Books

Book 613: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) – V.E. Schwab

Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover my thoughts on this. Did it end the series well enough? Yes. Did it inspire me to read more of Schwab’s writing? No. Am I even more concerned that she is being compared to Diana Wynn Jones? YES.

A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light aren’t so much book two and book three of the Shades of Magic trilogy as they are part one and part two of book two of the Shades of Magic duology. All three of the books in the “trilogy” take place in incredibly short amounts of time with a four month gap between one and two/three.

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Books

Book 611: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) – V.E. Schwab

Well, this one was stronger than A Darker Shade of Magic, but I’m still not on board with the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” promo-ing in her bio. (But honestly, I can’t blame her, if someone said that about me I’d probably get it tattooed on my body.) Do I think she could get there? Probably. Is she there yet? Not yet based on these to books, but she wrote seven other books I’ve yet to read.

My largest critique of the books/series still stands: Is this an adult book or a young adult book? I honestly cannot tell. There’s no explicit sex, there’s not really that much violence, the language is pretty much G-rated, and the writing and plot are relatively simple and straight forward. There will be MAJOR spoilers in this review so don’t read past this if you don’t want to know.

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Books

Book 610: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab

I picked this up after seeing it on LouLouReads’ blog. The title intrigued me and then I read the official blurb and was like okay I like this idea of parallel worlds I’ll give it a go. Thankfully, my local library had the first two and I got them the next day and the third had a very short wait list.

Like LouLouReads I agree that the book was rather one-dimensional to start. I do feel that it grew, but I’m not sure Schwab’s writing deserves the accolade touted in her bio, “the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones.” Those are some huge shoes to fill that Shwab might be able to do some day.

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Books

Book 583: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts #2) – J.K. Rowling

Of course I was going to read this. It actually arrived in my mailbox the same day we saw the film (the first time :-D). If I’m honest, I’m impressed I only saw it twice AND it took me this long to read it. There was a lot to take in and with so much dialogue, reading this sooner would’ve helped A LOT.

With this being a screenplay, I can totally cop-out and say read this review of the film: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald’: Beasts? Check. Crimes? Check. Fantastic? Not Quite., from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour blog because Glen Weldon NAILS it.

I’m not planning to go into the major spoilers of the franchise so you should be okay to read as long as you don’t highlight the closing line of the book, but if you don’t want to know ANYTHING, then don’t read this! You’ve been warned.

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Books

Book 575: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) – J.K. Rowling

I have avoided writing this since I finished it back in the middle of September.

Each time I re-read these, it’s harder to say goodbye. The next time I re-read them I either won’t blog about them, or it’ll be to retire this blog (or after it’s retired). This re-read reiterated how I absolutely would be in Ravenclaw and yet would probably sit outside the common room a lot waiting for someone to come along and solve the puzzle.

“The deserted Ravenclaw common room was a wide, circular room, airier than any Harry had ever seen at Hogwarts. Graceful arched windows punctuated the walls, which were hung with blue-and-bronze silks: By day, the Ravenclaws would have a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. The ceiling was domed and painted with stars, which were echoed in the midnight-blue carpet. There were tables, chairs, and bookcases, and in a niche opposite the door stood a tall statue of white marble.” (242)

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Books

Book 574: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) – J.K. Rowling

I wish I knew what took me over a month to write my response to this book. I’ve read it at least 10 times, if not more. I’m 95% certain not writing my response is non-book related and totally real world/job/life related, but there’s still that little bit that every time I re-read this series (and blog about it twice now) it could be the last time I read it. I didn’t realize it had been SIX years since my last read. It doesn’t feel that long!

Similar to all of my other re-reads of the series, I found myself focusing on different things. For some reason I got super stuck on the history of magic and how Hogwarts was founded in 990 A.D. and is somewhere in on a loch in Scotland and yet Scotland and England were basically at war (Wikipedia) from the mid-900s to the late-1500s give or take a few years and a few quiet periods and even today are jostling for independence! How did the magical communities work around this, were they impervious to it?

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Books

Book 573: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories – Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke is one of those others where readers have to ask what in the hell is she doing that she can’t publish another wonderful book like her masterpiece Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? She’s in the same line of George R.R. Martin (for pretty much the whole world) and Jamie O’Neill for me. Each of these authors have written works that have profound affects on individuals/societies and then sort of wander off and do other things or seem to disappear completely in O’Neill’s case.

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