Review: The Mysterious World of Cosentino - The Missing Ace

Thrumming with drama, mystery, good guys and bad cards, The Missing Ace, the first adventure in the new magic imbued series of Cosentino's Mysterious World is a knockout crowd-pleaser. Fast, funny, and on-the-edge-of-your-seat page turning, this is an ace for lovers of magic and sleight of hand, and Cosentino fans, like me! Even with the odd reveals thrown in, I am still in awe of all things magical. The teaming of Jack Heath (ace thriller writer and ex-street magician), Cosentino (genius illusionist) and James Hart (cosmic comic artist) works in spades for me. There are even bonus trick cards included. Ace!

But wait, there’s more. Like all great illusions that keep you dangling in anticipation by the tips of your ears, Rabbit Rescue, the second book in this magical series, does not disappoint. Wrongly believing he's safe following his last stoush with the evil King of Coppertown, Cosentino is almost fried by the King’s henchman, Matchman.  This leads to a revelation that the dastardly two-headed King has locked up all the magic rabbits in the Royal Zoo. The bunnies seem unperturbed by this until they realise they will be rolled into roast rabbit for the King’s magnificent birthday party feast. He charges his niece, Princess Priscilla to organise proceedings and the subsequent massacres.

Cosentino and his comraderies, Locki and Snuggles, embark on a mission to free the imperilled pint-sized performers in a style fantastically reminiscent of Heath’s … Minutes of Danger book series for older readers. It’s a thrilling sprint against time. Can Cosentino trust Priscilla? Will he save the rabbits before their pot boils over?

The Lost Treasure is the third in this lively series and again pitches Cos against the relentless two-headed King who is hell bent on claiming his lost sunken treasure. Incredible illusionary feats take place just out of Coppertown this time; down by The Pier where Cosentino is performing his Houdini-esque grand escape hanging over treacherous waters, in a locked glass ball, bound by a straightjacket, whilst paddocked at the ankles – simples! Bombs, sticky ropes, SCUBA diving rabbits and killer whales all make Cos’s job just a tad trickier and add to the hectic hilarity of this story like the ones before it.

Heath maintains electric tension and pace throughout each of these hi-octane tales. Each story bubbles with a host of zany characters from wicked wands and malevolent matchsticks to doleful talking anchors and benevolent octopuses, all leaping to life on every page thanks to Hart’s wacky illustrations. Combined with colourful text and clever word placement, these books shout excitement and demand readers’ full attention.

Budding magicians can practise their sleight of hand with the bonus magic gifts included with each book: trick playing cards, trick ropes and spongy balls. There are detailed instructions for magic tricks included at the back of each book guaranteed to work by the master himself. Could reading be any more fun!

This junior fiction series is more than just an entertaining fantasy romp through the realms of Magic Land. It is a mini manual of magic and a tantalising, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the magical mind of one of the world’s greatest illusionists. Cosentino maintains magic was his gateway to reading…I recommend 7 - 10-year-olds and above read his comic book series as a marvellous gateway to magic.

For those residing or visiting SE Queensland over the 2019 Easter School holidays and want to see the amazing Cosentino in real life, you can experience his astonishing LIVE show twice daily at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

Meantime keep a very close eye out for Book # 4 in the series, The Silver Thief, due out this month.

Title: The Mysterious World of Cosentino: Books 1, 2, 3
Author: Jack Heath, Paul Cosentino
Illustrator: James Hart
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, $14.99
Publication Date: Book # 1 September 2017 – April 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760664220 three book collection
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction

Buy the Book:
Boomerang Books
Scholastic Australia


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