Review of Spirit Witch by Helen Harper

Spirit Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 3
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 268

Date Started: November 19, 2017
Date Finished: November 20, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
If anyone appreciates what it means to be dead to the world, it’s Ivy Wilde.

Barely recovered from her brush with necromancy, Ivy is flung once more into a world of intrigue, adventure and potential death and disaster. It’s not her fault – it just so turns out that she’s now the only person in the entire world who can communicate with the dead. And they’re a chatty bunch with a list of demands.

When the ghosts offer information about a witch-hating mass murderer in return for Ivy’s help, she has no choice but to get involved. She might be getting herself into more trouble than she realises though – and that’s even before she’s dragged to Sunday dinner so she can meet Winter’s family…

Review:
Winter seems to go through a bit of an existential crisis, and it’s interesting to see him so capable but unsure of the direction of his future. It becomes obvious that spending so much time together is rubbing off on the two main protagonists. While Rafe and Ivy work on figuring out a mystery, while trying not to let their relationship get in the way, one finds another relationship far more pressing and urgent–theirs with Brutus. Brutus is, by far, my favourite character in the series. His random quips of intense insight make up for how lazy he is most of the time, not to mention the hilarity of claiming an inability to do more–much like our slouch witch used to do.
“You like Eve.”
“Love Ivy.”

In the end, I felt that everything and everyone was mostly where they should be. I wish it had been a bit more longer, and not thrown into the epilogue. Most of what I’d hoped would happen throughout the entire series had come to pass, though I would have liked to see more happen to Tarquin. I am quite sad to see the series finished, but have since started another book by Harper, and look forward to reading more written by her in the future.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

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Review of Star Witch by Helen Harper

Star Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 2
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 334

Date Started: November 18, 2017
Date Finished: November 19, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Ivy Wilde, the laziest witch in the West, is still entangled with the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. That’s not a bad thing, however, because it gives her plenty of excuses to spend more time with sapphire eyed Raphael Winter, her supposed nemesis. And when he comes knocking because he needs her to spy on the latest series of Enchantment, she jumps at the chance. Hanging around a film set can’t be hard … or dangerous … right?

Review:
The relationships in this novel were spot on! Not just Ivy and Rafe, but the interactions between all the characters were realistic and believable. Seeing Ivy thrown into an uncomfortable situation and need to adapt while Rafe stays nearby, their reactions to each other gave as much entertainment as the reality show bits they were supposed to be enthralled with.

I didn’t see this coming, her going on the television show that had been hinted about in the first book, but once more was learned about the television show, how it was essentially survivor meets people needing to use magic, it sounds like something I would also want to watch. Because of this reality television section, the mysteries were multiplied, and I am not ashamed to admit that I hadn’t figured out who it was before the reveal.

Like any book series, I do have a favourite character. While I empathize with Ivy, wanting to get results without work (who wouldn’t want to do that?!) I LOVE Brutus.

I loved this second book, and I couldn’t wait to read the next in the series! It’s a great series, and one I highly recommend!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

Review of My Fairly Dangerous Godmother by Janette Rallison

My Fairly Dangerous Godmother
By Janette Rallison

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 396

Date Started: March 1, 2017
Date Finished: March 4, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)my-fairly-dangerous-godmother
Some people bomb auditions. Sadie Ramirez throws up during her tryouts on TV show America’s Top Talent. Her performance is so bad, it earns her a fairy godmother through the Magical Alliance’s Pitiful Damsel Outreach Program. Enter Chrysanthemum Everstar: a gum-chewing, cell phone-carrying, high heel wearing fairy godmother in training. She misinterprets Sadie’s wishes and sends her back in time to be a part of The Little Mermaid story and then makes her one of the twelve dancing princesses. Wishes are permanent, and if Sadie wants to get back to her home, she’ll have to strike a magical bargain–one that involves stealing a goblet from a powerful fairy queen. With a little help from a handsome and talented thief, she might be able to pull it off.

Review:
I had this novel sitting around for a while before I finally decided to read it. It was phenomenal! The music take was pretty neat to start, but I thought it would falter when instead of going into a unique fairy tale story, traditional fairy tales were invoked, but the realistic response that Sadie has to everything going on , and her honest revelations about stars, fame, and Jason Prescott, make this book an amazing novel that will resonate with readers forever. Although the opening is rather hard to get into at first, once you’re past Chrysanthemum Everstar’s report, the book becomes pure gold. While many hopefully won’t experience any of the truly turbulent events the heroes face, many can empathize with the struggles of the characters, their desires and motivations. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales,  and anyone who loves music/wants to become a musician.

janette-rallisonAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.

Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.

Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

Review of The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

The Seventh Bride
By T. Kingfisher

Star Rating: 

Genre: YA Fantasy

Number of Pages: 237

Date Started: March 13, 2016
Date Finished: March 15, 2016 (early in the morning)

Synopsis:(From Amazon)seventh
Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords—no matter how sinister they may seem—Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.

Review:
This story is an unbelievably cute fairy tale in its own right.  Not only does the protagonist have spunk and pizzazz but she also isn’t fooled into thinking she’s in a magical perfect situation after being randomly proposed to by a lord.  Although she cannot refuse, she shows the fear that most fairy tale females lack, and because of that, she uses caution which is generally overlooked by not only the Brothers’ Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson characters, but also by Disney princesses.

From the beginning I saw glimpses of fairy tales.  There was mention of fantasy creatures doing mischievous things, and with a miller’s daughter, it would be hard not to expect Rumpelstiltskin to jump out.  Though there were several fairy tale and fantasy story connections from Rumpelstiltskin to Alice and Wonderland mixed with The Wizard of Oz, this book is a completely novel piece– innovative, imaginative, down to earth and impossible to resist the charm of.  Five stars.

Author Bio: (From Amazon)
T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon, an author from North Carolina. In another life, she writes children’s books and weird comics. She has been nominated for the World Fantasy and the Eisner, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, Nebula, Alfie, WSFA, Coyotl and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups. Her work includes multiple fairy-tale retellings and odd little stories about elves and goblins.When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies.

www.tkingfisher.com

Review of A Little Princess; being the whole story of Sara Crewe by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young People, Young Adult
Number of Pages: 2649781435142091_p0_v4_s260x420

Season Read: Fall

Synopsis:(From Amazon)
At Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, young Sara Crewe enjoys the friendship of her classmates and the staff–much to stern Miss Minchin’s disdain. When Sara is unexpectedly impoverished, she is forced to become a servant under Miss Minchin’s control. To escape her dreary life, Sara imagines herself a princess, and her experiences soon teach her that being a princess on the inside counts more than any outward expression of royalty.

Review:
I love this novel so much.  What’s wrong with being a princess?  Being a princess is hard work.  You have to remain poise and collected no matter what adversity strikes you.  You have to do what is good for all above what is good for yourself.  You must also be kind.  Are those not the attributes many like to see in not just women, but all people in society?  There is a great deal of difference between “princess” and “damsel in distress.”  Sara is an amazing character who, despite everything horrible going on around her, tries to remain strong and trustworthy for those who rely on her.And I still love the 1997 movie just as much, although there are some significant changes to what happens.  Most of the changes between the book and movie adaptation could have been done to make it easier to understand the complete story for a new generation, and to tell the story without having a three hour movie.

500px-Frances_BurnettAuthor Bio: (From Wikipedia)
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was an American-English writer of plays and prose fiction. She is best known for the three children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

For more information, check out Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Wikipedia page.

 





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