Tag Archives: witches

Book Review: Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Wildwood

When I saw this book at the public library, I thought it had a striking design. This, including loads of quirky but beautiful illustrations, is the work of Carson Ellis, who has also decorated books by Lemony Snicket and Trenton Lee Stewart. As for the author, I thought his name sounded familiar. Only later, after I had brought the book home, did I connect it with the alternative-rock band The Decembrists, of which Colin Meloy ... Read More »

Book Review: Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell

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Give a Chicago private eye a magic wand and what do you get? Well, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, mostly. But Harry Dresden is a wizard of our time—a little rusty with high-tech gadgetry, to be sure, but also a VW Beetle-driving, pop-culture-riffing, very human wizard. One reviewer frequently quoted in jacket blurbs of the Dresden novels likens him to a mash-up of Philip Marlowe and Merlin. But actually, he’s a lot more like Richard Castle ... Read More »

Exploring Animal Cruelty and Mistreatment in “Potter”

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It’s a well-known fact that throughout the "Potter" series we’re introduced to a number of different animals, both “Muggle” and magical, each of which are uniquely portrayed by Rowling in their own way. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Rowling expressed that she typically liked to derive many of these creatures from folklore and mythology, and many, even the seemingly “normal” ones, exemplify magical properties (think owls delivering mail). Further, though, I think it’s important to recognize that a lot of the different creatures in the "Potter" series haven’t necessarily been given happy endings, or stories for that matter. Read More »

The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore

Since the beginning of time (and by time, I mean Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), I’ve always thought of Dumbledore as not only wise beyond his many, many… many… years, but as someone who was in a sense “ethically and morally superior”. He was the Wizard who could do no wrong; he was a role model, in particular to Harry, and as Headmaster of Hogwarts I had assumed a certain level of credibility attached to his name, at least to some degree. But as we continued to read on through the books and as the final pieces of the story fell into their rightful place, I found myself feeling a bit unsure of exactly where Dumbledore stood in my lineup of favorites. I mean, who was Dumbledore, really? Read More »

Welcome to the Restricted Section

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Books have always been a huge focal point in the Harry Potter series, and this is something that I both love and attribute to J.K. Rowling’s love of them herself. Throughout the series, we’re introduced to a number of different types of books and constantly reminded of their importance; from the book that almost ate Neville (think Prisoner of Azkaban, Care of Magical Creatures class) to Tom Riddle’s Diary to Severus’ copy of Advanced Potion-Making (Half-blood Prince) to even the Tale of Three Brothers, we are truly shown the importance of books and the information they hold. That being said, there’s one set of books that I think has been purposefully left a mystery; and that is the Restricted Section. Read More »

What Would Harry Potter Do?

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We’ve all been there. The moment when you realize your day might not be panning out the way you had planned while brushing your teeth that morning. Wherever you are in life, no one is safe from these instances of “Oh… oh no”. And in these moments, many a time I try to think about what Harry Potter would do. Read More »

Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

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Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness Recommended Ages: 14+ What do a wearh, a manjasang, a nachzehrer, and an alukah have in common? In this sequel to A Discovery of Witches, we find out that they are all words for “vampire” used across 16th century Europe, from Oxfordshire to the Auvergne to the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Present-day American witch Diana Bishop has the opportunity to learn about them, not only as a post-doctoral scholar ... Read More »

Book Review: Underground by Kat Richardson

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Underground by Kat Richardson Recommended Ages: 14+ Here is the third Greywalker mystery featuring Harper Blaine—a former ballerina turned private detective who, since a near-death experience two books ago, can see, move, and act inside the realm between the natural and the supernatural, called the Grey. Harper has already added experience with vampires, revenants, and poltergeists to her curriculum vitae. In this third outing, she gets to add zombies and a native American monster named ... Read More »

Book Review: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles

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The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice Recommended Ages: 14+ Before Twilight was a gleam in Stephenie Meyer’s eye, author Anne Rice created a sensation with her series of novels about a race of beautiful, sensual vampires. Rooted in Egyptian mythology and very distinct from most vampire lore up to that time, Anne Rice’s vampires were created by being drained of blood to the point of death, then allowed to save themselves by drinking in turn ... Read More »

Book Review: Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

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Poltergeist by Kat Richardson Recommended Ages: 14+ In this sequel to Greywalker, Seattle-based private detective Harper Blaine takes further steps toward understanding her strange new ability to see, and move around in, the world of ghosts, vampires, and necromancers. Months after her cases start to get weird—thanks to a near-death-experience that gave her this unwanted talent—Harper gets called in to catch whoever is faking results in a college psychology experiment. The paranormal catch is that ... Read More »