Tag Archive: magick



Improbable Magic for Cynical WitchesImprobable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know who recommended this, but it was an insightful read. Kate uses Tarot Major Arcana to tell a piece of a teen’s confusing life. I love how we learn the cards as a story unto themselves and how it applies to Elenor’s past.

Kate Sclesa is a young adult novel, and the romances cause angst. But I loved climbing into Elenor’s thoughts and seeing how she caused her worries to grow.

Stacey Glemboski (Narrator) brought this Audible version alive with her voice acting.

Quite an enjoyable and inspiring read.

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The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels, #1)The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t do this often, but I think I should include the blurb from the GoodReads page.

“A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.”

My friend, a Pirates of the Caribbean fan like me, suggested this for fun. Her book club had just enjoyed it.

But after the serious reading I had been doing of late, this was just not my cup of tea. At least at first. By the end, my sense of humor came back, and I had a hard time reading it before bed without letting Laugh out Loud moments escape me.

My copy came from the library on the Libby app. It was the audio version and the narrator, Elizabeth Knoweldon, was a hoot to listen to. I loved her accent and how she adjusted her voice according to the character.

If you are looking for a fun summer read, this might do the trick!

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The Novice (Summoner, #1)The Novice by Taran Matharu
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was not my cup of tea. One of my best friends loved it, so don’t take this review to heart.

If you loved Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, etc. This book is for you. Those and this are too male-heavy and too similar that I just got bored. I never got into the main character. I never felt anything about him was worth my time.

But, please don’t take my word for it. It was a quick read that I borrowed from the Libby library app. The text-to-speech was enabled for those who like to listen to books as they do other things like artwork with their hands. So it was painless. Still, when it got to the preview of the next book, I didn’t care if the MC was alive or dead. I was ready to move on to a series more to my liking.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another reread. I needed something while waiting for my next Outlander read. I figured with all the stress of my cataract surgery, I needed something in the fantasy realm.

I did enjoy the book, but I kept remembering the ending and hated reliving it. I don’t think I would have been a good candidate to read this as a kid.

Besides the ending, I had a hard time with this whole series is the lack of good fleshed-out female characters. Hermoine was okay, but there weren’t enough good girls or women. It was very male-heavy.

I may be reading the next one and making it to the series’ end, but it will not be soon.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m on my second reading of this book. I read the actual hardback the first time. Now the eyes wouldn’t be able to. So I chose to listen to Jim Dale read the book to me. For the most part, he is a good narrator, but ugh, for the females. He makes them sound like he’s making fun of them. And he seems to use the voice of Hagrid for another character making it a bit confusing.

Still, I am raising my rating from three stars to four as I found this more pleasant this time. I don’t know if it is my interpretation of the book versus how Jim Dale portrayed it. I just remembered this book as scary and dark. Yet this time, I found it lighter and happier. Maybe I knew where it was going, so I didn’t shake in fear?

As with the first two books, I find them male-heavy, which is disappointing because it is a female author. Seeing that she chose to be more acceptable to males by having a male pseudonym makes me admire her less. But maybe now, she might not choose that path.

Since I have the collection on Audible, I plan to continue listening. I do wish there was another actor to play the females. Still, how many can say, “Buckbeak’s back” multiple times without tripping over their tongues? Jim Dale got points for that!

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of the series. I noticed I haven’t changed my star rating. I’m still only giving it three stars. Jim Dale is part of the reason for this rating. His voice is suitable for all the males in the book but is horrid with the females. I do feel the grumpiness of Professor Minerva McGonagall and the hyper-energy of Hermoine. But for the most part, Mister Dale’s females sound demeaning and whiny.

But things I love about the book are the basilisk and the phoenix. These are two very fantastic beasts. Oh, and I love the idea of a diary that talks to you from someone else. I don’t like the Tom Riddle part or Voldemort parts, but I suppose we need the bad guy. I did like getting to know Tom’s back story.

When I read the tome about a decade ago, I thought it was a slower slog. This book was over quickly. And for these stressful days having something I know and enjoy, helps the sleep come faster at night.

I’ve already started book three. And I remember how each book gets darker. Maybe by the end, I won’t use these as bedtime books.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought and read the hardback over ten years ago. Somehow my collection went away. Did I sell it before moving? I can’t remember. But I remember enjoying the story and the movies. But one thing I hated about the whole enterprise was how male-heavy it was. With it written by a woman, you would think that she could have brought it around to a female point of view instead of making fun of the most brilliant girl in the room and making McGonagle mean.

I listened to this Audible version because I needed a light read for bedtime. I’ve been reading some pretty heavy non-fiction during the day that I knew I couldn’t read before bed.

The narrator, Jim Dale, did a reasonably decent job of most of the voices. But he was not good at the female voices. As seems to be the case, males doing female voices always sound like they are making fun of the females.

All in all, though, it did make going to sleep easier. I knew where the story was going, so it soothed me to sleep.

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Fortune FallsFortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun book! Though aimed at middle grades to young adults, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My friend and her granddaughter were co-reading this. They shared on a Zoom friends-meet how much they were enjoying it. I started looking around to see if it was on Libby. I couldn’t afford to buy it right now. Thankfully my friend gifted the Kindle version to me. Yay! And thank you!

Imagine a town where superstitions come true. Sadie lived there and was considered unlucky. What an adventure she takes us on while making us question those beliefs!

If you want to take a break from the adult reads, this will fit the bill. I am amazed at the vocabulary and writing. I believe young me or my kids would have enjoyed this even more than I did, which seems an impossible bar to reach!

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Urban Shaman  (Walker Papers, #1)Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like urban fantasy, this will do the trick. The main character, Joanne Walker, is tough with faults making her human enough to believe. She pulls from Native American shamanism and mythology to get the spirit world jobs done.

I got a little annoyed with how often she was getting injured in what seemed like hot temper issues or emotions flying. But it was in character with the auto mechanic of the police department. The female cop is not being respected enough to get a beat. Suddenly the shaman in her starts waking, and all hell breaks loose as she tried to solve a string of murders.

It was a good read, and I may read others in the series sometime.

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Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1 by Ron Guiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently went to the eye doctor. Yes, the one that didn’t give me new glasses as he is setting up cataract-removal surgery for me. I can’t wait! It will be so nice when I can read all books again. Until that operation happens, I guess children’s books or Kindle and Audible are my only way to read. As the doctor and I discussed how I couldn’t even see the big E with my left eye, I told him how important it was that I be able to read. “I’m a writer!” I said as I pointed to my 2020 NaNoWriMo winner’s T-shirt. He pulled out his bookmark to prove he not only wrote but actually had published his masterpiece. I couldn’t wait to get it and read it.

Luckily, this book is a wonderful picture book. The poodles pictured in the book are the doctor’s own. He enjoyed taking them on hikes and snapped pictures. A story evolved with the pictures, as with children’s books, the writing is large enough for most of us to read. And the illustrations are adorable. Don’t think for a minute it is just a bunch of poodle pics. The story is fun. The poodles are secret agents solving nature puzzles. I can’t wait to see what they get up to in volume 2!

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