Tag Archive: magick



The Magician's Turban: A Short Chapter BookThe Magician’s Turban: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little chapter book for kids! For an adult, this was a quick read, but for children learning to read for themselves, this would be a fun book for them to read chapter by chapter. It would also make a fun little book to read aloud to your child.

I think if I would’ve read this to my children when they were young we would’ve all founded fun but a little scary. Because it’s never truly explained how the boys ended up inside the turban. I think explaining that part to my kids would’ve been difficult. I’m not sure. Maybe we would’ve taken it as ‘you don’t need to follow your curiosity all the time’. That it can be a bit dangerous to do so. But it does point out to use your brain and figure things out and by doing so the boys get free.

And why don’t girls get to go on adventures like this?

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The Road to Helltown (Preternatural Affairs #9)The Road to Helltown by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Sara Reine has done it again! Prolific equals S. M. Reine. Sorry, I’m late coming around with my review. Since Kindle did a bunch of updates I have had quite a time trying to get back to reading because they messed up the text-to-speech they messed up the backgrounds they messed up the font sizes and hardly ever can save my place in a book. And as much as they want to think of themselves as a tablet, I choose to think of Kindle as a reading apparatus. I don’t read on my tablet I use my tablet for other things.

Enough of my rant. Cèsar Hawke is not my favorite character in Ms. Raines books. I go into those books kicking and screaming. These books are more male-oriented. Cèsar reminds me of the old detective movies, film noir, I think is called. But when we get past that were back in Ms. Raines universe. Regardless of how San Francisco looks now, through her eyes, it isn’t. Same holds true when she incorporates Reno or Las Vegas. It just is more fun reading from her point of view. Cèsar is a witch who is allergic to magic. If you don’t think that puts some complications on things, you’re not paying attention. It takes a lot of magic to fight a demon. Especially a really big one. So in spite of his allergies, Cèsar does the job.

Even though I would give any of the Cèsar books 3 stars, because they’re okay, the overall stories are always superb, exciting, and hard to put down. I can blame these books for nights of lack of sleep. Not because they’re so scary, but because you want to see what happens.

Please come to the Sara Reine universe starting with the Six Moon Summer series and keep going through all the different series that Miss Reine puts out. They’re all good!

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The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

November 8, 2017 –
54.0% “Due to Kindle’s new updates I haven’t been able to read for a week trying to recapture the book I’m reading and figuring out where I left off. Then the text-to-speech stops working and the formats get changed so I can’t even read what to do about it. AMAZON!! DON’T FIX WHAT ISN’T BROKEN!!!! KINDLES ARE FOR READING BOOKS!!!!!”

The above was the first thing I wrote about the book. I tried listening to the Audible version and found the woman’s voice just didn’t work for me. Especially when the older woman voice seemed the same as a male voice. I finally just returned it to Audible thinking I would have better luck with my British text-to-speech voice. And that did help me but as I said above, Kindle itself ruined this experience altogether.

As for the story, there were parts I found interesting but mostly I found that the quote that Tyrion spoke about the gods repeating in my head while reading this book. Neither seemed to care for the women even though the goddess was supposed to be helping the women. Sorry I won’t quote Tyrion here because I don’t want to offend anyone. But those of you who are Game of Thrones fans will remember Lord Varys and Tyrion on the wall talking about the gods.

Maybe had my reading experience been more consistent with books in the past I would have a more favorable review. But I am quite disappointed in the book and with Kindle and Amazon for ruining it for me. I am not at all caring to go read the rest of the series. I’m sorry to everyone that this is how I feel about this book. I have heard so much praise for it over the last few decades that all I can do is shake my head. Please do try it. It’s just me, I’m sure.

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Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


1Q841Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fulfilling. That what I think describes finishing this book. It kept me going. I wondered what would happen next. With fantasy, anything is possible, even if it is in 1984.

And that brings me to the next thought. We didn’t have cell phones and internet access the way we do now. Often I would think, check your cell and realize that couldn’t happen then. They had pay phones and word processors. If a person had a computer it wasn’t user-friendly. So one has to keep that year and those thoughts in mind.

Next was the curiosity of the two moons that signify to our main characters they weren’t in true 1984 but an alternative reality. That was why Aomame called it 1Q84. I loved her name. She was the main character, by the way. I craved Edamame the whole time I was reading it. Yes, the ‘mame’ part means pea. I love how often the author used that theme.

I loved the characters. But I felt the description of their clothing or appearance over done. In fact, this book needed a good editor to go through and get rid of all the unneeded repetition. I often felt like throwing the book (my Kindle) across the room. I wanted to get back to the story and see what happened and telling me one more time about the two moons or the wrong clothing or any of the millions (I may exaggerate here) of other times something was repeated. I understand that the author wanted to stress certain things but it insults the reader to do that too often. But who am I to say that, an unpublished author of 12 books compared to his mass of highly acclaimed novels. Just trying to be true to what I felt as I read it.

This book took me ages to finish. It must be hefty in hardback. It was a library book so I had to spend every moment reading as I have two more books that are due next week. Still, it was worth the struggle and I miss the people already.

Stop reading this review here as this might be a spoiler. I wish I could read more of what happens next to the main characters. And I felt there were threads in the two-moon world that I wanted to see worked further. Well, maybe that didn’t reveal too much after all.

If you get the chance, please read this book. My friend, Patty B. was right. This was a very good book!

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The Rules of MagicThe Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was fun. I usually love Alice Hoffman books. And though I liked this one and was kind of sad finishing it, it was slow. It was so wordy while not getting anything done or convincing me that anything got fixed.

As the movie, Practical Magic deals with the curse of the family that should never fall in love, that is the theme here, too. And since romance novels bore me I found myself doing other things than reading, so it took longer to finish than it should.

Don’t get me wrong, it is worth picking up and reading. Would be a great vacation read. But if you are like me, the book, the characters, don’t seem to gel until near the end. I must admit to misting up near the end so I must have finally gotten into it.

I wish I knew how to improve this read. Maybe I needed the audio rather than text-to-speech? A real voice or bunch of actors playing the story for me? I do remember pulling out of the book thinking ‘show don’t tell’ but then as I looked at it I couldn’t figure out how that could be done.

Don’t take my word for it. You may love this book. Like is as far as I can reach.

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Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 2)Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Dana! My first born son and this female powerhouse character that we all met long ago in Sara Reine’s series. In this case, it is the first character I could personally relate to in size and shape. I’m much older but a part of me thinks I looked like her when I was in my forties. I think I had similar beliefs to hers. I don’t know that I hate vampires. But I never saw the craze. Now Ms. Reine has brought me along to expand my imaginary creatures profile.

And Dana isn’t a perfect person in any way. She makes mistakes. She has a mindset that needs taming. But she is lovable and loves deeply. And it is wonderful that she is getting her own series. This was the second book. I think it may read as a stand alone but I love that I have read all the history of these altered Nevada stories from the beginning. Other states are in her other books but most of Sara Reine’s books are in places I have lived or visited enough to know ‘our’ versions. It gives a depth to the books that a made up place never has.

Dana is going through divorce in this series and it is messing with her mind. As it does for most of us. The reasons seem weird to me, but most folks from the outside of the couple going through this might think that, also. But will the ending of this book change that? Gosh, Sara, if you’re going to bring us to this ending can’t you write faster and let us see what happens next?

Okay, I need to clear this up. This is not a cliffhanger. You all know how much I hate those! And I don’t know a more prolific author than S.M. Reine. I just love her books so much I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Hey–since I moved from there two years ago, how about another Reno setting? Las Vegas is too busy, too much of a tourist trap–even in the alternate universe. Is there a place for Dana, the vampire-slayer in demon possessed Reno? Or, since I can’t seem to find a way, could you take her to the beaches of California? Orange County, LA County? Mojave Desert?

Okay, I’ll read it no matter where you take us! Can’t wait!!!!

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Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 1)Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by S.M. Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!!!! OMG!!!!! Of all of S.M. Reine’s massive series(s), this is my favorite!!!! I couldn’t stop reading once I started.

I almost missed this one. I had gotten so far behind in my email that I didn’t see the one offering to read/review Drawing Dana. Luckily I was offered a reprieve and allowed to read it even though late. Because since I met Dana McIntyre I have loved her. She is the bitch with a heart of gold. She is strong with the right amount of weakness. She is the vampire slayer who has been bitten. And I love the name of the weapon of choice. Spoilers! Can’t tell you!

Some of the many series(s) are a little dark or ‘demonie’, or too far into fae. And as much as I hate vampire stories, this should have been a non-starter. But it was Dana!!! I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

What I like and have liked about Sara’s writing has been her use of places where I have lived or at least visited. This one takes place in Las Vegas. Never lived there but been there enough to recognize the place. I never saw the vampires there but it is easy to imagine them there. Ms. Reine often writes of Reno. I did live there a while. But my Reno looked nothing like the one in her books, except, they did. Her imagination put beings there that I must have overlooked.

Please, if you get the chance, read this book. It is written so that you can start here. BUT… I suggest you start at the beginning: Six Moon Summer. Watch the world around you change into Reine’s world. So many adventures await, including this one.

I can’t wait for the next book!!!!!!!

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A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over a decade ago, I met an online friend that would change or at least, modify my life. I met Judith on LiveJournal, you remember that old site, better than MySpace but not quite as social as FaceBook. Judith was chatting in her journal about Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo scene (Which resulted in my first novel being written between the Ides of March and the Ides of April. I didn’t finish the novel then as we had to move to a new city and I just couldn’t stay with it. But I added more than enough wordage to that novel in November 2002 to “win”. (First of 10 or 11 novels since.)

The other thing Judith introduced me to was BookCrossing.com. The concept that grabbed me with BC was how my read book could be recycled to others and then the new reader and the old could discuss this story. The book could travel even when I couldn’t, so it felt like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea. It is fun to see where your book could end up and the friendships that develop over said book. I still belong but since my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am happy for the invention of Kindle and other e-readers. So I release far fewer books nowadays.

Besides Judith, what do the above paragraphs have in common, and what do they have to do with ‘A Tale for the Time Being’? The art of writing and the art of reading. Both concepts play strong in this story. Rather than a message in a bottle, this message floats ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox in layers of freezer bags. The writer was in Tokyo, the reader/finder in Canada. Years separate the two. Yet a bond is formed. Oh, yeah, Judith read and reviewed this and hooked me in. I think she didn’t like the Zen parts of the book. I found that part delightful. I have to admit that most of the book is believable whereas the Zen bits are a little more ‘magical’. But the title twinkles with that magic. If you read it right.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I actually read it one and a third times. I borrowed the Kindle version from the library. Between reading it on my Kindle app on my Tablet and listening on my old Kindle text-to-speech, I managed to get to about 36% in. Then I found that my library also had the OverDrive version. So I restarted reading the book with the author’s voice. That pumped up my ratings for this wonderful tale. Each layer of depth into the story has its own built-in amazements. Level one, tree book, and the Kindle version, there are many footnotes and definitions to help with a deeper understanding of that time in history or that country, language. But the narration includes minor helps. Hearing a voice say the Japanese names or words adds to the believability of the whole story. Ms. Ruth Ozeki has an impeccable voice and narration, her variations of voices for each character supreme! I enjoyed rereading the first third with her help. I felt I gained deeper understanding just by hearing her. Please, if you get the chance to pair both versions, go for it!

By the way, I want to thank Jonelle Patrick and her Mysteries and website: http://jonellepatrick.me/ for introducing me to many contemporary Japanese subjects presented in A Tale for the Time Being. At least I was forewarned.

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The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can see my friends faces as they shake their heads and murmur, “It’s about time!” So. Yeah. This is my first Neil Gaiman. Note the five stars. I know! He’s written Doctor Who episodes that I loved. How could I not love his other writing? I do have another book and narration sitting around waiting for me to get around to it. But this one took priority. Library book. They always take top of the list because of their due date. So, sorry other authors, waiting for me to get to your books. When a book comes off hold and lands in my lap, I have to read it first.

Do I dare say I would have love to have a teacher read this aloud to my class as a kid. You know the chapter books that you would have to put your head on your desk as the teacher read. Yeah, it had it’s scary parts, but I think a child could handle it.

Okay. I can, also, hear mumbling about my reading goals of strictly female writers with strong female characters. Well, it’s not written in stone is it? Sometimes a person has to stray to see the color of the grass or, in this case, interesting writing of the others.

Though the main character is a young boy, the heroes of this story were women. Strong women! Witchy, magickal womyn! Without these womyn, this story would be BORING! But you never get to know them or get inside their heads. This is all from the boy’s head. In fact, you never even learn his name or where he is. And since there are references to place in gestures, food, accents, it seems unnecessary to name it. Funny how that bothered me, but I didn’t care if I had the kid’s name. Really. Did I miss something? My guess is this is somewhere in southern US. But other clues made me wonder if it were in some British colony (Australia? South Africa?). Hmmm.

But enough about needing labels. This story was the most imaginative I have read in a while. And yet, maybe because it is coming from inside the head of a kid, the most believable. Ocean in a bucket. I want that bucket! I miss the ocean so here in the Nevada desert I could have my beach!

Oh, and talk about brilliant! The transitions between the boy and his adult self, are seamless. And the character remains the same person. I am more amazed by the book the more I think about it! How is that possible?

So I plan to read more Gaiman very soon! And watch more Doctor Who. Thanks, my friends, for being patient while I catch up! 😉

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The Forever Girl (The Forever Girl #1)The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I became aware of this book one when I picked up book two for free with Kindle Unlimited. Notwithstanding the inside out reading of Marie Lu’s Legend series, I prefer to read books in their prescribed order.

As the title ‘Forever Girl’ implies, this is a young adult book. And though I loved the storyline and the characters, I just got ill with the sexual teen-angst. If you don’t want to have sex with the guy, don’t sleep with him and then dwell on all things sexual. And, okay, the main character is out of school, in her twenties, still a virgin though I can’t see how. She seems immature. Oh, but don’t get me started on the centuries old vampire with another label. Why has he no more self-control than a child especially when he says he cares for her and wants to wait until she is ready to go adult? But vampires and sexual ambiguity seem to be the theme in young adult books these days.

Had I realized that I would be reading about vampires I might not have read this. It is a worn-out cliche, to say the least. But the drawing card, for me, is the awakening of the witch. Even then the main character was so wishy-washy about moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate this story. The writing was well-done. The story carried me past any errors that might have been there. This next problem I put on me. I started getting mixed up by the extras in the story. It was near the end of the book that the name Paloma came up. I still can’t quite figure out who she was.

It was four o’clock in the morning when I finished the story and quickly opened the next book. So that interest in the story kept me from going to sleep. Read this during the day. The end is hair-raising.

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