‘Gwendy’s Magic Feather’ (2019) Book Review

We return to Castle Rock once again in Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar. The novel is the second installment in the series following Gwendy’s Button Box, which was co-written by Chizmar and Stephen King. Gwendy Peterson is now thirty-seven and a congresswoman. She is completely different from the anxious teen who spent a summer running up Castle Rock’s suicide stairs. It has been years since she was gifted the button box by the mysterious Richard Farris. The box fed into Gwendy’s desires… but there is a cost to every gift. Several years later, the box has returned for no reason, and the stakes have been raised.



The major plot revolves around the button box returning mysteriously, while the minor plot is about missing girls in Castle Rock.

You do need to read Gwendy’s Button Box prior to reading Gwendy’s Magic Feather. Many details and character development stems from the first novel and continues in the second one. Besides Gwendy, we also have her family, her husband, Ryan, the sheriff, the parents of the missing girls, and the townspeople. Mr. Richard Farris looms through the background of Gwendy’s world as well.

The first half of the book deals with Gwendy. We find out what happened to her after the aftermath of the first novel. It was good to see that she did something with her life and that she didn’t fall into a victim role. She is, however, not a perfect character. She still has her flaws. When the box does return, it brings about all the horrible experiences with it. I saw this as a sort of PTSD state. She feared the box but secretly wanted to use it. There was more of an internal conflict within Gwendy, but nothing that we haven’t seen in the first novel. It isn’t until we get to the secondary plot when we get the juicy bits of the story.

Hardcover edition

Which leads me to the second plot, where two girls have gone missing. Gwendy works with Sheriff Ridgewick to help locate them. She believes the they are tied directly to the return of Richard Farris’ box. It isn’t until she used it and a third girl went missing that the reader is led to believe that the box directly affected their situation. Things get exciting as the reader moves into the second half of the novel.

Paperback edition

The second half of the novel deals with the missing girls and a new prowler in the town named the Tooth Fairy. We get great scenes from Gwendy and the missing girls’ parents. The dialogue is realistic and what I expected from adults in this situation. This part of Gwendy’s Magic Feather had all the action as it dealt with the hunt for the girls and interactions with the townspeople of Castle Rock.

All the loose ends are tied up in the end, but there’s still room for a third novel. Chizmar has taken Gwendy from a child to an adult. I like her character development and how she was seduced by the box. The first novel had a little bit of horror with the vicious deaths of Gwendy’s boyfriend and her friend’s suicide. Gwendy’s Magic Feather has a little more of a magical realism vibe. My rating is 3.75 stars out of 5 stars.

The cat is out of the bag, as we did find out that there will be a third novel in the Button Box series. This one is available at all major booksellers, Amazon, and Cemetery Dance Publications. The novel is out November 19, 2019, in hardcover, while the paperback version and ebook will be released on January 21, 2020. Definitely check out Gwendy’s Magic Feather. It is a fun and fast read.

Stay tuned to PopHorror for our upcoming interview with Author Richard Chizmar!

About Dani McKinney

Dani loves horror movies ever since she saw Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with Danielle Harris. She loves vampires, her favorite movie is Interview with a Vampire. She reads constantly and mostly books about the supernatural and is also a paranormal investigator.

Check Also

Joshua Hull’s ‘MOUTH’ (2024) – Book Review

Joshua Hull, the filmmaker/screenwriter known for such films as The Impersonators, Chopping Block, and Glorious …