My rating: 3 of 5 stars;
The Inquisitor’s Apprentice by Chris Moriarty is a colorful YA fantasy set in an alternate New York City circa turn-of-the-20th-century. Magic abounds, although it’s illegal, and when a young Jewish boy, Sacha Kessler, discovers he can see it happening, he is immediately recruited by the police department’s head inquisitor, Maximilian Wolf. Their job is to find and stop others using magic, even though Sacha’s has a personal conflict of interest. His fellow apprentice, Lily Astral, is from one of the wealthiest and most influential families in New York.
I’m not sure children will appreciate the clever word-play and references to history, but the story itself is straightforward, and the characters are well-drawn even if some are stereotypical. The author describes the city wonderfully, with its immigrants and robber barons, tenements and mansions, back alleys and wide avenues.
I did not like the inclusion of the supernatural creature, the “dybbuk,” as a plot device and the ending of the book was very vague. I was definitely looking for something more concrete. That would be confusing to children, in my opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and the writing was first-rate. However, the solution to the mystery was disappointing.
This ebook was provided free of charge for review by NetGalley
© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves