Capricorn's Journal: My Family's Fight for Survival

The Munchkins Part Two

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
415 Pages
Reviewed on 01/26/2024
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Author Biography

Candice Zee is the award-winning author of The Munchkins series. She dreamed up the idea of The Munchkins as a child while playing make-believe with her brother in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She is an educator who taught for over thirteen years in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and primary grade classrooms. Like Casey Munch in her book series, she is passionate about creating a more just and equitable world. She savors vegan food, loves board games and her favorite podcast The Majority Report, relishes horror movies and novels, devours social science nonfiction, sings in two choirs, and does some of her best writing while drinking coffee at 1 AM. She lives in Cleveland, OH with her wife Dana and their dog children Solstice and Clover. The Munchkins was her debut four-time award-winning novel, and the sequel is her second.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Afifa Raisa for Readers' Favorite

Capricorn's Journal: My Family's Fight for Survival by Candice Zee is the second book of the Munchkins series. It tells the story of Capricorn and her twelve siblings, who, after losing their magic, are ready to flee from the wicked neighbor who goes by the name of Big Boss. Casey Munch, their adoptive father, goes missing the day they are about to leave the country. With no one to defend them, Big Boss begins to torment the children in nefarious ways. Fearing that they may get separated, the children initially decide not to seek help from others. When they are compelled to change their decision, they discover that the law is refusing to help them. Soon they realize that they are in the middle of a deep-rooted conspiracy. A terrible and uncertain future stands before them, and they must stick together to fight against their nearly invincible enemies.

Candice Zee’s Capricorn’s Journal: My Family’s Fight for Survival was a breathtaking journey. It is impressive how Candice managed to feature so many characters without getting me confused or overwhelmed. I absolutely loved how the kids are a perfect blend of courage, resilience, and innocence. The book, despite being long, was engaging enough to keep me glued to it from the beginning until the end. Candice did a brilliant job with the portrayal of evil and injustice; I could in fact feel the characters’ rage in me. I also appreciate the fact that she brought up important issues like corruption and racism. I would definitely recommend the book to readers aged twelve and above.

K.C. Finn

Capricorn's Journal: My Family's Fight for Survival is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres, and is the second part of The Munchkins series. It is best suited to mature teen readers owing to some fantasy violence and mild explicit language. Penned by author Candice Zee, this gripping sequel continues the riveting story of the Munchkins, a group of siblings with extraordinary powers. The narrative delves into the aftermath of the first book, with Capricorn Munch recounting their family's tumultuous journey. Stripped of their magical abilities by the sinister Big Boss, the Munch children face a dire situation with their father missing. As they fight for survival, the story unfolds into a nightmarish battle against a powerful adversary.

Author Candice Zee has crafted a narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, blending elements of fantasy, suspense, and family drama into an atmospheric world of supernatural powers and high-stakes thrills. The characters are well-developed with close attention to the narrative and dialogue exchanges, and their struggles evoke empathy as we see them combat their adversaries, but also their inner demons. The plot twists and turns at a great pace to keep YA readers engaged, introducing new mysteries and challenges that deepen the complexity of the story, but never overload the moment. The themes of survival, sacrifice, and family unity are sure to resonate powerfully with the intended readership, making it a captivating and emotionally resonant read that also teaches some wonderful lessons about loyalty and self-discovery. Overall, I would certainly recommend Capricorn's Journal as a must-read for fans of the first book, and the series in general for fantasy enthusiasts everywhere.

Foluso Falaye

A family of 10-year-olds finds that their adoptive father, Casey Munch (CC), is missing. To make matters worse, an evil psychopath, Big Boss, lives next door to them. This is the same person who stole their magic and now has 13 times the power of any one of them. Capricorn and the other children must find a way to survive Big Boss' evil intentions and find food, even if it means plotting to steal and planning an attack. Unfortunately, they learn that Big Boss' power is bigger than they could ever imagine after a revelation of the FBI's interest in them. They must learn to forgive one another and work together to improve their survival chances. In Candice Zee's Capricorn’s Journal, 13 children struggle to escape the clutches of a powerful, relentless villain while learning about teamwork, forgiveness and trust the hard way.

Kudos to Candice Zee for creating such a menacing character that rivals the darkest, most infuriating villains in Hollywood. From saying antagonistic words like 'brat' to using magic to create invisible barriers and cut people, he proves he can't be trifled with. In contrast, Capricorn and her siblings are conscientious and empathetic. They are forced to consider why stealing is bad even when experiencing hunger and uncertainty about the future. Capricorn, who tells the story in the first person, uses a conversational tone that's rife with intriguing similes and keen observations. I was eager for a win. Candice keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a chaotic series of events that ignite strong emotions and interest in seeing justice served. Capricorn’s Journal is a good fit for preteens and teens who love stories about magic and survival.