Bellum de Numeros

Magicae Mathematica Book 4

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
146 Pages
Reviewed on 03/16/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rolanda Lyles for Readers' Favorite

Jim West's Bellum de Numeros is the final book in the four-book Magicae Mathematica series that concludes the story of Alex, Archimedes, Nosaj, Maya, Daedalus, and many other friends. In this fantasy adventure story, Alex has traveled through time with a calculator, and she continues on a journey with her friends in search of a way to get back home. The group's enemy, an evil wizard, has taken the powerful calculator and wants to destroy everyone. The group has to fight against the evil Master Wizard and stop him before he destroys the world. Time is running out, and everyone believes Alex is the important missing variable but does Alex believe it? Can one person make a difference? Their success in this inevitable battle depends on it, and if Alex wants any chance of going back home, she will have to try.

Jim West uses figures from Greek mythology such as Aristotle and Archimedes throughout the story. His writing also incorporates the use of Latin and math in a way that is both creative and catchy for young minds. West movingly portrays Alex's internal battle over her confidence in her abilities and her grieving the loss of friends. Bellum de Numeros is a fast-paced, action-packed fantasy story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. A genius mix of mathematics, sorcery, and heroic efforts that anyone could find enjoyable. Infused with reminders of being brave even with the cards stacked against you, West's writing is full of positive reminders encouraging young readers to do what's right even when it gets tough. A true David and Goliath type story.

Pikasho Deka

Bellum de Numeros is the fourth and final book of the Magicae Mathematica series by Jim West. Daedalus and Alex launch a swift raid into the Black Castle to retrieve the device from Master Wizard Diades' chambers, which results in Daedalus sacrificing himself to protect Alex. Barely escaping with her life, Alex runs into her old friend Archimedes, who continues to prepare her for the upcoming battle with the Master Wizards. Meanwhile, King Nosaj and the Guardians traverse the dangerous Black Mountains in their quest to reach Black Castle. But with Diades and Demetrius unleashing their full powers alongside the tribesmen chiefs, do our heroes have any chance of survival against such monumental odds? Is Alex truly the missing variable, and can she rise to the occasion and fulfill her destiny?

An epic fantasy adventure yarn for children and young adults alike, Bellum de Numerous neatly ties up the Magicae Mathematica saga with a flourish, taking you on a wild rollercoaster of a ride you don't want to miss out on. Author Jim West utilizes a multiple POV narrative to showcase the various factions involved in the story. It enhances the epic scope of the tale and makes it all the more immersive for the reader. The characters are likable and easy to root for. You find yourself attached to the heroes as they try to overcome harrowing circumstances against all odds. The stakes feel real as no victory comes without enormous sacrifices. I thoroughly enjoyed Bellum de Numerous and highly recommend it.

Trix Lee

Bellum de Numeros (War of Numbers) by Jim West is the fourth and final book in the children’s fantasy series, Magicae Mathematica. The series revolves around a young girl named Alex who was mysteriously transported into a new world of mathematics, Latin, and magical equations before inevitably joining the war against two evil Master Wizards, Diades and Demetrius. From the preceding installments, we learned that the tyrannical Diades got hold of Alex’s calculator, a device that could construct powerful magical equations and solve magical formulas. This book begins with Alex and her friend Daedalus infiltrating the evil Master Wizards’ Black Castle to take back the calculator while King Nosaj and the world’s guardians face danger as they trek along a perilous snowy mountain path. As Alex finally reunites with her allies to fight against the evil wizards and more of her comrades perish in battle, she needs to figure out a way to save this realm and return to her world, whether she is the ‘missing variable’ or not.

Bellum de Numeros by Jim West is an entertaining, action-packed children’s fantasy that incorporates well-known Greek historical figures like Archimedes and Aristotle. The story began strongly and continued at full throttle to a satisfying conclusion, but since this is part of a series, knowledge of the preceding installments is a must. The scenes are well written, with vivid action and engaging dialogue. The main character Alex was likable. She was brave, no doubt about it, and her feelings of guilt over the deaths of her allies and her recurring doubts about her abilities made her realistic. Courage in the face of adversity and the grit to make things happen are just some of the messages that this book contains. I highly recommend it to both young and older readers alike.

Liz Konkel

Bellum de Numeros by Jim West is the fourth book in the Magicae Mathematica series. Evil wizards have a device that contains enough power to destroy the world. Alex must rise to the occasion to fulfill her purpose as the missing variable and use this power to save the day. Her journey has come full circle since she first arrived in a world that drew magic from Latin and Math. She's worked to prove herself every step of the way, from saving the city with Archimedes to confronting a forest full of wolves in a search for Pythagoras to the battle against two Master Wizards. In the final step of her journey, the battle continues to stop the Wizards but while Alex goes behind enemy lines to search for the device, others are making their way to the Black Castle and two councilmen vie over the well-being of the city.

Jim West delivers a thrilling conclusion to Alex's journey with a final task to save the world and truly understand her purpose. The world derives magic from a unique source, Math and Latin, and this is why the world that West has created shines. It weaves magic and adventure from equations and theories with well-known names such as Pythagoras and Archimedes fitting perfectly into a high fantasy setting. Alex's adventure has been an emotional and lovely arc that goes back to the first book, woven with heart, magic, coming-of-age growth, and the bravery it takes to be the one to save a magical world. As for the other characters, West continues the conflict between Etan and Nexuh who butt heads over the right way to help the city with a little bit of a competition between them. Bellum de Numeros has a hopeful tone that creates an uplifting adventure and works well for the final installment of the series, creating a satisfying ending.

Jamie Michele

Bellum de Numeros by Jim West is a mid-grade fantasy novel and the final book in the Magicae Mathematica series, preceded by book one, Libellus de Numeros, book two, Circulus de Potentia, and book three, Divide et Impera. The series' main protagonist, Alex, is resolute in ending the campaigns to slaughter and enslave everyone in the path of Master Wizards Demetrius and Diades. So many have already perished as the culmination of a lengthy string of battles approaches and the push to the Black Castle by King Nosaj is perilous for him and his people, as well as the Guardians. Equally daring is the operation by Alex and Daedalus, alongside companions and friends, old, new and even someone we thought was dead, to retrieve the calculator that will sway the strength of magic to the side of good. Alex must also battle her own demons and fully accept her fate in a realm that is not her own. “Be brave... We are here. We must go to face our fate now.”

I am not new to the Magicae Mathematica series, having read the first three books. I started out of order when I was handed book two, which read fine as a standalone, but as we settle into the finale that Jim West has given us in Bellum de Numeros, it's safe to say at this point that readers who try to jump the queue all the way up to book four are not only cheating themselves out of an extraordinary buildup, but they are also just going to be lost. West has developed the characters and his worlds so well and the swelling of the tsunami that has been building for years now is powerful and compelling. As a mid-grade fantasy there really cannot be any ambiguity between good and evil because it's not particularly appropriate in this age group [although deception certainly is], and the clear-cut lines are easily drawn and distinguished. There are also West's trademark uplifting moments where a reader can almost hear the rising score in the background, such as when Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates give the Guardians a 'you will never really lose if you try' pep talk. This whole series is absolutely brilliant and it belongs in the hands of readers, young and young at heart. Very highly recommended.

Jennie More

Bellum de Numeros by Jim West is a magical and adventurous story about a young girl, Alex, destined to save a kingdom from ruin. She is the missing variable they need to fight off Master Wizards, Diades and Demetrius. Diades has seized the magical Calculator from Alex, and he aims to use it to continue the destruction of the city of King Nosaj. Although everyone else sees Alex's power, including her mentor, Archimedes, Alex doubts her value. Without realizing her power, Alex won't be able to help her friends fight the evil wizards from destroying the kingdom. With the help of her friends and mentors, Alex learns to accept, use, and practice her powers. Once Alex learns to control her emotions and embrace her powers, a new world opens for her. It's only pure magic and wonder as you follow Alex's journey of self-discovery.

Bellum de Numeros by Jim West is a beautiful story about a young girl trying to find her role in the world as she learns to understand herself and the people around her. Her love for math takes her on a magical journey, showing a strong correlation between math and the ability to solve big problems through the "perfect practice" of math. As Alex finds her place in the world, you realize that each person has a role. There is much wisdom to take from this book. I indeed felt inspired by Alex's adventurous and fantastical rollercoaster journey. Bellum de Numeros is well-written, adventurous, inspirational, imaginative, and worth reading.