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review 2017-07-19 09:07
Ist Magie ein Vorrecht der Kindheit?
The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman

Wieder einmal steht Quentin Coldwater vor dem Nichts. Aus Fillory verbannt, ist er gezwungen, zur Erde zurückzukehren. Er muss sich ein neues Leben aufbauen, noch einmal von vorn anfangen. Fast von selbst lenken ihn seine Schritte zum Brakebills College für magische Erziehung. Der verlorene Sohn geht heim. Seine alte Schule empfängt ihn mit offenen Armen und langsam beginnt Quentin, sich in der irdischen Realität zu akklimatisieren. Er arbeitet hart und bleibt meist für sich. Doch seine Vergangenheit lässt ihm keine Ruhe. Noch immer quält ihn der Gedanke an Alice, seine große Liebe. Entschlossen, herauszufinden, was mit ihr geschehen ist und unterstützt von der begabten Schülerin Plum wagt sich Quentin in die zwielichtigen, gefährlichen Gefilde der Magie, in der Hoffnung, Alice vielleicht zurückzuholen.
Währenddessen spitzt sich die Lage in Fillory zu. Das verzauberte Land stirbt. Verzweifelt begeben sich Eliot und Janet auf eine letzte, alles entscheidende Quest, um ihr Königreich zu bewahren. Allein können die beiden allerdings wenig ausrichten. Sie brauchen Hilfe. Hilfe von dem einzigen Menschen, der mehr über Fillory weiß, als irgendjemand sonst: Quentin, dessen Schicksal untrennbar mit dem magischen Land verbunden zu sein scheint. Welten und Leben stehen auf dem Spiel. Wird Quentin Fillory retten können und endlich Vergebung für seine Sünden finden?

 

Das nenne ich mal einen Abschluss! Lev Grossman versteht es wirklich, eine Geschichte emotional befriedigend zu beenden. „The Magician’s Land“ ist meiner Meinung nach mit Abstand der beste Band der Trilogie „The Magicians“. Ich bin begeistert und war am Schluss sogar zu Tränen gerührt. Während all der Zeit, die ich mit dem Protagonisten Quentin in den Vorgängern „The Magicians“ und „The Magician King“ verbrachte, war ich enttäuscht von ihm, weil er einfach nicht zu schätzen wusste, welche Privilegien ihm zuteilwurden. Seine ziellose Rastlosigkeit faszinierte mich, entsetzte mich allerdings auch, da ich nicht verstand, was er denn eigentlich noch wollte. Er wusste es ja selbst nicht. Jetzt wird Quentin endlich erwachsen und schließt mit all den losen Enden in seinem Leben ab. Zum ersten Mal habe ich ihn als echten Magier wahrgenommen, der begreift, mit welchen Kräften er arbeitet. Aus Fillory rausgeworfen zu werden, war das Beste, das ihm passieren konnte. Andernfalls wäre er auf ewig der kindliche, naive Träumer geblieben, der sich stur weigerte, sich seiner Vergangenheit zu stellen. Er konnte dort nicht leben, er musste raus aus diesem zauberhaften, magischen Land, weil er es viel zu sehr brauchte. Er war zu abhängig davon, was ihn ausgerechnet mit Martin Chatwin verbindet, der ebenfalls nicht loslassen konnte und wollte, als es Zeit war. Martins zerstörerisches Schicksal, das Grossman in „The Magician’s Land“ erfreulicherweise noch einmal ausführlich beleuchtet, hätte ebenso gut Quentins Schicksal sein können. Er klammerte sich so fest an Fillory, dass er gar nicht merkte, dass es ihm irgendwann nicht mehr um das Königreich an sich ging. Es ging um ihn selbst, um seine egoistischen Empfindungen und Unzulänglichkeiten. Ich denke, das ist der Grund, warum jedes Kind, das Fillory besucht, nicht mehr eingeladen wird, sobald es beginnt, erwachsen zu werden. Das ist keine willkürliche Grausamkeit, wie Quentin behauptet, sondern ein Schutzmechanismus. In Fillory kann man nicht erwachsen werden. Das Land ist dafür nicht geschaffen. Es ist der Unschuld der Kindheit vorbehalten. Magie dieser Art verdirbt durch die Anwesenheit irdischer Erwachsener, was der Verlauf der Regentschaft von Eliot und Janet eindrucksvoll beweist. Obwohl sie Fillory niemals direkt schadeten, kann es kaum Zufall sein, dass ihr Königreich nur wenige Jahre (in der Zeitrechnung Fillorys) nach ihrer Machtübernahme im Sterben liegt. Es war nie vorgesehen, dass Erwachsene die Throne beanspruchen. So läuft das nicht. Ich bin fest überzeugt, dass Quentin Fillory gerade noch rechtzeitig verließ, um endlich die längst überfällige persönliche Entwicklung zu durchleben, die ihn paradoxerweise als den einzigen Menschen zeichnet, der Fillory retten könnte. Grossman beschreibt seine Entfaltung brillant, zeigt all ihre schmerzhaften, desillusionierenden Facetten extrem ehrlich und realistisch. Endlich ist er der Magier, der er immer sein wollte: er gebietet über die düsteren, unberechenbaren Mächte der Zauberei, indem er sich ihnen mit einer Mischung aus kindlicher, begeisterungsfähiger Neugier und erwachsenem Verantwortungsbewusstsein nähert. Ich bin unglaublich stolz auf ihn.

 

„The Magician’s Land“ vermittelt eine andere Atmosphäre als die vorangegangenen Bände der Trilogie. Diese ist zwar noch immer bedrohlich und verdreht, doch darunter liegt eine gewisse majestätische Ausgeglichenheit, die meiner Ansicht nach aus Quentin als Protagonist entspringt. Ich habe mich ihm so nahe gefühlt wie noch nie zuvor und mache mir keinerlei Sorgen um seine Zukunft. Er wird seinen Weg gehen. Ich bin sehr glücklich mit dem Finale dieser bizarren Geschichte, die über das Motiv des Zauberlehrlings weit hinauswächst und diesem eine Tiefe verleiht, die ich am Beginn von „The Magicians“ niemals erwartet hätte. Lev Grossman hat ein Epos erschaffen, das meinem Empfinden nach tatsächlich der würdige Nachfahre der „Chroniken von Narnia“ ist, wenn auch erwachsener, moderner und ernsthafter. Subtil stellt er sich der philosophischen Frage, ob Magie ein Vorrecht der Kindheit ist und ob der Verlust der Unschuld beim Erwachsenwerden den Verlust der Magie impliziert. Natürlich gibt es auf diese Frage keine einfache Antwort. Ihr werdet den verwirrenden Fall durchs Kaninchenloch gemeinsam mit Quentin selbst wagen müssen, um sie zu finden. Geht es nach mir, solltet ihr das unbedingt tun, denn gerade Bücherwürmer, die mit einer reichen Fantasie gesegnet sind, können durch die Trilogie viel über die Träume ihrer Kindheit lernen.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/lev-grossman-the-magicians-land
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review 2017-07-12 06:43
Will & Patrick Wake Up Married by Leta Blake
Will & Patrick Wake Up Married - Alice Griffiths,Leta Blake

This is my second book in a row where excessive drinking leads to the "morning after" comedy of errors. I think I need a shelf for that. 

The story is quite enjoyable, but the characters can be extremely frustrating at times, especially Will. He is whiny and he doesn't express himself very well outside his "mafia relations".

I don't understand why Present Tense is necessary in this book. I don't love it to begin with and failing to see how it supports the story or adds to it, I have no choice but to remove one star from my rating.

Final score 2.7

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review 2017-07-12 02:32
#Audiobook Review: Buns by Alice Clayton
Buns - Alice Clayton,Jason Carpenter,Louise Elizabeth Rorabacher

Clara lives for her job, going all around the world, rebranding and restoring resorts to their former glory. Her latest job is in the Catskills at the Bryant Mountain House. She excited to tackle the project, but the owner’s son, soon to be sole manager, Archie, fights Clara at every turn. Luckily she’s near her two besties, who have settled in nearby Bailey Falls.

 

Archie’s life is the Bryant Mountain House, and ever since his wife passed from cancer, he doesn’t do anything but ensure this regal resort runs smoothly. So when an outsider comes in and not only starts making all sorts of changes, but ignites feelings that he’s not experienced since his wife, he can’t help but butt heads with the gorgeous, vivacious Clara. Now he must decide if making changes is the only way to survive in modern times.

 

The third book in Ms. Clayton’s utterly delightful Hudson Valley series, Buns takes readers on a journey of friendship, romance, and love. Both Clara and Archie have strong reasons not to trust or get involved, so when they start to have the feels for one another, it’s conflicting, sweet, and sexy all at once. Despite (or maybe because of) their constant bickering, Archie and Clara are soooooo hot together. They both want the forbidden sexual fruit. Their constant tango of attraction and stepping back rivets the sexual tension to such incredible heights. Each feels something more than attraction and lust, and it scares them both.

 

Yet once they give in and start a secret affair, they still hold so much back. It truly hurt my heart to listen to Clara refuse to open up, choosing to keep her guard firmly in place, even when Archie tries his best to coax her out. Their romance is genuine and the connections strong, but it’s two-steps-forward-one-step-back until they finally realize what each wants out of life. Jobs and the hotel are important, but so is friendship and love.

 

Elizabeth Louise’s performance is solid and highly enjoyable. I’ve not listened to her work before, but she sounds very familiar. She’s easy to listen to, reminding me a lot of Amanda Ronconi, but without the southern twang. The familiar feel allows me to connect to Clara quickly. Ms. Louise has a solid range for both male and female roles. However, there are a few times when Clara is speaking to herself, and it was hard to tell if she was actually speaking out loud or if it was a private dialogue in her head. As with the previous two titles, there is a short epilogue from the male point of view, and narrated by a male. I don’t really feel there is a need to change to a new narrator for one small section, but Mr. Carpenter does an adequate job with his short role.

 

Buns is a wonderful, feel-great story with a slow burn romance and through-the-roof sexual tension that explodes. The pacing is perfect, taking the pair from annoyed partnership to friendship to lovers. I enjoyed nearly every moment of the book, and I sincerely hope Ms. Clayton continues to share stories from Bailey Falls.

 

My Rating: A

Narration: A 

Jason Carpenter epilogue: B+

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text 2017-07-10 18:02
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

How did I not know until today that a prequel to Practical Magic (one of my favorite books ever) is on the way? Have I been this out of the publishing loop? Or is the universe just angry with me?

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review 2017-07-07 14:23
Limp Ending to Hudson Valley Series
Buns - Alice Clayton

Well that was disappointing. I loved the first two book and then the third book in the Hudson Valley Series (Buns) came out and I was so excited. I would finally get to read Clara's story. Unfortunately she never feels like a very developed character and neither does Archie. I think that Clayton was taking big parts of her "Wallbanger" series and jamming them in here. All of a sudden I am supposed to believe that the widower who has never been with another woman besides his dead wife is just having sex all over his hotel and even in broom closets? This book actually made me miss "Wallbanger" and I think I will go back and re-read that series in the next couple of weeks.

 

"Buns" is Clara's story. Readers were introduced to her in Roxanne's story (Nuts) and got to see her again in Natalie's story (Cream of the Crop). I liked what I knew about her. Seemed to come from a broken home and was really into marathons and triathlons. She goes around and saves old hotels and other businesses by helping them rebrand. So the Clara I was promised and the Clara I got were two different characters.

 

When Clara is given an opportunity to go to Bailey's Falls where her two best friends have decamped to she's happy. She is asked to go and help rebrand the Bryant Mountain House hotel (say that five times fast). She has a terrible meet-cute with her love interest Archie Bryant (she thinks he's the bellhop) and within seconds they are both acting like jerks towards each other.

 

Archie is resentful that Clara is there to change things. Clara is annoyed that he talks to her like she's not good at her job. Frankly, I was on Clara's side for most of the book. Archie just acted like an ass for a good 50 percent of this book. And then suddenly starts grabbing Clara and making out with her. 

 

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There really was no chemistry between these two. And Clayton using the fact that the hotel makes these supposedly to die for hot cross buns for why the title is called "Buns".

 

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And there's a thing about Archie maybe having a good butt. I don't know. I maybe blacked out at that part because it was so clunky.

 

The majority of this book really is Clara getting over her hang-ups about being with someone that can (gasp) leave her. And her friends just being perverse assholes about the whole thing. I have never disliked two characters who I previously adored before like this. Roxanne and Natalie were just written poorly. Natalie acted like an oversexed teenage boy with no impulse control. I think I was over her when she had Oscar (her boyfriend) carry her ass up a trail because she wore boots that she knew would be difficult to walk in. I think Clayton was going for isn't this cute and I went, I would have dropped her ass and told her I was not a freaking donkey. 


Roxanne is no better and just goes around telling Clara she's in love with Archie and should just be with him.

 

I realized after I finished this book that these three who supposedly are each other's best friends' did a terrible job of actually listening to their friend. They know her history and didn't even try to talk to her about it. I was really disappointed we never just got any scenes of them hanging out without discussing the men in their lives. Crap, I go out with my girlfriends and we talk about work, movies, books, their kids (I don't have any) and what the hell the dog did last night. If all we did was sit around and discuss "boys" at this point I would be finding some new friends. 

 

Archie was a dead end for me too. I have not read one romance book I can think of that the dead spouse plot has not end up leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Archie is a widower and still is getting over the sudden death of his wife a couple of years earlier. What I did like was that no one was running around sainting Archie's wife. But I also found it weird that besides a comment here or there, they didn't discuss his wife a lot. The majority of the book was them sniping and then just having sex and Clara pulling away anytime she was with a group of people acting like a family. 

 

Other characters don't feel very developed here. I was happy to see appearances by Oscar and Leo, but they felt very muted. 

The writing felt off to me in a way that was surprising. I think the biggest issue was that the plots in Nuts and Cream of the Crop worked. The flow wasn't good at all in this one. We had a lot of description of the hotel and how Clara wanted to re-work it and arguments she had with Archie. And then a couple of sex scenes and description about all the sex they were having. I just found the whole thing blah. 

 

 

The book ends with an epilogue like the other books told from the make hero's point of view and eh. I was just glad to be done with this one. 

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