| Quote #1
He had just watched two men toss balls and spheres of something—of energy—at each other. He had witnessed the destruction those energies had caused.
Josh had just witnessed magic.
But of course, everyone knew that magic simply did not and could not exist. (2.22)
Here's the thing about magic: even when Josh sees it with his own two eyes (and there's no denying that balls of energy were literally just being thrown around the room), he can't quite bring himself to believe in it just yet. Everything Josh has seen and heard in his life has convinced him that it isn't real. But then, in an instant, he finds out that it does exist. We think that last sentence might be Josh trying to convince himself that what he saw was a lie. But Josh, buddy, the eyes don't lie.
| Quote #2
"I thought there was no such thing as magic," Josh said sarcastically, and then immediately felt foolish, after what he'd just seen and experienced. (4.27)
Poor Josh. He's still trying to explain the unexplainable things that just happened to him and his sister, and frankly, we are, too. This book is full of surprises, and at every turn we're faced with a new kind of magic that we don't yet understand. Josh, here, is showing the kinds of feelings anyone would experience in a similar situation. He feels foolish, for not having a clue about what's going on, and frustrated that he has no way to explain it.
| Quote #3
If he breathed deeply, he could still smell the peculiar odors of… magic. That was what he had been smelling—not mint and rotten eggs, but the scent of magic. (4.36)
There's a lot of pausing in this quote (we can tell by the dash and the ellipsis. What gives? It's possible that Josh is starting to put the pieces together slowly—and that the style of these sentences reflects his pauses as he realizes that he's involved in magic. You'd pause, too, if you were trying to figure out why magic smells like mint and eggs. Yuck.