I liked the second book better than I did the first, I think. Children who like puzzles and magic tricks would really find this book and its prequel, Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, quite compelling.
I just wanted more character development, more reasons to like or at least sympathize with the children in the two stories. Stuart is short, curious, and persistent. The triplets are annoying, and I had trouble telling them apart, even though I get the names attached in print. I couldn’t remember which one was which, so they all three felt annoying.
The puzzles are good and appropriate for ten and eleven year olds—which is not to say that I could have solved them myself. Sometimes it takes a child to solve a child’s puzzle. Anyway, for budding magicians and illusionists, Horten’s two books (so far) would be the perfect summer, or anytime, read.