Review of The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael GrantThe Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant
Also by this author: Messenger of Fear, , The Tattooed Heart, Front Lines
Series: The Magnificent 12 #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-08-09
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 100
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys' bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it's up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen's dangerous daughter, Ereskigal--also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn't want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

A laugh-out-loud story filled with excitement and magic, "The Magnificent Twelve: The Call" is the first book in bestselling author Michael Grant's hilarious new fantasy adventure series.

I love when middle grade books aren’t patronizing. I love when children are not beat over the head with the fact that they are not adults and cannot possibly comprehend big words. I love it when authors do not talk down/write down in their books for children. The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant is such a book. It is genuinely funny, even from my adult ivory tower I chuckled quite a bit. What sold me on The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grantwas the comparison to Monty Python. Now, I know the blurbs they put on a book are supposed to be enticing, they are supposed to make you want the book. BUT, how many middle schoolers know what Monty Python is? Really. If I was to scream BUT NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISTION at an eighth grader, would they understand me? Probably not.

Mack MacAvoy is our intrepid hero. He is twelve and is fairly average, or as The Maginificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant would say, has a case of mediumness. He is afraid of heights, the dark, enclosed spaces, but fearless in the face of bullies. The school Mack goes to has bullies for every clique. That passage in the book, BTW, is very very funny. Of course, Mack runs afowl of the bullies, and is about to get creamed when he actually winds up saving the king of the bullies, Stefan, thus coming under Stefan’s protection. More craziness ensues, Mack gets a golem in his image, meets a crazy old dude named Grimluk AND discovers he is one of the Magnificent 12 and must find the rest of the 12 to defeat the villain.

Instead of my usual rumination, I thought I would let the text of The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grantspeak for itself, as I have lots of pages folded with quotes that I laughed my face off at, having all the humor of a 12 year old.

“But there was one bully to rule them all , one bully to find them, one bully to bring them all and in the darkness pound them.” – pg. 4

You had me at the LOTR reference.

“Grimluk wasn’t sure. He didn’t know what a mummer’s game might be, and millennia would pass slowly by before Google would be created to answer questions such as this.” pg. 86

Ah, snark after my own heart.

“Of course he can text. He’s golem,’ Rose said, ‘not an adult.'” pg. 94

LOLOLOLOL. Yeah, my parents can’t text. Granted, I am an adult, but still.

“One of the rules of Great Literature is: show, don’t tell. But one of the other rules of Great Literature is: don’t go on and on with boring scenes where nothing happens but a lot of talking.” pg. 140

True dat.

Check out the official website for the Magnificent 12 Here.

Other Books by Michael Grant:


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. That second quotation is priceless! There's a similarity to Terry Pratchett there, which is great.

    I can only echo what you said first, not talking down to children etc. It's important to keep their interest.

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