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The Eternal Hourglass: Magickeepers Book One    by Erica Kirov order for
Eternal Hourglass
by Erica Kirov
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Erica Kirov's Magickeepers promises to be a fun (and even slightly educational) series for middle-readers. The Eternal Hourglass, the first book in the series, mainly sets the stage for books to come, but does contain a bit of intrigue.

Nick Rostov's life has never been normal. Raised by his father, a second-rate illusionist, Nick has always lived in Las Vegas hotels (which may sound exciting but is actually rather boring). His school year ends with bad grades, but he is buoyed by his pending thirteenth birthday and a summer of sleeping and skateboarding.

Little does Nick know that his life is about to get a whole lot stranger. On his birthday, his maternal grandfather gives him a gift that once belonged to Nick's mother a key with strange writing on it. Nick places the key around his neck, and that night he awakens in the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino in the private quarters of Damien, Vegas's hottest magician. There, Nick learns the secret of Damien's successful show the magic is real! And Nick is the next in line of a powerful magician dynasty known as the Magickeepers.

Unfortunately, the Shadowkeepers, those who broke away from the good side of magic and followed Rasputin, are after Nick and the key. The Shadowkeepers also have something that the Magickeepers want the Eternal Hourglass, a magical relic that can stop time. Nick may be only thirteen, but his life is now on the line in the battle between good and evil.

The Eternal Hourglass is mostly exposition for the larger Magickeepers series. The backstory that Kirov created is highly detailed and mingles well with the Russian history facts. I would, though, have liked to see more adventure with the actual Eternal Hourglass, as that was the title of the book. Also, the parts that did focus on retrieving the hourglass were rather Harry Potter-esque, which took away from the originality of the rest of the story.

However, at the end of The Eternal Hourglass more questions have arisen than are answered, creating high excitement for the next installment in Erica Kirov's Magickeepers series.

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