Karen Foxlee has a way about her.
Her words weave magic. She draws you in, she makes you believe, she makes you feel brave.
A Most Magical Girl follows an ordinary, everyday Victorian girl, who, rather like Harry Potter, suddenly finds herself in a magical world. Her role is to fulfil the prophecy as the 'youngest and most able member of the Great and Benevolent Magical Society' to assume the role of 'Valiant Defender of Good Magic'.
The sinister Mr Angel has other ideas, of course!
Annabel is rather annoying to start with.
Privileged, pampered and totally unprepared for her new life, she spends a lot of the first section bemoaning these changes. Annabel is the epitome of the reluctant hero.
However, as the danger escalates, and Mr Angel's darklings turn London murky and foggy, Annabel finds that bravery and resilience are required. With a good heart and a clear head (and a couple of faithful companions), it turns out that Annabel is capable of great and daring things indeed!
To be honest, I didn't love A Most Magical Girl as much as Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, but Ophelia was pretty special, and pretty hard to top.
However, AMMG is a lovely, magical ride, with lots of action (especially in the second half of the book). Foxlee's characters are memorable and believable. And Annabel's journey towards courage is inspiring.
Highly recommended for mature 10+ readers.