Book Review: Snuff by Terry Pratchett

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Snuff—buy it by Terry Pratchett—his website Recommended Ages: 13+ According to Fantastic Fiction, this is the 39th novel of Discworld—taking all the novels featuring Tiffany Aching, Granny Weatherwax, Rincewind, Death, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and whatnot in one heap. It’s an amazing achievement, especially given that I was hoaxed into believing that Terry Pratchett was done writing them half a dozen books back. After all these books about a flat world balanced on the backs ... Read More »

Theater Review: ‘The Boy Who Was Woody Allen’ starring James Phelps

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Anyone looking to broaden their awareness of the work and mind of film director and actor Woody Allen has a more than modest selection of documentaries and biographies to choose from. Film makers, critics and academics are regular seeking to impress upon us their knowledge of this notoriously private man and on this point, The Boy Who Was Woody Allen, is no different. However this production offers an original and alternative story of the iconic filmmaker, ... Read More »

Book Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

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Release Date: January 3, 2012 Author: [Twitter] [Website] Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pages: 246 [Goodreads] Buy it: [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] People say “love never dies”…but love might be the death of Seraphina. Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was ... Read More »

Interview: Cinda Williams Chima

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MuggleNet thanks Cinda Chima, author of the “Heir Chronicles” and the “Seven Realms” novels, for graciously agreeing to let this star-struck reviewer interview her. For those of you tuning in late, the “Heir Chronicles” is (so far) a trilogy consisting of the books The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, and The Dragon Heir. Set in a variant of our present-day world, these books dramatize the conflict between five “guilds” of magically gifted people, known as ... Read More »

Book Review: The 7 Professors of the Far North by John Fardell

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  The 7 Professors of the Far North by John Fardell Sam is thrilled when his parents tell him that he gets to spend his Easter holiday with Professor Ampersand and his adopted niece and nephew, Zara and Ben. But he never expected the adventure that soon develops, as the professor and five of his colleagues are kidnapped by the ruthless Professor Murdo. The three children follow an amazing “underground railroad” all the way to ... Read More »

Book Review: Godsent by Richard Burton

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Godsent – buy it by Richard Burton – website Kate Skylar is an ordinary seventeen-year-old with an extraordinary destiny. A virgin, Kate suddenly finds herself pregnant with what she believes is the Son of God. But the Catholic Church is convinced Kate is carrying the Antichrist and, assisted by an artificial intelligence known as Grand Inquisitor, will stop at nothing to kill Ethan, her son.    Ethan’s only protection is Conversatio, a secret organization dedicated ... Read More »

Book Review: The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

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  The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer This Newbery Honor Book by the author of The House of the Scorpion conjures a unique world in which futuristic fantasy and ancient folklore are intertwined. Set in the year 2194 in the African nation of Zimbabwe, it relates the adventures of three sheltered, privileged children when they escape from the walled compound of their father (the country’s ruthlessly efficient security chief) to have an adventure ... Read More »

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

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Her website Recommended Age: Adult with crossover appeal, 15+ The first in a series of adult novels that are filled to the brim with details that place the magical world directly in to modern day Oxford. The story of reluctant witch and keen academic of alchemy, Diana Bishop, begins in the dusty and mysterious setting of the Bodleian library. For those missing Hogwarts these libraries feel wonderfully familiar. Likewise fans of Pullman’s Lyra will get ... Read More »

Book Review: The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman

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The Scarecrow and His Servant—buy it by Philip Pullman—his website Recommended Age: 10+ This book by the author of The Firework-Maker’s Daughter and The Ruby in the Smoke combines a fairy-tale concept with elements of the picaresque novel. That is to say, it presents a hero from humble origins, making his way through a corrupt world in a series of funny, ironic adventures. Seemingly set in Italy around the time of the Napoleonic wars, this ... Read More »

Book Review: The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones

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The Ogre Downstairs—buy it by Diana Wynne Jones—her website Recommended Age: 10+ This is a delightful tale, full of charm and laugh-out-loud humor. Plus, the theme of a “blended family” resonates with the personal experience of many of us. The Brants and the McIntyres are living under one very British roof, since Mrs. Brant (a widow) married Mr. McIntyre (a divorced, single Dad). But after only a couple months, things aren’t going too smoothly. Sally, ... Read More »