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Book Review: Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Book Review: Strange Magic by Syd MooreSummary

“Rosie Strange doesn’t believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.

Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking like her plans to sell the museum might need to be delayed, just for a while.

Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, where to her horror, the secrets of the past come with their own real, and all too present, danger as a strange magic threatens to envelope them all.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

Beautiful cover!
This was a gift from my mum when she came back from the U.K. this year and I was immediately drawn in from the cover. Yes, I’m one of those who chooses books based off covers. Only because there are so many out there and whatever catches my attention by cover or name wins! I really liked that it was a simple cover, color wise, with this skull in the middle. But it did slightly mislead me in a way. It gave me a Mexican Day of the Dead kind of vibe. But that wasn’t what the book was about at all. I mean first off, it was set in Essex (U.K. for those of you who don’t know where that is).

Captivating story!
Now the story itself was interesting. It was simple, not too far out there. It was based around the witch trials that happened in the past and how someone came back to the present and all that kind of good stuff! It kept me captivated and curious as to what was going to happen next!

You got that feeling from the reading that you really were along for the journey. And I truly did feel like I was in Essex with the weather and all of that stuff!

Main character was slightly annoying.
Only thing that I didn’t like about the book was some of the characteristics of the main character, Rosie. She honestly was obnoxious as hell. She kept getting at the other protagonist, Sam, in the book.  She was very stubborn and not open to what was going on and it really annoyed me sometimes how out of line and rude she was in the book. I’m not sure if that was the point of her, but she really did get on my nerves a few times and I just wanted to slap some sense into her. She always had that ‘Essex Girl’ kind of attitude, all the way up to the very end!

Overall a fantastic read.
However, annoying main character to the side, the book itself was fantastic. It was simple so not terribly full of action (except towards the end a bunch of stuff happened). But it didn’t detract from the book. I noticed that Sarah Perry, the author of The Essex Serpent, really enjoyed the book and that was also what made me want to read it too! I do recommend it as it’s a good read and I think it’s a fantastic gift for someone who is into those magical kind of books!

For all of that, I give it 4/5 teacups!

rating four tea cups mlcwo

Happy Reading!

Purchase the book here at Barnes & Noble.

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Night Prince Series (Vlad and Leila) by Jeaniene Frost

So I never would have really picked up this book but I saw it on some random stand and of course the attractive guy on the cover pulled me in and I just had to get it, and it was also cheap. But, the book I got turned out to be a later one in the series, so of course I had to get the first book and then read the entire series.

I’ll definitely give the series credit, while it wasn’t as good as the Guild Hunters Series it was pretty decent and I’ll give it that. The female protagonist wasn’t terribly wimpy but she did have her feminine moments which was fine with me. I mean, she was dating Vlad the Impaler .

There was character development as you saw Leila change as she was introduced to the supernatural world but you also saw the effect that she had on her lover, Vlad. He slowly started to get soft and as the story progressed he changed, though I’m not saying how, you gotta read to find out (mwahaha). But the changes weren’t for the worst and the story still kept its pace. This is a small series but it is part of a larger series known as Night Huntress Universe (click here to see reading order and books.) But I hadn’t read any of the books in the suggested reading order and I didn’t have any difficulties, though I will be trying to read the other books in the series as it looks quite interesting.

The book, as it is by definition, is considered more erotica than romance, so the sex did have moments of being slightly graphic so I recommend this book for 18 and older. There were a few times where crude language was used to describe body parts and I don’t really like that as much though it wasn’t used too much so it didn’t detract from the overall book.

One thing which I honestly didn’t like about the book was that it was written in first person. I don’t know what it is about it, but I really dislike reading books in first person. Third person just seems to show so much more and while it is a little less personal as you don’t get to necessarily hear thoughts, you get to see so much more going on. Now, some people like first person because it is easier to get into one of the characters head, but my mind is very overactive so I have no issue slipping into characters heads and seeing things from their perspectives. I find it harder to do so when in first person because you are channeled in one direction while in third person you are open to go any direction that you choose to. But that is just my personal opinion and even though I’m not one for first person, I still did enjoy this read.

Yes, there was violence in this book as they are vampires and his name is Vlad the Impaler but it wasn’t as gruesome, in my opinion, as the Guild Hunter Series, thought there were a few moments where what was implied wasn’t that nice. I will also say that there was talk of rape a few times in the book but nothing serious. Just putting it there as I know for some if that is a theme in the book, people highly dislike it. I’m not one for those kinds of themes either, but I’ll just say that it wasn’t what you thought it was. And I’ll leave it at that.

Also, the man on the cover of the books is supposed to be Vlad. I’m sorry, but I pictured Vlad so differently and while the cover did draw me in, I was going for a more elegant vampire, though, it still worked.

Overall I did enjoy the book and read the 3 books in just over 3 days. Yes, I know I have no life. I do recommend that you read it and let me know what you think, but yes, this is for mature audiences.

Enjoy and happy reading!

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Beach Party by R.L. Stine

Summary

Karen invites her friend Ann-Marie to stay at her dad’s apartment over-looking the beach. They plan to party all summer, enjoying the sun, sea, and sand. The fun starts for Karen when she meets two new guys. But which one should she choose, Jerry who is so handsome, or Vince, so deliciously dangerous?

-Amazon.com

Review

I personally don’t like R.L. Stine. A lot of younger readers enjoy it because it gives them a scare and a thrill. But for me, a teen, I find that these books border on horrible. They have no story line, no point to them, and don’t scare the reader. The Goosebump series is in the juvenile section of my library, but the other books by R.L. Stine (The Babysitter series, Point Horror series) are in the YA section. But these books are definitely for the younger end of YA, like the 12 year olds. If you pick this book up hoping for a scare, you should just put it down. This book is not worth your while. If teens want a really good thrill, try reading Stephen King. I read Misery and if you want scary, Stephen King is the thing for you. They are what I would call horror. These books are not. They don’t have anything scary happening. The book is also really easy as I read it in about 5 hours (not even).

Younger readers might find this book “scary” as they have not read a lot of things like this. But once you get to YA and you have read all of the other books out there, and have watched those scary movies, you don’t get scared at all and it is just a read. Yes it may be a good beach read because you don’t have to concentrate and it is quick.

There are people who like it but I am just not one of them. This is a good book for reluctant readers because it is easy and it would keep them interested.

But this is my opinion. Pick it up and give it a try if you want, but this is not a book for scares.

Tell me what you think.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Summary

“The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Tow, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.”

The carnival rolled into town. You smelt it before you heard it. You smelt the popcorn and cotton candy. Why was it coming? It was too late in the year for a carnival? When it arrives why are there two strange men and a ferris wheel that makes you older or younger. Two innocent 13-year-old boys, William Halloway and James Nightshade, are in the evil grasps of Mr. Dark and the “dark carnival.” They have to save the town souls – and their own. Will they do it? What would you do if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? The only problem is if you get on the wrong side of him……well, read it to find out.

Review

There is a definite weird factor in this book. The language is really complex and hard to understand. All of Ray Bradbury’s books are kind of out there but this one was really odd. The whole way through the book you expected a certain thing to happen but by the end what you originally thought was completely off. Out of the ordinary things happened in the book and the cover also, after reading the book, means something really interesting. This is an adult book and not for content but for the fact that it is pretty hard to understand. I had to read parts of the book multiple times before I finally understood it. I recommend people to read this because it is an interesting book, just a little hard to understand. So enjoy, and if you want to know what happens if you get on the wrong side of Mr. Dark, well you will have to read and understand the book. Good luck.

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SilverFin

A James Bond Adventure
YOUNG BOND Book 1
by Charlie Higson

Summary

SilverFin is an idea.
SliverFin is dangerous.
SilverFin is soon.

Lord Hellbore is hungry for power and he will stop at nothing to get it. He will kill, he will lie, and he will cheat. He does not care for his wife, son or brother. So much so that Lord Hellbore…

Does some gruesome tests on his own brother.
Divorces his wife and will not let his son see her.
And tries to kill his own son.

If this man is not stopped, the world will be under his command. But is there anything anyone can do?????

But unfortunately for him there is one boy who is getting in his way. Bond, James Bond.

Review

OK. This book was pretty good. There are a couple of complaints that I have about it though. It was really gruesome. Somethings that were talked about were done so in great detail. The book was good in a sense of the story line but it was inappropriate.  The reading was easy enough but I would say the content was for either a mature teenager or an adult. This book was definitely not suitable for younger readers – or the squeamish. I would recommend this book for people over the age of 15.  I will not say some of the things described but all I will tell you is that this book was gory, violent, disturbing, and inappropriate. Also if you know the regular James Bond, this is not like it at all. There is nothing about 007, and he does not drive fast cars. He is just a school boy who is trying to stop some mean man and nearly gets killed along the way. The only resemblance that I see with this book to Ian Flemming books was that he was trying to save the world, and he nearly got killed. Otherwise it was just a story with a boy named Bond, James Bond.

WOULD I READ IT AGAIN?    No.