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Posts tagged ‘fantasy’

Book Review: Smoke


Book Worm and I both read this highly hyped novel by Dan Vyleta. It is described as by Amazon as a “blend of historical fiction and fantasy” for readers of The Harry Potter Series and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Book Worm and I seem less than enchanted with the book. Here are our reviews… Read more

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor


Last November I attended the Book Riot Live convention (read my review here) and while I was there I signed up for the book match by Brooklyn library librarians. I listed my favorite authors as David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, Chimamanda Adichie, and Margaret Atwood. and I listed my favorite genres: literary fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and international literature. Finally I mentioned that I particularly like books that focus on cultures and traditions that are different from my own. One of books they recommended was Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. I don’t typically go for children’s books so when I was looking for a book published in 2010 (for a reading group I belong to called Play book tag) and I came across this one by the same author, I thought I would give it a shot. Read more

The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

magician's trilogyI finally did it! I finished Lev Grossman’s Magician’s Trilogy. Unfortunately, I feel sort of ambivalent about the series. I disliked the first book, loved the second book, and felt lukewarm about the final book. I should preface this review by making clear that I read the first book and listened to the final two books as audibles. I truly hated the audio and this may have colored my view of the entire series.

The Magicians Trilogy is one of those series that people seem to either love or hate. The critics generally love these books but if you look at goodreads or amazons, the ratings seem split. The trilogy is comprised of The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician’s Land (2014). The books follow the story of Quentin Coldwater, a young man who is accepted into an exclusive school for magicians. Over the course of the books, Quentin discovers that a magical land from a fictional series is real. He and his friends become rulers of this land, go on quests, and face the potential destruction of the land. With nods to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia, Grossman reworks the stories of these books into a fantasy series for adults that blends gritty reality and fantasy. Here are my reviews for each of the books in the series:
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Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman


Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Published: 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Jen
Find it/Buy it here:Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

Trigger Warning is a Gaiman’s most recent collection of short stories that cuts across genres and includes horror and ghost stories, science fiction, fairy tales, and poetry. The collection includes a never before published American Gods story, a Doctor Who tribute, a Sherlock Holmes story, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The book also contains an interesting introduction by the author where he discusses the meaning of the title and background on each story.
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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore By Robin Sloan

mrpenumbraMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Published: Oct 2012
Reviewed by: Jen
After losing his job in web design, Clay Jannon accepts a position as a clerk for the overnight shift at a 24-hour bookstore. He soon discovers that not all is what it seems in the bookstore. Discovering one clue after another, Jannon gets pulled into an adventure with secret societies, hipsters, and the search for a mystery hidden within books. The adventure is one that highlights the conflict between new technologies (ebooks, etc) and the old (print books).

I sometimes feel like I’m the odd person out when I read certain books. This book gets amazing reviews almost across the board. The New York Times writes that it is “eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.” NPR writes, “One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you’re likely to have this year.” That was not my experience. Okay, so I read much of this book while struggling with the flu and wasn’t really in the mindset for having fun. However, I had read almost 120 pages before I started to feel terrible and I was bored out of my mind for most of those pages. So what were my issues?

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