There’s so much fun here, and when we suddenly learn how high the stakes are, it’s a shock.  Not everybody survives the assault on Spychester, and it’s an effective dramatic moment in what had been a mostly light-hearted story up to that point.  That said, it’s tastefully handled, and shouldn’t traumatize younger readers.  Kickstart has done a fantastic job of aiming books at different audiences, and this one is completely appropriate for kids and preteens, while still being fun for folks like me.  That’s a tough balance to find, but it was only after I was done that I realized how kid-appropriate it was.  And what kid wouldn’t love Doc Violent and the ninja librarians?  (“Since he’s been in charge, we’ve never had a late book back.”)

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