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Bad Magic

(Bad #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,877 ratings  ·  385 reviews
A magical new series from Pseudonymous Bosh, the bestselling author of the Secret Series

Magic is BAD.

As in fake. Cheesy. Unreal. At least, that's what Clay, who has seen one magic show too many, thinks.

When words from his journal appear mysteriously on his school wall as graffiti, he never imagines that magic might be to blame. And when the same graffiti lands him at Earth
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 2014)
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Popular Answered Questions
Ella Supposedly, it's going to be a trilogy.
Supposedly, it's going to be a trilogy.
Katie "Bad Magic" is not the last book in the Secret Series. This is the first book of another series, but it's related to the Secret Series. I recommend yo…more"Bad Magic" is not the last book in the Secret Series. This is the first book of another series, but it's related to the Secret Series. I recommend you read the Secret Series first, because it provides you with a bit of background information. The last book in the Secret Series is called, "You Should Stop This".(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,877 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reread May 2018:
I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I read this. A lot has changed and I actually really enjoyed it. More than the first time around. It helped that I finally got to read the sequels too.

I’ll write more details in my review of the third book. But for now, all I’ll say is that I’m really glad that I came back to this series and this author. It felt like coming home.

Original review: December 2014

Before reading: GUYS I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! I just got a copy of Bad Magic as a Chr
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brenda by: ARC was received from the publisher for free via NetGalley
Psuedonymous Bosch is the author of the Secret Series (for which I've read the first two). The first book in the series was The Name of This Book is Secret and featured the characters of Max Ernest and Cass, who were trying to uncover a secret. I remember liking the narrator of the story, with his cautioning the reader, asides, foreshadowing and funny way that he would have a conversation with himself. Think Lemony Snicket.

Opening line: "This book begins with a bad word."

Okay, so that line cer
Pop Bop
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Better Than the "Secret Series"; A Study in Misdirection

I really liked this book, but for lots of reasons that no one else seems to be mentioning.

First things first - I did not care that much for the first two volumes of the "Secret Series". The narrator was way too arch and intrusive for me, and I just didn't respond well to the antic cleverness of it all. I get it that lots of kid readers love that series and its comfortable jokiness, and I think that's wonderful, but it was just a bit too muc
Lindsey Lewis
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
I received a free digital ARC via NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

When Clay is sent to a camp for mischievous children, the crime he didn't commit seems inexplicably linked to a mystery on the island and an even greater mystery in his own home.

I've wanted to read the Secret Series for a very long time as the writer reminds me of Lemony Snicket, but it wasn't until I received this book on NetGalley that I had access to Pseudonymous Bosch's work. This book has all of the elements I look for in a
Charlotte F.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a HILARIOUS book filled with jokes, fire, librarys, ghost girls, and magic. I love the author, i've read The Secret Series which he also wrote. After this, I am so excited to read the next one!
Elizabeth Johnson
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I had really mixed feelings about this book. I had read Pseudonymous Bosch's Secret Series, and I enjoyed it, which is what got me started on this book. It was good for the most part, but the ending of 'Bad Magic' is what ruined it for me.
First off, the plot takes a really long time to get started. Once it does get started, it built up really quickly and gets pretty suspenseful. But then, at the last minute, most of the stuff is resolved, and it all kind of crumbles. There is all this really ha
Laurie Arnez
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I received a copy of 'Bad Magic' by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I read this in one siting! Great start to an exciting series for students in grades 4-6. There is magic, adventure and mystery all rolled into a past paced story. Just when you think you have things figured out, the plot shifts and the reader is surprised again.
Sam Kuntz
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Miller
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Two years ago, students were sharing some of their favorite, laugh-out-loud books. One student reported loving - LOVING - The Name of This Book is Secret, and I've never forgotten her vigorous recommendation. While I haven't yet picked up of copy of Bosch's Secret book... I was delighted to have a chance to read Bad Magic.

And I wasn't disappointed, not one bit. You know how sometimes, someone recommends a book so highly, and you have these huuuge expectations... only to be disappointed? Not the
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it

Ok, I didn't like this book nearly as much as the second one. Perhaps it just took me a while to get used to the author's writing style, which I hear is Lemony-Snicket-esque. Not having read Lemony Snicket, I cannot vouch for this.

The thing that I do like about Pseudonymous Bosch is that I can't ever figure out where his books are going. I can't figure out any plot twists or such like that. And for me, that is major. Whenever I come across a book or movie that truly surprises me, it is a note
Lia   Covington
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lia's Bookish Obsession

Psuedonymous Bosch, happens to be an author for not only the The Secret Series but also the Bad Series. It seems that these two series are actually connected through character relationships. In The Name of This Book is Secret, features a character name M.E., Max-Ernest as well as his friend Cass, who were on their way to discover a secret. I have not read this series but after reading the  Bad Magic a

Marion Vermazen
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoy the Michael Connely, Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch series and I was drawn to this series because i thought the author Pseudonymous Bosch might actually be Michael Connely. I was mistaken. According to wikipedia Pseudonymous Bosch is actually Raphael Simon. I enjoy a lot of children's books like Hatchet and The Harry Potter series. I'm afraid this book didn't do it for me. For me a good book has to make it possible for me to suspend reality. This book was just caught half way between reality ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mukta A
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I borrowed this book from my 12-year-old cousin and thought I'd give it a try and I never expected it to be this good. Humourous and plot twisty and legit amazing!
Probably the only Middle Grade read of the year, but still, I don't regret this one!
Alysia Verhagen
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was incredibly clever. It's kind of a weird concept, but it's just a fun read. I can see how this author is popular with kids.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Indigo by: Charlotte F.
I thought this book was really interesting, wall written, and absilutely amazing!
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was great! Lots of twists, turns, and unexpected things happen. There's even a cool appendix at the back that teaches you how to do a simple rope trick and make a potato battery. This novel is a spin-off series of the book "The Name of This Book is Secret." I would suggest "Bad Magic" to literally anyone! After about the first hundred pages or so, I really got into it and finished it in roughly two days. Can't wait to read the next book in this series!
Jerry Hillyer
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Title: Bad Magic

Author: Pseudonymous Bosch

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Year: 2014

Pages: 400

[Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of this book. I was in no way compensated for my review and was not required to provide a positive review.]

This book is part of a series of books written by Pseudonymous Bosch. Now I don't know Mr. or Mrs. Bosch, but I do happen to appreciate the play on words in the name. It's kind of like
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Before you go any further reading this review, please understand that I am a very critical person. If I had just happened upon this book by chance I probably would have given it three stars, but because Pseudonymous Bosch wrote one of the most entertaining series I have read for children, the Secret Series,I have to say this book fell way short. There were so many problems I don't even know where to begin. Basically everything I loved about his first series is used in this book as well, but it f ...more
Audrey Wilkerson
I must confess. I have had this book forever. OK, that's stretching the truth a little bit, but I received this book back in July of 2014. Then, as it happens sometimes, it fell off of my e-reader. So when I was trying to catch up with my reviews, I realized I had to check it out of the library. I've tried to read it twice, and then seriously buckled down and finished it. It is due back to the libary on Friday after checking it out ten times.

So that beginning sounds a bit ominous, doesn't it? I
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
I like it when a book is talking to me and this is what this book accomplishes, the author writes as if he’s talking to his readers. Clay and his brother Max-Ernest are “bad brothers,” bad is their bond which started over a discussion over swear words. Max-Ernest, an amateur magician performs his magic at home and Clay learns while watching him. Max-Ernest disappears one day without any explanation leaving his family asking lots of questions. Years later, while at school inside one of C
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pseudonymous Bosch has authored a witty mystery for middle schoolers in the vein of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. Bosch writes from a personal perspective but does not reveal the narrator's relationship to the featured characters right away.

Bosch uses wry humor and a comfortable story telling style to introduce protagonist Clay, a 12 year old familiar with magic since his preschool days. But since his older brother with whom he shared the pursuit of magic mysteriously left home,
Joe Hempel
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
There is magic in the air when it comes to the book Bad Magic. Both good, and bad. Clay, the recipient of a very bad prank (or was it?), was in trouble for writing the words Bad Magic on the wall in class. Only, he didn’t do it. So his punishment, no, consequence, as his parents put it, was to be sent to Earth Ranch, a sort of rehabilitation camp.

It’s here where things take a turn for the strange. Something isn’t right and Clay realizes this early on. However, it takes almost 60% of the book to
Will Wortner
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Quick Review:
Bad magic is a fun book to read. A blend of magic, mystery, adventure, and a little comedy give the reader plenty of reasons not to put the story down. The writing is up tempo and corky and is a very nice change in storytelling from a typical third person.
This is the first book in a new series by Pseudonyms Bosch, as well as the first book I have read of this particular author. This series ties into his previous one, which I plan to read after reading Bad Magic.

The Longer Review
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review…

I greatly enjoyed and thoroughly recommend Bad Magic by Psedonymous Bosch (2014). The book follows the adventures of Clay, who is wrongly sent to Earth Ranch, a mysterious camp for juvenile delinquents on an isolated island. Clay, with the help of his new camp friends, slowly learns about the history of the island and unravels the secrets of Earth Ranch and its benefactor, Randolph Price.

I love Bosch’s style of writing
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
6th grader Clay didn't do what he's accused of, but still gets sent to a very strange summer camp for children having difficulties in school, or with the law, or who otherwise need "reforming." It's on a volcanic island. There's mystery--and fog (volcanic fog)--in the air. And some really good lines from Clay and the other campers. There's a bit of Shakespeare, fantasy/ghost story, adventure, moral-to-the-story, and a whole lot more. One can't help but feel sorry for Clay as things continue to g ...more
This book starts auspiciously enough, with Max-Ernest’s younger brother Clay trying desperately to fit in at school. He is moody, restless and bored with magic and (thankfully) lacking in his older brother’s loquacity that made so much of Max-Ernest’s dialogue a teeth-clenching ordeal to endure.

The book becomes a mystery that needs solving. But as matters gradually unfold what emerges is a staged series of tests that pushes Clay to his limits. However, this tactic cheats the reader of any emoti
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I first learned that this book was coming out and it was from Pseudonymous Bosch I knew that it had to be good, and it was. Even though it is not related to the secret series, it makes some really cool references to it. This book is about Clay, his parents think that it is best to let him parent himself thinking that they over parented Clay's older brother Max-Ernest. When Clay gets in trouble for supposedly graffitiing the school wall his parents for once decided to punish him for it by se ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2014
“This book would bring me great wealth. And great grief …”

It all started with a harmless looking journal given to Clay by Mr. Bailey, the journal they used when performing The Tempest. Who knew that whatever Clay wrote in the journal, would end up on the walls of school? Did Mr. Bailey know? Busted for graffiti, Clay is sent to Earth Ranch, a camp for “wayward youth.” The camp is on an island that used to be the residence of the mysterious Mr. Price and his niece. With a huge house and library,
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Pseudonymous Bosch is the infamously anonymous author of the New York Times bestselling Secret Series and the Bad Books. Despite rumors to the contrary, his books are not actually written by his pet rabbit, Quiche; the rabbit is merely his typist.

Other books in the series

Bad (3 books)
  • Bad Luck (Bad, #2)
  • Bad News (Bad, #3)

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