Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Violet Flash - 2nd in the Blue Umbrella series
Author: Mike Mason
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: June 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present day, Five Corners
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal (Fantastical)
Mike's Website/Blog: www.mikemasonbooks.com
I’m not sure if you remember, but I fell head-over-heels in love with The Blue Umbrella. And this time around is no different. After reading countless YA’s about the undead, I was thrilled to see this book in the package sent to me, because I knew that I was holding in my hands a fantastic novel that I would NOT be able to put down.
The Blue Umbrella is the ‘magic tool’ that controls the weather. In the first book, an evil man named Dada was taking over the world, and the weather, with his cane; the cane being the original handle of The Blue Umbrella. The cane, like Dada, is absolutely evil. And in the first book, Chesterton Cholmondeley and his friends were able to save the world, the weather, and the umbrella from Dada’s clutches. Now, Ches is back. He is still in the Five Corners with his family, and his best friend is still Zack. His sister is still the very happy and life-loving Chelsea; Eldy, the hunched-over old man, still runs the balloon and flower stand; and, across the street is still Sky Porter running The Weatherworks. Gone are the evil Aunts and Dada from Ches’s life. The only thing that remains is his father in a coma in the next room. Ches hates his father because Dada had taken him under his spell the last time around, and Ches almost lost his life at his father’s hand. He still thinks that Dada wasn’t the only evil being in his father’s body - and Ches wants nothing more to do with him ever.
The weather is mainly clear in Ches’s life. Now…time seems to be his enemy (just like the rest of us). Seconds of time are going missing around the world causing plane crashes, accidents, and horrific happenings in people’s lives. Someone is taking away time, and Ches has to find a way to stop it. When he finds out that there is a ‘rip’ in the Blue Umbrella, he becomes beyond scared. Not only is Sky Porter extremely sick, but his sister, Chelsea, has been sucked through the rip and into the umbrella and Ches has no idea how to get her back out.
The only way to repair the umbrella is with a ‘violet flash,’ and the help of the local town clockmaker whose own past teeters on the edge of good and evil. Add in a new bad guy, a battle between The Elements and the Inclements; and, a new world that is being created just as the earth, itself, is falling apart, and readers once again take a journey that will have their hearts beating, their tears at the ready, and their brains working overtime as they find themselves immersed in the most beautiful, fantastical book they’ve read in a very long time!
Mike Mason offers a truly amazing line in this book (well…many amazing lines, actually). But this one I will always remember: What people see depends on the light they have. What could be truer than that? The light you have inside you - whether it be love, friendship, faith, laughter - whatever it is that fills you - will allow you to see the world your way. Perhaps if we all had a brighter light that was not so beaten down by the cruel world that has been showing itself on a daily basis, than we could find a way to see the world as something truly remarkable! Just like this book!
Until next time,
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