I did mention that I was on a DWJ kick, right? And I've got more where these came from.
Conrad's Fate is one of DWJ's newer entries in the Chrestomanci series. Christopher Chant, our hero from Book 2, makes an appearance as a supporting character here, but the main story is Conrad's. He's about twelve, he has a magician uncle and a radical feminist author mum, and he'd really like to go to high school but he just has to kill someone first. He's got bad karma, you see. There's someone he was supposed knock off in his past life, and unless he takes care of the problem in this one, he's toast.
I like the Chrestomanci universe a lot. This story doesn't really have that special 'spark' that would make me fall in love with it, but it's still four out of five stars, and as solidly crafted as I expected.