The Munchkins

Candice Zee
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN: 978-1737233909
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/11)

This has all the “ingredients” for a fantastical, magical, YA story that also caters to adults who absolutely love the Potter-esque world that happens maybe twice in a lifetime. First, you have that magic number: 13. Yes, there are 13 children in this book who all possess specific extraordinary powers. Are we talking the X-Men here… just in a different package?

Well, instead of having Professor X oversee these kids, you have an actual protective, adoptive father who wants to makes sure that this “family coven” stays safe; he loves them with all his heart. What Dad doesn’t know right off the bat, however, is that there’s something special about these kids and that the neighbor living next door to him and his family is, quite frankly, a sociopath. Big problem? This particular psycho knows more about these 13 children than perhaps they know about themselves.

All of a sudden readers are shot into a plotline that is mysterious, suspenseful, and sometimes downright terrifying. The voice of this author is fast, so as not to ever let the story lag in any way for any amount of time; however, the voice is also informative without being boring. In other words, Ms. Zee makes sure the reader does understand the complexities of each quirky character so you’re never lost or wondering “who the heck” someone is, but she never writes paragraph upon paragraph just “explaining.” Even better is the fact that there’s true emotion in this. I liked the Potter series because of the underlying friendship and love the characters had for each other all throughout the story – which is exactly why I really liked this book. These are not only friends, they are siblings. Therefore, their support for each other is strong.

When Capricorn Munch and her twelve siblings simply “appear” at the doors of a children’s home, not one of them knows who they are or where their real home is located. Even odder is that at the age of ten the kids seemed to stop aging completely, which is when the powers and abilities started manifesting for each one. Those powers start out simply, such as fixing wounds when they’re hurt or “calling up” objects from out of nowhere. When they’re adopted, they decide to keep their powers quiet and work hard to live a normal life. But when the man-next-door (who has named himself “Big Boss”) starts to intrude on their childhood, things go seriously wrong. He has the power to make someone hostile, and when the siblings are angry, they become reckless with their abilities. When this occurs, Capricorn has to strive even harder to stop this man from destroying her family and utilizing her siblings’ powers for his own evil.

You will pick at least one character to fall in love with here. Capricorn is highly intelligent; Allie has the humor; Hazy is absolutely sweet…and the list goes on. This was written well enough to see at least a TV or Internet series created from this fantastically fun cast. 5-Stars!

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