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text 2016-08-26 11:53
Cover Reveal: In the Beginning
 
Today Month9Books is revealing the cover and some excerpts for their Charity Anthology IN THE BEGINNING! Which releases October 25, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
 
On to the reveal!

 

 
Title: IN THE BEGINNING: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Editors: Laureen P. Cantwell and Georgia McBride
Author: Stephen Clements, Nicole Crucial, Mike Hays, Sharon Hughson, Marti Johnson, Elle O'Neill, Lora Palmer, & Christina Raus
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N |Goodreads
 
In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.
 
IN THE BEGINNING, edited by Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride
 
Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals their fate.
 
Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.
 
Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken. 
 
The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.
 
The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.
 
Condemned by Elle O'Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.
 
First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel.
 
Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.
 
Anthology Excerpts:
 
From THE DEMON WAS ME, by Sharon Hughson:
 
The ghastly black fog overtook me. Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.
            
“Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you resist something as ethereal as air?
            
Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister. It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A foreign power clutched at my mind.
            
I screamed. I rolled to my side and squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.
            
Another dark wave of laughter echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me.
Against my will, my limbs flailed in every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.
 
 
From BABYLON, by Nicole Crucial:
 
Only those will enter Heaven whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
 
These were the first words I heard, in the beginning of time.
 
But Sefer, the protest comes, Revelation wasn’t written until the first century.
 
My answer is that time is a funny little plaything to God, or so I imagine. That first sentence was the wind that breathed life into my chest, the binding of my pages, the ink in my soul. It knitted together my stardust-atoms from across centuries and millennia and planes of existence.
 
And when the first dregs of consciousness swirled at the pit-bottom of my spine, I yawned and opened my eyes to paradise.
 
 
From CONDEMNED, by Elle O’Neill:
 
To his surprise, as he heard the metal door grind to a stop, there was a popping sound, like the flash-lamp did when they experimented in Classic Photography at Routlege. Except no camera appeared—not that he could see anyway—but rather a digital time clock, bold red numbers, already beginning their descent, in striking relief against the black paint covering the walls.
 
29:48:12.
 
29:48:11.
 
Of course they would include the fractions of a second, he thought. He was now fighting a tiger against a racing clock. For all that they were merely numbers, he saw their dwindling trickle as if he were watching grains of sand pour through the hourglass of his fingers, helpless.
 
29:47:03.
 
The tiger looked at him. It didn't glance his way. It directed its massive head at him, its eyes trained on Barabbas ... and they didn't turn away.
 
Another man, in another arena, stood calmly while the tiger advanced. His breathing was even, he did not watch the clock, and he looked with love upon the prowling beast. When it snarled, he slowly exhaled; when its whiskers glanced his weaponless fingers, he blinked gently as the hot breath of the tiger dampened his skin.
 
 
From LAST WILL & TESTAMENT, by Mike Hays:
 
I’ve found money, I’ve found food, and I’ve found myself in plenty of trouble on plenty of occasions, but I’ve never found another human being just lying around. That’s what happened when I found a person-shaped ball of olive drab and camouflage clothing—which would have been more at home in the reject pile down at the army surplus store—under our decrepit, worn sign for the, “Extraordinary League of Witch Assass_ _ _.”
 
It’s true. I found a boy about my age sleeping at the end of the Extraordinary League of Witch Assassins driveway.
 
 
From UNWANTED, by Lora Palmer:
 
“Let me see you,” he whispers. “Let me truly see you.”
 
I swallow down the fear this moment brings, the anxiety that once he does see me, he will no longer accept me. No, I must stop thinking this way. My husband is not like Jacob, dazzled by the superficial beauty of my sister. My husband, my love, will see me.
 
Taking courage from this, I let out a shaky laugh as he helps me stand. I long to see him, too.
 
“All right,” I say.
 
He lifts my veil, his deft fingers moving slow, relishing the anticipation of this moment. At last, he lifts the linen over my face and lets it slip to the floor behind me. We stare at each other, stock still, in stunned silence.
 
It was Jacob.
 
From EMMACULATE, by Christina Raus:
 
The Ten Commandments are pretty straightforward. Killing? Bad. Lying? Nope. Adultery? Don’t even think about it. But is real life really that straightforward? If you tell your boyfriend that you’re going golfing, when really you’re going out to cheat on him, is the lying or the adultery worse? What if you stab the guy you’re having an affair with? Isn’t being a murderer worse than being a cheater? I think the stabbing is worse than the lying and the cheating combined. So, it was kind of unfair for God to group killing, lying, and cheating all together under one umbrella. They all seemed really different.
 
I was an adulterer. I couldn’t deny that. I was also a liar. A very, very good liar. But I wasn’t a murderer.
 
 
From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:
 
The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth chattering.
 
It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water.
 
A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is.
 
“Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping against its hull.
 
 
From DANIEL AND THE DRAGON, by Stephen Clements:
 
Your god is a liar!” roared the wizened man in thin black robes, as he pounded his breast with his fist.
 
Habakkuk stood by the gates of the temple as his master picked a fight with a sanctuary full of the slavish followers of Bel, a bloodthirsty demon god. A fire raged in the fanged maw of a giant, stone head sunken into the back of the temple, there to receive the offerings rendered unto Bel. He had seen this before in other temple raids with his master, though not on such a massive scale, and not at the heart of the demon cult in Babylon itself.
 
The fire raged as the greatest offering that the Babylonians—who adored Bel above all other gods—could sacrifice to their deity was their own newborn children, rolled their screaming, helpless bodies down a stone, handshaped altar into the fire. They offered the fruit of their wombs to their dark god, who devoured the innocent souls sacrificed to him in eldritch rituals.

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive an eGalley of IN THE BEGINNING, International.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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review 2016-07-14 21:00
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 4: The Keeper of the Keys

           Previous posts

Chapter 1: The boy who lived

Chapter 2: The vanishing glass

Chapter 3: The letters from no one

Hello everyone! Back to the magical land of Harry Potter. When we left off, there was an knock (more like a bang!) on the door.

Chapter 4


The Keeper of the Keys

 

Do you mean ter tell me,” he growled at the Dursleys, “that this boy — this boy! — knows nothin’ abou’— about ANYTHING?”
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren’t bad.
“I know some things,” he said. “I can, you know, do math and stuff.”
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, “About our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer parents’ world.”
“What world?

 

Thoughts

 

The door smashes. "A giant of a man was standing in the doorway".

Artwork by Keith Johnson

Image from the illustrated edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
© Jim Kay

That's Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.

Yeh’ll know all about Hogwarts, o’ course.

"Er- no" Harry replies, mirroring our response.

Then Hagrid delivers hp icon pic #2:

And finally Harry gets to read his letter:

And the another revelation comes up:

The Dursleys knew all along about Harry. They lied about his parents' death, something that upsets Hagrid greatly. Harry ended up with his aunt and uncle because a dark wizard targeted his family but couldn't kill him. This is why he is so famous. "The Boy who Lived".

All that Vernon has to say is that he is not "paying for some crackpot old fool to teach [Hary] magic tricks"

This is the last drop: Hagrid is furious. In retaliation he gives Dudley a pig's tail, when his attempt to turn him into a pig fails, as he "was so much like a pig already, that there was not much left to do".

 

Additional Comments

 

⚡️ When Hagrid explains how it was when Voldermort was at the height of his power, the Dursleys are present. It only shows how awful Petunia really is when she doesn't express a single emotion during all this. She was so jealous of her sister. What a b****. Hagrid teared up. We got nothing from her though. She didn't even defend her sister when Vernon insults them, commenting that they "asked for all they got, mixed up with these wizarding types.."

⚡️ Harry's questions are spot on: What happened to Lord Voldermort? What indeed. This key question will be answered on the last book of the series. Why was Hagrid expelled? He isn't rude. He wasn't simply allowed to ask questions before. Throughout the series, especially in the first books, Harry asks a lot of questions.

⚡️ Hagrid's backstory

Hagrid was born on 6 December, 1928 to Mr Hagrid, a wizard, and Fridwulfa, a giantess, and grew up in the West Country of England, near the Forest of Dean, where he acquired his distinctive accent.[scr][src] When Hagrid was about three, his mother returned to her Giant colony, leaving his father to raise him alone. Hagrid said he had very few memories of his mother from his childhood, but remembered his father fondly; as a half-giant, he overtook his father in size by the age of six, and amused the "tiny" wizard by picking him up and setting him on top of a dresser when Hagrid was annoyed with him. Later, when talking to Harry, Ron, and Hermione about the death of his mother, Hagrid admitted that she was not a great mother at all.[src]

 

I love Hagrid. But what I like more is his relationship with Harry. From the first moment we are introduced to this character we like him: he talks back to the awful Dursleys and he is the bearer of amazing news. True, he has some peculiar monster affections, but he has a heart made of gold.

I would have been devastated if he didn't make it in the end.

(spoiler show)

 

Fun facts

 

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ You are a Muggle!

Muggle is derived from the word "mug," which refers to a gullible person. J. K. Rowling has commented that she added a syllable to soften the word, which she wanted to suggest "both foolishness and lovability."[15] In the Brazilian translation of the series the term "muggle" was adapted to "trouxa", which literally means "fool", albeit not necessarily lovable at all. Wizards define themselves in contrast to muggle, since the words "wizard" and "wisdom" have a common etymological origin [2]

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Gallopin whaaat?

Hagrid uses the phrase: "Gallopin' Gorgons!" when he is reminded to send a letter to Dumbledore. As the series progresses, characters use the phrase "Merlin's Beard" or "Galloping Gargoyles".

The Gorgon is a creature from Greek mythology, it's a monstrous feminine creature whose appearance would turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone...The Gorgons are monstrous creatures covered with impenetrable scales, with hair of living snakes, hands made of brass, sharp fangs and a beard. They live in the ultimate west, near the ocean, and guard the entrance to the underworld.(src) The phrase was invented by Rowling to sound appropriately magical.

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ This is pronounced how?

Hagrid can't spell You-Know-Who's name. Rowling pronounces Voldemort with a silent 't' at the end--VOL-duh-more.[src] This may be to the fact that the French word mort, meaning death, has a silent T.

Just about everyone else, including the cast of the films, says VOL-duh-mort. Jim Dale pronounced it Rowling's way until the recording of the fifth book, when he inexplicably changed to the incorrect pronunciation.

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Family Trivia

The Prewetts are Molly Weasley's brothers, Fabian and Gideon.

 

Things you might not notice on your first read

 

⚯͛ 

"Yeh look a lot like yet dad, but yeh've got yet mom's eyes."

This is one of the many mentions of Harry's eyes and how much they resemble his mother's.

⚯͛

Hagrid sends word to Dumbledore using an owl. Harry was dumbstruck.

⚯͛ 

This is the first time Harry hears of Dumbledore.

⚯͛ 

When Hagrid explains to Harry, why he lost his parents, he doesn't say why. He doesn't know. This brings us to the conclusion that Dumbledore didn't bother sharing Trelawny's prediction with him. (click the spoiler tag to see what secret Hagrid could have shared with Harry had he known)

(spoiler show)

⚯͛ 

Families like the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts are mentioned. We later find out that they were members of the Order of the Phoenix. These families have surviving relatives that are introduced when Harry attends Hogwarts.

⚯͛ 

Hagrid was expelled. Why? We learn on the next book.

⚯͛ 

Hagrid's pink umbrella probably contains the pieces of his broken wand. We suspect Dumbledore is behind this, especially knowing the incredible powers of the Elder wand.

 

☆*:・゚ Closing Lines

It's not everyday yer young man turns eleven, now, is it?

Oh and what a birthday present that was...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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review 2016-07-10 22:34
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 3: The Letters From No One

 

The hp chapter by chapter reviews are back after a roughly three month hiatus..lol! Fear not. I will post these twice every week: on sundays (starting today) and thursdays (because it's my fav day of the week).

In case you missed them:

Chapter 1: The boy who lived

Chapter 2: The vanishing glass

 

Chapter 3

The letters from no one

 

Three things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge, who was vacationing on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a bill, and – a letter for Harry.

 

Thoughts

 

Summer is here and Harry is trying to stay out of his nasty cousin's way. Thankfully, they are going to separate schools the following year: Dudley into a private one and Harry (no surprise there) to the local public school. Then one day, a letter comes addressed to Harry:

Who could write to him?

Unfortunately, Harry doesn't get to open it - his uncle snatches it.

The next day, the same letter comes again. Harry is so eager to open the letter, whoever is writing them must have something important to tell him to send him so many letters.

Finally his uncle snaps and moves the family far away where the mailman (and any wizard for that matter) cannot find them.

Unfortunately, the Dursleys are in for a treat...

 

Additional Comments

 

⚡️ Anyone who has seen the film remembers this:

Iconic hp pic #1 (We'll get to the other ones in due time!)

 

⚡️ I hate how much Harry is mistreated at his relatives' hands. Fortunately, things are about to change..!! Change no.1: Harry gets his own room! True it's Dudley's room but still it's better than that cupboard...

 

Things you might not notice on your first read

 

⚯͛ 

Harry stays over at Mrs. Figg's place, when his aunt takes Dudley to buy him a new school uniform. We don't know it at the time, but we are introduced to the first squib of the series. She knows more about Harry than he knows about himself. We'll find out who Arabella Figg really is on book 5.

⚯͛ 

It's really interesting that someone knows that Harry isn't getting his letters. This is one of the moment where magic in the series is pretty ambiguous: how does it actually work? How Dumbledore knows that Harry hasn't opened any of his letters? Are some people more magical than others?

⚯͛ 

We learn later on the series that wizards from muggle households, have someone visit them and explain to the parents their children's peculiarity. In Harry's case, everything was explained supposedly on the letter that came with the baby that dreadful night when Harry was dropped to his relatives' doorstep. Petunia must have known that Harry was a wizard, the letters from Hogwarts must hardly be a surprise for her...

 

*:・゚✧Closing Lines

BOOM.[..] Someone was outside, knocking to come in.

 

Guess who???

I love it that Hagrid is introduced with a bang!!

Oh and also: Where is my letter?

Rowling's response:

We all did dear Joan. We truly all did...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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review 2016-04-17 14:00
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone - Chapter 2: The Vanishing Glass

 

I am very behind on these posts..I think I'll just write a few and schedule them to appear once every week.

Here is chapter 1 in case you missed it!

Chapter 2

The Vanishing Glass

 

Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time had passed. [..]The room held no sign at all that another boy lived in the house, too. Yet Harry Potter was still there..

Image from the illustrated edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
© Jim Kay

 

Thoughts

 

The second chapter of the book fast forwards us ten years. Harry is living a miserable life at the Dursleys'. There he is treated horribly, forced to live at the cupboard under the stairs and to wear Dudley's old clothes. While his aunt and uncle shower his cousin with gifts and affection, they put Harry on the corner and blame him for his peculiarity. Because sometimes weird things happen when Harry is around. Like that time when his hair grew overnight or when he was magically transported on the roof of his school.. Harry has no idea how this happened and how on earth could it be his fault.  Never ask questions. That's the most frequent answer he gets when he wonders about these incidents, his parents or anything about his past. All they ever told him was that his parents died in a car crash and that's how he ended up with them.

So, the events on this chapter concern Dudley's 11th birthday. Harry is reluctantly brought along on the Dursleys' day out: they all go to the zoo together. They visit the reptile room, where they see a Boa Constrictor. Harry takes a pity on the snake, as he too feels trapped in his own life. Then, 

The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's…

 The glass disappears and the snake gets away causing a commotion. Harry gets a detention when his uncle hears of his little talk witht the snake...

 

Additional Information

 

⚡️ Petunia's past (from J.K Rowling)

"Harry's aunt and uncle met at work. Petunia Evans, forever embittered by the fact that her parents seemed to value her witch sister more than they valued her, left Cokeworth forever to pursue a typing course in London. This led to an office job, where she met the extremely unmagical, opinionated and materialistic Vernon Dursley. Large and neckless, this junior executive seemed a model of manliness to young Petunia. He not only returned her romantic interest, but was deliciously normal. He had a perfectly correct car, and wanted to do completely ordinary things, and by the time he had taken her on a series of dull dates, during which he talked mainly about himself and his predictable ideas on the world, Petunia was dreaming of the moment when he would place a ring on her finger.

When, in due course, Vernon Dursley proposed marriage, very correctly, on one knee in his mother's sitting room, Petunia accepted at once. The one fly in her delicious ointment was the fear of what her new fiancé would make of her sister, who was now in her final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Vernon was apt to despise even people who wore brown shoes with black suits; what he would make of a young woman who spent most of her time wearing long robes and casting spells, Petunia could hardly bear to think.

She confessed the truth during a tear-stained date, in Vernon's dark car as they sat overlooking the chip shop where Vernon had just bought them a post-cinema snack. Vernon, as Petunia had expected, was deeply shocked; however, he told Petunia solemnly that he would never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister, and Petunia threw herself upon him in such violent gratitude that he dropped his battered sausage.

The first meeting between Lily, her boyfriend James Potter, and the engaged couple, went badly, and the relationship nose-dived from there. James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom. Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold. Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.

This never happened. Petunia did not want Lily as a bridesmaid, because she was tired of being overshadowed; Lily was hurt. Vernon refused to speak to James at the reception, but described him, within James' earshot, as 'some kind of amateur magician'. Once married, Petunia grew ever more like Vernon. She loved their neat square house at number four, Privet Drive. She was secure, now, from objects that behaved strangely, from teapots that suddenly piped tunes as she passed, or long conversations about things she did not understand, with names like 'Quidditch' and 'Transfiguration'. She and Vernon chose not to attend Lily and James' wedding. The very last piece of correspondence she received from Lily and James was the announcement of Harry's birth, and after one contemptuous look, Petunia threw it in the bin."

 

Fun facts

 

(⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚ Vernon and Petunia - the naming game

"Vernon and Petunia were so-called from their creation, and never went through a number of trial names, as so many other characters did. ‘Vernon’ is simply a name I never much cared for. ‘Petunia’ is the name that I always gave unpleasant female characters in games of make believe I played with my sister, Di, when we were very young. Where I got it, I was never sure, until recently a friend of mine played me a series of public information films that were shown on television when we were young (he collects such things and puts them on his laptop to enjoy at leisure). One of them was an animation in which a married couple sat on a cliff enjoying a picnic and watching a man drowning in the sea below (the thrust of the film was, don’t wave back - call the lifeguard). The husband called his wife Petunia, and I suddenly wondered whether that wasn’t where I had got this most unlikely name, because I have never met anybody called Petunia, or, to my knowledge, read about them. The subconscious is a very odd thing. The cartoon Petunia was a fat, cheery character, so all I seem to have taken is her name.

The surname ‘Dursley’ was taken from the eponymous town in Gloucestershire, which is not very far from where I was born. I have never visited Dursley, and I expect that it is full of charming people. It was the sound of the word that appealed, rather than any association with the place." (J.K. Rowling)

Things you might not notice on your first read

 

⚯͛ 

Harry's aunt, Marge, who "hates the boy", is first mentioned in this chapter. We get to meet his charming aunt on book 3, however, when she comes for a visit at the Dusleys'.

⚯͛ 

Harry talked to the snake. Why this happens and how important it is will also be revealed later on.

⚯͛ 

Harry's kindness towards the snake should also be noted. Despite the suffering at the hands of his relatives, he is kind and generous. Everything Dumbledore hoped he would grow up to be ...

 

☆*:・゚ Closing Lines

When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Dursleys were his only family..

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

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text 2016-03-10 11:30
Harry Potter - Chapter By chapter: Philospher's Stone - Chapter 1
Harry Potter Boxed Set (Harry Potter, #1-5) - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 - Pottermore from J.K. Rowling,J.K. Rowling,Jim Dale

As the page turns invited me to join in this in depth reread. I'm very excited because I've been wanting to do this for awhile. It's taken me a while to get this together but hopefully these will come out more regularly.

 

Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived

 

I can remember picking up this book (though it was of course an US version) in the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year of High School. My Biology teacher knew how much I liked to read and couldn't believe I'd never read the Harry Potter series. She arrived at my doorstep four days after school let out with her box set of the first four books and said I was not to give them back to her until school started, when I had her for another class. Could anyone have said no to that? So I figured, I'd read them quick and at least answer truthfully I'd read them. See, I didn't buy into the hype.

 

In four days I'd read all of them. By the end of the week, I'd read them again. By the end of the summer, I'd read them four times apiece and could barely return them to her.

 

All of this was to explain to you what won me over: this chapter. I've long considered this to be one of the best introductory chapters I've ever read. Within only a few pages, we are moved from the mundane world we know (though it takes place in England, Rowlings keeps things very generic) to the threshold of a new and strange one. Do we get an info dump? No. Everything moves smoothly and we don't really understand much but we know enough. So that when chapter two opens with Harry completely in the dark, the reader is in the position to know that more is going on. For the rest of the series we learn about the world with Harry but for this moment, we know just a bit more.

 

 

Stuff I noticed and figured out:

 

 

  • Bonfire Night = Guy Fawlks night. Didn't know that before
  • Stopping here, I felt just a twinge of sympathy for the Dursleys. Now that's completely eroded by what they will do in the future. But with what we know now, you can't help but think about the ordered life and the curve ball sitting on their very step.
  • Does nobody question Dumbledore leaving a child (one that presumably can move around and get into mischief) on a doorstep? I mean really. Discounting that fact that he's a Headmaster and McGonagall's a teacher (which makes this worse IMO), this is a stupid idea and I don't care how old or powerful he is. Say something!
  • Of course, the motorbike is Sirius Black's, who we know is very connected with Harry.
  • Dumbledore doesn't fear Voldemort; Voldemort fears Dumbledore. = D doesn't fear death; V fears death. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but I just noticed this parallel this time around.

 

 

Spoilers for whole series

 

 

This is my first reread since the final book came out. And Dumbledore's insistence on saying You-Know-Who's name really bothered me. We had the idea hammered into our heads that fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself. And I completely agree. Especially when facing evil, you don't sugarcoat it and give it a pretty name. Call it what it is. Face it and conquer it. Letting that rule you is basically handing your freedom of speech over without even a whimper.

 

But with the last book, we learn that Voldemort knows when he's name is spoken and sends his Death Eaters to kill anyone who does so. First, I have to give him the applause due him, this is a great scare tactic.  But not everyone is as powerful as Dumbledore. While I still stand by what I said above and truly believe people in the Wizarding World should have said his name, you have to be smart about it. Aurors could have used this as a trap. That would have curtailed it quick. But for the average person...that's a choice they have to make. And when you're family is the one who will pay, I can't say what's the right answer. So many people have and are making this choice and it galls me a bit that he would ignore the issues the average wizard has to deal with.

(spoiler show)

 

 

On the reading front, I read my UK version (yes, I do own the first five in the UK version rather than the Scholastic - I don't like changing such hard to understand Britishisms as Moterbike and Sherbert Lemon) and then listened to the wonderful Jim Dale audiobook. Not only did it help me pick out the differences but how I read things versus how he did helped me rethink things.

 

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Sorry if this is a bit rushed. I've had most of this disappear twice - when Booklikes went down and then when my computer decided to shut off for no reason - so I'm going to post it before anything else happens.

 

As the page turns post on Chapter One: here.

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