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review 2017-04-21 12:10
Book Review of Giselda The Witch by J S Rumble
Giselda The Witch - J. F. S. Rumble

Giselda discovers that she will not be attending the same school as her friends; instead she will be going to Wigmore’s school for witches. Due to an unfortunate mistake she arrives a bit earlier than even she expected but soon settles in and makes a new friend through the fence.

 

Things are going well until some girls find out how she arrived at school and start to tease her about it. To prove that she is just as good at magic as everybody else Giselda agrees to travel up the mountain and steal from the dragon that lives there.

 

Review 5*

 

This is a sweet children's book aimed at children aged 4-10 years old. I loved it!

 

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She is an eight year-old girl who finds out that she will not be attending the local school with her friends as she is a witch. Not realising water and witches don't mix, Giselda finds herself travelling to the school in a most unconventional way. When her classmates find out how she arrived at the school, she is teased badly. In order to prove she is good at magic, she accepts a dare.

 

As I said above, this book is a sweet children's book with an adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans. It tackles topics such as friendship, bullying/teasing and teamwork. The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. I liked meeting the other characters too. Tom is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). Beatrice and Emma are Giselda's nemeses and tease her unmercifully until danger in the form of a dragon makes them band together to solve a dangerous situation.

 

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-04-12 19:21
A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Well, A Discovery of Witches is a lengthy tome, and I still hold that if you put Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane into a blender and hit pulverize, you'd get this on the other end.

 

On the other hand, Harkness writes better than either Stephenie Meyer or Katherine Howe.

 

Will I read the next volume of this trilogy (which my library has)?  Not sure.  But this was a fun read, despite some of the ludicrous moments.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-09 23:50
Second half is better than the first one
Witches for Hire (Odd Jobs) - Sam Argent

Odd Jobs: Book One All recovering drug addict and witch Jeremy Ragsdale wants is to shamble on to the next job without any disasters. Instead, the temp agency saddles him with a fellow witch who hates him, an Amazon one violent outburst away from deportation, and a knight from another world as his boss. Even worse, their jack-of-all-trades magic business stumbles upon a conspiracy to kill Desmond the Great, Atlanta’s sexy star magician. Jeremy must prevent it without letting his colleagues know that he not only has ties to the energy vampires behind the plot, but that his past misdeeds might have instigated the attacks. Despite Jeremy sporting a suit and tie like a good witch, his lies snowball to bite him in the ass. The lack of trust brewing between him and his teammates could cost Desmond his life and Jeremy his progress on the straight and narrow path if his secrets are revealed. Because no matter how much Jeremy has reformed, there’s still enough bad witch in him to kill anyone who messes with him or the people he cares about.

Review:

Dear Sam Argent,

I am always on the lookout for the SFF books with gay romance in it and I had fond memories of your first book (as far as I am aware of – I could be wrong of course, maybe it was not your first book) “Family of Lies: Sebastian”. So I did not have to think for a long time before clicking on this one because it sounded right up my alley. The blurb promised an agency of magical misfits doing odd jobs and the main character who seemed to go through life trying to avoid more magical catastrophes that followed him from his past.

Unfortunately I ended up being not nearly as happy with this book as I expected to be. In fact for the first thirty five or so percent of the story on my kindle I contemplated abandoning the book not once but several times. Why you would ask? Because I was in turn confused and irritated while reading it and I was only getting more irritated as the plot moved along.

First and foremost I have to say that I definitely prefer when the writer is doing what the author here *tried* to do – threw me in the middle of things going on and let me figure out what is actually going on and what kind of fictional world I am in. I do not need a lot of info dumps and I do not want the writer to always lead me by hand and make sure I swallowed every tiny piece of information. I like being able to figure out things by myself. But you know what? Sometimes I need some information why the character is in turn behaving a complete idiot or being a jerk to his coworkers over and over again.

I guess I did not feel like I was picking up tantalizing clues of what is to come soon or what happened in the past, instead I felt like I was witnessing weird behavior for no reason at all. Or I should say the reason was being conceived from me but I was not curious to find out what was being conceived, instead I was steadily losing patience with Jeremy and his annoying ways.

I should probably give you an example of his behavior since it is irritated me so. How about him being a jerk to his Boss, how about him being a jerk to his coworkers even though it is pretty clear that banter notwithstanding people around him like him and want him there and do not want him dead. I just did not get it.

Then we get Jeremy repeatedly feeling guilty about his lies – without any explanation of why is he lying and what is he lying about. As I said, I just did not feel the reveal was well paced at all and the characterization suffered because of that.

Then at about thirty five or so percent of the story the first surprise is revealed. Apparently Jeremy has a secret love interest with whom according to Jeremy they are “just fucking”. Even though it is very quickly revealed that of course they are not “just fucking” – the love interest made a real sacrifice, one may even argue that he made a repeated sacrifice in order to keep Jeremy safe and I think it is very clear that he is deeply in love with Jeremy and Jeremy is in love with him.

So when I observe to what length the other guy was willing to go to insure Jeremy’s safety, I was trying to understand why Jeremy was constantly being a dick to him when they were not having sex.

I just did not buy Jeremy’s sniping at his guy – much more than I did not buy him being like that with his coworkers. The other guy just did nothing whatsoever to deserve that and I am not saying that Jeremy could not have been like that because of his own issues, but if that’s what it was the narrative did not make it clear to me. And those readers who read my reviews in the past may remember that I am a big fan of any variety of “from enemies to lovers” trope if it is executed well. I do not think them being at each other’s throats was well executed.

All secrets are revealed of course – well, all secrets about Jeremy (at least I hope so), I still have plenty of questions in my head about his Boss and coworkers and this world in general.

If you could stick around for the first fifty percent of the book, I liked the second one better, but make no mistake reading the first part was an exercise in frustration and the frustration did not completely go away in the second part.  Jeremy's reasons for lying and being aggressive were revealed, but the problem for me was that I did not completely buy into them. The author did manage to make me like Jeremy and the other guy at the end, sort of, so the grade is what you see.

 

Grade: C+/B-

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review 2017-04-08 03:17
The Witches - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

The book The Witches by Roald Dahl is about a group of witches who hide in secret and are sought to be defeated by a young boy.He devises a plan to take down the grand high witch which succeeds and the boy-turned mouse saves the day. I remember reading this story when I was in about the fourth grade and I really enjoyed it. An activity i would do with my class regarding this book would be to have my students write a "how to" text about how to recognize a witch. Once the text is written accurately, I would have them draw a picture below of a witch like the ones from the book. I would give this book a three and a half stars out of five and is listed as a 740L on the Lexile scale.

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text 2017-04-07 03:45
A Discovery of Witches - About 10 Chapters In
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

If you took a soupcon of Harry Potter (orphaned protagonist has undiscovered magical gifts), a lot of Twilight (the local vampire is in lust with her because he thinks she smells terrific, and breaks into her flat to watch her sleep), and a good bit of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (a so-called historian knows nothing about doing historical research; the magical past of her own family is an issue), you would have this novel.  I think I'm still reading it because I can't wait to see the next nonsensical development.  (Note: I love Harry Potter, Twilight amused me one night when I had a head cold and 12-year-old me was picking the books to be read, and Deliverance Dane was a massive waste of my time and the author's efforts.)

 

Also it was free.  Which is good.  Because the odds of my keeping this one are approximately 0% at this point; this baby's going back where it came from after I've wallowed in the insanity.

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