The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game

Children - Grade 4th-6th
306 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2018
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Author Biography

Alex Woburn is a glitter-loving, rainbow-riding, pop party prince based in Herne Hill, South East London.
He started writing novels in primary school after becoming obsessed with the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, which are still his favourite books of all time.
Alex’s favourite things in life are climbing trees, swimming with wild dolphins, writing the Melody Magic books and eating creamy chocolate cupcakes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game is a work of children’s fiction written by author Alex Woburn. Intended for children of the middle grade, 9 to 12 age range, this the third instalment of central character Melody Magic’s adventures interacting with the Faeries of the Universe. In previous books, Melody’s wishes to the Faeries have seen her face incredible adventures and gain superpowers like underwater breathing and telekinesis, but now a terrible enemy has destroyed her family home. When Melody is invited to play a simple video game she finds herself whisked away yet again to a magical world of witches, creatures and impending doom.

This is a really cute continuation of a really cute series, which I think readers at the younger end of the middle grade spectrum are sure to enjoy getting stuck into. Melody Magic is a hero with a bright spirit, who doesn’t seem to be taken down by anything in life, but finds a way to get through it. Her episodes with her new powers during this tale were very amusing and interesting to read, and it’s easy to imagine kids reading this book and thinking they would do exactly the same thing. I believe author Alex Woburn has created a highly relatable character at the centre of a bright, fantastical world that could well have come straight from a child’s imagination. Overall, I’d certainly recommend The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game to parents and children everywhere.

Jack Magnus

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game is an adventure fantasy novel for children, grades 4-6, written by Alex Woburn. While this is the third book in the Melody Magic series, the author gives enough background information within the story for it to be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Melody and her mother, Violet, have been living with Max and his parents since their home was destroyed in a fire, but a new friend, Kitty Kisses, who is a recruitment consultant, might just have a job lined up for Violet, one which also comes with a place to stay. The cabin she would be helping to fix up belonged to Dante, an older man who needed help getting it ready to sell. It had belonged to his brother, Saxon, who had disappeared along with his wife and son twenty years ago. No one ever found out what happened to them; it was as though they had vanished into thin air. Since the cabin was miles away from Summer Village where Melody went to school, it was decided that Melody would continue living with Max’s family while Violet stayed in the cabin during the week. Everyone was quite pleased with the arrangement, even if they all did wonder about those mysterious disappearances.

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game is a fun and fast-paced story that will thrill fans of Melody Magic and inspire new readers to go back and find the first two books in the series. There’s lots of glitter and sparkly stuff, and a marvelous parade where the inhabitants of Summer Village get to strut their stuff and revel in what makes them different, but like the other books, there’s serious adventure going on: deadly perils, gruesome monsters and life or death battles. Unlike far too many books written for preteens, Woburn never condescends to his readers or treats them like little kids. He gets the age group so well, and along with the glitter and wonder come real adventure, choices to make and the camaraderie of companions you can rely on. I had a grand time reading this decidedly different coming of age novel and am definitely one of Melody Magic’s and Alex Woburn’s fans. The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game is most highly recommended.

Jessica Barbosa

Alex Woburn is back with more Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic! Melody Magic lives an adventurous life, whether as a seemingly normal school girl or as a heroine that constantly gets into crazy adventures with her friends. This time, Melody becomes friends with the often bullied kid in her school, Fred. Together with him and her friends, she embarks on a new adventure of a lifetime into a mysterious video game; Captain Coconut’s World of Whimsy.

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game by Alex Woburn is a unique children’s book that offers an interesting reading experience to both children and readers who are young at heart. Melody Magic does not have a boring second in her life: not at school where most of her classmates and her teacher know nothing about her and her friends’ magic adventures, not even when she’s playing with a cat, which somehow ends up with her bravely chasing down a cat kidnapper! I find Melody Magic’s latest adventure to be a rousing and imaginative tale. For me, it is an exciting children’s book that stimulates a child’s imagination and heart.

Woburn’s story is set in a colorful world that appeals to those who crave stories of endless adventures with friends, young or old. He delves into fantasy and conflict with no fear and somehow still manages to deliver a clear message of kindness through his characters. I really enjoyed the different troubles and places Melody and her friends constantly find themselves in. It reminded me of the adventure books I collected when I was 12. Reading this book brought out the child in me and I can’t wait for more of Melody Magic’s adventures.

Fiona Ingram

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game by Alex Woburn is the third book in this series, filled with color, magic, action, danger, ghastly monsters, fun and whimsical creatures, and lots of adventure. Melody and her mom, Violet, find themselves homeless after their house was burned down. While Melody stays with her friend Max, Violet gets a job helping to clean up a charming cabin in the woods and is able to live there while doing so. The owner, Saxon, and his son, Charlie, just disappeared many years ago, and Dante, Saxon’s brother, has finally decided to tidy things up and put the cabin on the market. Melody and her friends go to help Violet, but while cleaning up they discover a very old video game console … and are invited into the World of Whimsy by Ollie, the singing octopus. The kids need to help save the World of Whimsy from great evil. Will they survive the terrible dangers contained within the game? Are they ready for the incredible surprises waiting there?

Since this is the third book, young readers might like to pick up the first two books to acquaint themselves with Melody’s backstory and how she got her powers. However, since Alex Woburn drip-feeds backstory into the rollicking adventure as it unfolds, there is enough detail to keep readers apprised. The story is a non-stop, helter-skelter ride that whisks young readers headlong into a world of magic and mayhem. The author has an incredible imagination and kids will just love the amazing creatures – both the frightening and the fun ones - he has created. Ollie the singing octopus is just adorable. There are numerous life lessons and messages interwoven into the action and the encounters Melody and her friends have with the real world and the magical one. Teamwork, accepting others for who they are, being kind to others, believing in yourself, looking for answers from within, caring for the environment, and many more.

The author sets the scenes in the real world very well, with Melody’s school and social life nicely outlined. Young readers will relate to the teachers and the mean girl scenario. The entry into the magical World of Whimsy is done in a way that reminded me of the movie Jumanji, where the kids get to choose various powers and graduate to levels. These powers are suited to their personalities. The relevant question of would anyone really want superpowers in their daily life is addressed in an interesting and thoughtful way at the end. The story wraps up nicely with, of course, a new adventure looming as Violet takes a job helping the owner of a creepy old mansion turn it into a lovely hotel… A wonderful tale for young readers who love adventure and action stories with a magical difference!

Jamie Michele

The Extraordinary Tales of Melody Magic: The Mystic Video Game by Alex Woburn is the third book in the Melody Magic series, preceded by The Mermaids at Crystal Cove and The Haunted Funfair. Initially set in England, the latest adventure has Melody and her squad transported into a video game. In this new and dangerous realm, the friends are pitted against a whole host of diabolical baddies who are bent on making sure Melody and the team are defeated, lashing out with unexpected and devastating powers in a multi-level undertaking that could very well spell 'Game Over' for the whole group.

Alex Woburn's The Mystic Video Game is a fun and fully immersive story for both children and adults alike. This third installment can be read and easily followed as a standalone, although doing so would certainly rob the young reader of the character development from earlier books. Still, Melody and her cohorts come to life seamlessly, as do the antagonists within the game who are described with deliciously wicked detail. My absolute favorite was The Crackling Witch, who speaks in a lyrical tongue as she commands her monsters and attempts to stop the team's progress to the next level, saying, “Sweet little children, all for me. Your bones will make music, the rest will be for tea!” Overall, this is an excellent new addition to an exciting series and I have no doubt that fans of Melody Magic will enjoy her latest and greatest exploits. Highly recommended for all ages.