By Malia Ann Haberman
Publisher: Crossroad Press
To Sum It Up: The evil Marlowes have taken almost everything from the Tinkers—including the magical Tinker house—and Chase is determined to get it back. With the help of his family and friends, Chase follows every possible lead on the house’s whereabouts, a search that takes him around the world and even back in time. Locating the house is only half the battle, however, as a final showdown between the Tinkers and the Marlowes awaits Chase and his allies once they do find the Tinker home.
Review: The Chase Tinker books have all been very enjoyable reads, and Chase Tinker and the House of Mist sees the series close with a strong finish. Our young hero faces his biggest challenges yet, including the theft of his family’s beloved home by the dastardly Marlowes. The Tinkers and the Marlowes have clashed before in the series, but this one, the battle for the house, promises to be the most explosive of all—and it doesn’t disappoint.
While the series has maintained a charming sense of whimsy through, it also hasn’t shied away from going a bit more serious in tone with each successive book. Chase Tinker and the House of Mist starts off on a very somber note, another reflection of the series’ maturity. What’s impressed me the most about these books is how they’ve moved forward in a way that respects Chase and his readers growing up, but not too fast.
Most of the novel focuses on the search for the house, with the majority of the action saved for the finale. Not to worry, though: there’s plenty to engage your interest until the house—and the Marlowes—is found. We learn about Persephone’s backstory, and Chase and Nori take a heart-pounding trip back to 18th century Scotland where Chase hopes to gain some insight from Augusta, one of his ancestors (this Outlander fan fully appreciated this bit of time travel to Scotland). There’s also a return of some magical acquaintances Chase and company have made during the course of their adventures. Although it’s the Marlowes’ insatiable greed for power that has brought faeries, vampires, warlocks, and leprechauns together with the Tinkers, the reunion is still nice to see.
The all-out confrontation between the two magical families is as intense as can be expected from these mortal enemies, and then some. Here again I commend the series for not walking away from a centuries-old feud with a light step. The conclusion to both the book and the series is well-balanced; there are some serious consequences of the Tinker/Marlowe hostilities, but in the end, readers who’ve watched Chase fulfill his destiny should be quite satisfied with this last chapter of his story.
All in All: This has been a little gem of a series, especially because of how awesome the house is. Standing out among books on magic can pose quite the challenge, particularly when geared toward younger readers, but this series is definitely worth checking out.