“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2” by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling

I wasn’t excited for this story when it was announced, but, out of curiosity, I bought a copy of the special rehearsal edition when it was published. I delayed in doing so because I wasn’t sure if I wanted a Harry Potter story that to me was not part of the “canon.” But because of the negative reviews it has received, I decided to give it a try.

I unintentionally waited a year before reading it and am glad I did. By then, I was desensitized from the mixture of reviews it had received as well as the hype. And because of that, I liked the story and appreciated what it sought to accomplish.

Goodreads summary:

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (Goodreads)

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“Kings of the Wyld” by Nicholas Eames

Quick summary:

Kings of the Wyld is a fantasy novel about a band of warriors who were once the best in the land but have grown old and gone their separate ways.

Our protagonist, Clay, who’s known for his shield Blackheart, settled down to a comfortable life and has started a family. Frontman Gabriel, a.k.a. Golden Gabe, also married and had a kid but didn’t settle into the peace and monotonous comfort of family life. Moog, the band’s magician, started a lucrative business selling his invention – Magic Moog’s Magnificent Phallic Phylactery; while quick, knife-wielding Matrick grew fat and became a cuckold king. The only member of the band who remained unchanged over the years is badass Ganelon, who was turned to stone.

When the story begins, Gabe has travelled long and hard to ask Clay to help him get the band back together so they can save his daughter, Rose, who’s much like her father at his prime as Golden Gabe and has ran off to the city Castia to save it from a horde of monsters. Clay is reluctant to leave the comfort of his family, but decides to go because he too is a father and would be willing to do anything to save his daughter if she were in a similar situation.

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“Equal Rites” by Terry Pratchett

I finally learn why one of my favorite bloggers is an Orangutan Librarian.

“Now you listen to me, Gordo Smith,” she said. “Female wizards aren’t right either! It’s the wrong kind of magic for women, is wizard magic, it’s all books and stars and jommetry. She’d never grasp it. Whoever heard of a female wizard?”

Quick summary:

A wizard who knows his death is imminent visits a village called Bad Ass (lol!) to pass on his powers and wizard’s staff to the seventh son of a seventh son, who is about to be born. The wizard does so soon after the baby’s birth and, soon after doing so, learns that the baby is not a boy, but a girl, thus making her Discworld’s first female wizard.

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Two Illustrated Books: “The Journey” and “Where Are You Going, Manyoni”

A fairly recent visit to the library led me to pick up two illustrated children’s books, one that focuses on the refugee crisis and another that shows us the geography of the Limpopo River Valley in Zimbabwe.


The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Quick summary and My thoughts:

I’ve wanted to read this book since I first heard of it. Sanna’s The Journey was published last year and is about a family seeking refuge in a new land because their country is ravaged by war, which has taken the father, leaving the mother to care for the two children and seek safety for them.

When I first heard of this book, I was reminded of The Arrival, a silent graphic novel by Shaun Tan about a man seeking a safe place for his family to live. Both The Journey and The Arrival are powerful, timely books that relay their stories in little or no words.

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“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick

I watched and enjoyed the 2011 movie adaptation by Martin Scorsese and have just gotten around to reading the actual book. I’ve heard many high praises for Selznick’s illustrations and stories, but have never read anything by him until this book. I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed what I read, but I appreciated that the illustrations are as integral to the story as the words.

Quick summary:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an illustrated middle-grade historical-fiction novel about a 12-year-old orphan boy named Hugo who maintains the clocks at a busy Paris train station. Hugo’s father, a clock maker, died in a fire, leaving Hugo with a notebook and a broken automaton to remember him by.

Hugo was sent to stay with his uncle, a drunk who managed the clocks at the train station. However, Hugo’s uncle disappeared some time ago leaving Hugo in charge of the station’s clocks and fending for himself. Since Hugo is unable to cash his uncle’s checks, he has resorted to theft to get food and as well as supplies for the automaton, which he hopes will give him a message from his father once fixed.

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“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini

Goodreads summary:

Darkness falls…Despair abounds…Evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider.

It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall — one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was so bored by this novel that it took me 5 months to complete it.

Eldest is the second novel in Christopher Paolini’s epic fantasy series, the Inheritance Cycle, about a farm boy named Eragon who learns that he’s a dragon rider. In this installment, we mostly watch Roran on his journey to Surda and observe Eragon as he learns to be a dragon rider, i.e., learn the ways of the elves.

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“The Way of Shadows” by Brent Weeks

Ah. Here’s another novel that’s difficult to review. I don’t even know how to start. Whenever I mention it to others, I babble and gush and hardly make sense because all I’m thinking is “DURZO BLINT! DURZO BLINT! DURZO BLINT!!!” 😆

(If you were wondering who my favorite character in this book is, well, you know now.) Durzo Blint! 😀 (I don’t think he would approve of all these emoticons.)

You’re probably wondering why I decided to read this novel; or not.

Well, the Tome Topple Readathon was held last month and I decided to participate though I doubted I’d do well. My plan was to read Nicholas Eames’s Kings of the Wyld, but since that novel isn’t exactly a 500+ page tome (It’s over 400 pages and reaches 500 because of the extra stuff in the back), I decided to read something on my e-reader — this, The Way of Shadows.

The novel was a total surprise. I didn’t expect to like it. It’s dark and its grittiness smacks you in the face as soon as you start reading. I could handle it, but I wasn’t in the mood for that sort of novel. Luckily the pace picks up after a few pages in, and I became so hooked that I sped through the book.

My thought upon completing the novel: “Fuuucckkk!! I need to read that shit again!”

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