I’ve BEEN HERE before.

Every sight and every sound feel as familiar as yesterday

Whenever that was.


Those three lines begin our second journey with young Kingston. I reviewed the engaging first book last year, KINGSTON AND THE MAGICIANS LOST AND FOUND.The authors do a nice job of filling in the previous story as the new story, KINGSTON AND THE ECHOES OF MAGIC, unfolds. You could start here although I was glad to have spent time with both books to get a deeper understanding of the boy named Kingston.

Kingston might have saved Echo City but the victory is bittersweet without his pops by his side. The holidays are approaching and if Kingston could have one wish, it would be to have his father, who is trapped in the Realm, come home. But as new problems arise and blackouts blanket the city, Kingston begins to have a persistent feeling of déjà vu, as if he’s lived this same day before—and he has. Echo City living up to its name, is caught in a repeating time loop.
Maestro, his father’s old rival, has found a way to overwrite reality with an alternate timeline where he rules over all. It will be up to Kingston, Too Tall, and V to find a way to enter the Realm and travel back through time to stop him. But with a magic he still barely understands, Kingston will need his friends’ smarts and their collective courage to figure out the mystery and find Maestro before Brooklyn as they know it is erased for good.

Kingston has the help of his friend Tool Tall and cousin Valerie (pictured behind him on the cover). Too Tall is always willing to help out but doesn’t have any magic skills. His often clueless approach provides some humorous dialog exchanges with his friends.

Meanwhile, Kingston (who, thanks to a little mishap from book one, wears a white glove over his invisible right hand) is trying to understand the magic he can do and use it to get his father back. It’s a wild ride as the three end up in different times and dimensions. Certain scenes had a BACK TO THE FUTURE type vibe as Kingston interacts with his teenage father.

This is supposed to be the second and last story in this duology, but I would welcome another ride with this unique set of characters and setting. Perfect for fans of fantasy, magic, and friendship.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: October 12, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 304


  1. Information about ancient gods is purveyed through the story. It was a fun way to learn about them as was seeing the return of Black Moses, a famous African-American magician from the early 1900’s.
  2. The characters are reliving the same 26 hours over and over. This twist of the clock had me glad to be moving forward in the present day.
  3. Made me want to visit Brooklyn. Especially having lunch at Not Ray’s Pizza, which was portrayed as Not Not Ray’s Pizza in this story.
  4. The bond Kingston has with his Pops is one readers will want for themselves if they aren’t lucky enough to have a father in their life.
  5. I can’t imagine trying to write a book with three authors. Yes, Rucker Moses is actually a pen name for Harold Hayes, Jr. and Craig S. Phillips. Together with Theo Gangi they have managed to figure out how to collaborate on a winning idea.


Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr. both hail from Atlanta and started telling stories together at the University of Georgia. Together, they’ve been nominated for three Emmys for writing in a children’s program and have written for TV shows based on books by R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike.

They also make virtual reality experiences and own a production company named SunnyBoy Entertainment. In no particular order, their favorite things to write about are ninjas, magic, space, and abandoned amusement parks. When not doing all that, they are hanging with their wonderful families at home in Los Angeles. (WebSite)

Theo Gangi is the author of A New Day in America and the breakout crime thriller Bang Bang. His stories have been anthologized in First Thrills, edited by Lee Child, The Greensboro Review, The Columbia Spectator and the Kratz Sampler. His articles and reviews have appeared in, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mystery Scene Magazine, Inked Magazine and Crimespree Magazine.  A graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he has taught writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is the Director of the Writing Program at St. Francis College and lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. (WebSite)


I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I enjoyed the first book so looking forward to reading the sequel. I didn’t realise there were three authors!! I’d love to know what their writing system is. The first book certainly read like a single author, so their approach certainly works! Thanks for the review,

  2. Since I have the 15th Whatever After book on deck to read tonight, I am fine with duologies! I wish series never went more than about five books. Interest wanes so much after that.

  3. This sounds like a series I’d like. I agree with Ms. Yingling that too long series get hard to keep up with.

  4. Sue Heavenrich says:

    sounds like another fun adventure. Not sure about the pizza joint, but I’d definitely hang out at Nacho Mama’s.

  5. carolbaldwin says:

    Sounds like an interesting book—and wow! written by several authors!

  6. Your enthusiasm for the series makes me interested in this series. Like that the author includes a Black Moses. Great adventure series. I’m keeping specific books in mind for my nearly 8-year-old great grandson. Oh, I like the diverse emoji’s today — goes well with MCBD this week.

  7. This is way too much fantasy for my taste, but I’ll bet there are a lot of kids who will love this. Thanks for telling me about it.

  8. This sounds like a great read. Very interesting and lots of excitement. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  9. Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like such a thrilling fantasy story, with some great representation too—and I can’t imagine 3 authors all collaborating either, so that’s definitely a feat! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Greg!

  10. Pingback: This week’s roundup of middle grade sci fi and fantasy from around the blogs (1/30/22) – Book Library

  11. Pingback: This week’s roundup of middle grade sci fi and fantasy from around the blogs (1/30/22) – Imobiliare 24

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