I didn’t realize it had been almost three years since the last Cormoran Strike book, Career of Evil. I actually ended up reading recaps of the books on Wikipedia because I knew it wouldn’t be easy to jump right back in and Rowling thankfully started right where the last book stopped, but then jumped forward a year.
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)
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?
During that time I happened to look on Goodreads (here we go again), not to read the reviews of this, but to see whether I should read The Wind Through the Keyhole. I wanted to know if I should read it in its rightful place between book four and book five or after I’d read the series and I was SHOCKED to find that people were sharply divided over this book.
I received a request to review this back in December* before everything happened with my mom and before we moved and I’m just now starting to play catch up four months later. Right as I’m finally making progress on my backlog of ARCs and galleys I start to request more. When will I learn?
This was a super fast read and it kept me engaged, yet I still have mixed feelings on the book. I went back and actually lowered my rating on Goodreads from four stars to three stars. I think it deserves 3.5, but didn’t feel it deserved the round-up. I’ll let it marinate for another week and decide if I’ll keep it at 3 or bump it back to 4. I’m going to try not to spoil the book, but I can’t guarantee it so read the Goodreads synopsis here and decide if you want to read past this.
After seeing this over and over being the darling of the book blogosphere and reading the rave reviews of it I figured I should check it out. I read a lot of LGBT literature, a lot of young adult literature, and quite a bit of adventure literature so I thought why not. And although I wasn’t completely disappointed, I was genuinely underwhelmed and for once it wasn’t the mood I was in. I’ll start with the not-so-great and finish with what I enjoyed.
I’m a finicky reader at best and have curated a pretty good system of choosing the books I read, including taking into account books that fellow bloggers who have similar tastes to me read, but this one just didn’t click for me quite like others have. I kept to my usual style of not reading anything about the author or the book after I decided I want to read it. [Generally I get excited about a book/author and purchase/reserve something by them and then I let it sit for a while so that I can clear my palate.]
I’m starting to see why people really like this series. I’m only two books in now (with pretty big gaps between the books), but I get it. And even with that crappy film adaptation—so far nothing in the first two books was in the film really—I’m being drawn in.
I’m struggling to write reviews of this as I’ve taken to heart what King writes in the forward that this is one long book/story broken across quite a few books. It’s some how barely moving forward but taking massive steps at the same time. This picks up not long after The Gunslinger and plows steadily forward. I’m still not sure I have any idea what’s going on, and I have no idea where it’s going, but so far I’m enjoying where King is taking me.