Heist' so gripping, it is in the characters that the story pulls off its true magic. I love Flick. She's such an inspiring role-model: intelligent, strong-willed, yet also vulnerable. Charlie brilliantly complements her, and in spite of some tension between them , they continue to be a great team. Even characters such as the chief of police or the head of the bank are fully realised, cinematic and with a depth that only makes their reactions to magic and mischief more authentic and enjoyable.
This is such a cracking, original series that will keep children hooked and hankering for answers. Will Flick ever truly find her father? And what is next for the Great Fox, Flick, Charlie and the mysterious, dangerous Bell System...?
Thank you to the author for sending me bookmarks and postcards for display in my school library.