Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 2017 Book Haul

I am so behind on this post. I've had these books sitting in a pile since June 3rd. I've yet to move them or even catalog them here. I'm caffeinated and cozy, so let's do this!  I made my annual trip to the Half-Priced Book Sale. This year, I went with my friend Sarah and her daughters. The trip was a lot of fun, and I realized that I read the same books as Tween.  I should probably take that as a sign I need to read more adult books, but I'm not going to. Anyways, we ended up also going to Barnes and Noble's as well, and I got stuff from their bargain table as well, because I have problems.

Book Haul:

Normally, I would post some stuff from Goodreads for my book hauls, but honestly, I'm feeling really lazy right now.  Plus this one is missing from Goodreads. It's rated 3.89 and seems to have good comments. I picked this up because it talks about a cursed amulet and treasure hunting. Sounds like it will be interesting.

I've heard a bit about this series, and it sounds interesting enough. I have a feeling it's going to be kind of cheesy, even for a kid's series. I'm still interested in it. A kidnapped fairy sounds like it could be fun. It's got average ratings on Goodreads, but a lot of readers, so we'll see how it goes! 

I used to love this movie when I was a kid, so I was ridiculously excited to find a copy of the book roaming around. Plus, it's short. Which is what I need in my life right now.  I cannot wait to read this! I really just want to sit down and read it right now, but I have a lot more books to show off, and that's not fair to Flyte by Angie Sage that I just started. 

I picked up a biography because it involves the Tudors. I didn't realize it was a biography, but I'm going to read it just the same. I love the drama surrounding this family. It has some questionable reviews, so we'll see if it keeps my interest. I'm not great with nonfiction. 

I will be completely honest I don't really know what this one is about. I fell in love with Nora's work from one book and needed to get more so I just grabbed whatever books had a pretty cover and seemed like they were either first in the series, the entire series in one book, or a stand alone. My new philosophy for book shopping is basically just grabbing books and hoping it works out. I probably can't go wrong with this with Nora Roberts.

I did that thing I do at the annual sale where I buy some random book in a series and not the first. This is apparently the sixth book in the series. I think it should be a law that the order of the series should be printed on the book with a very large number of which it is for dingbats like me. *Sigh* Good thing one of my friends just helped me sign up for and gifted me credits for my upcoming birthday. Oh, hey Add me on PBS My profile is lacking at the moment, but I just signed up last night.

I had heard a bit about this book before, and I thought it sounded interesting. Reading the little blurb makes me think it'll be a very twisted soap opera type of book. Nothing wrong with a little drama. I liked the first Pretty Little Liars Book (I need to finish up the series) but I liked Shepard's writing style, so I think that I'll like this quite a bit.

I figured since this was the full trilogy I should go ahead and get this. That way I don't have to worry about if I'm missing one of the books. I kind of like the idea of the entire series being in one book. This was another one I just kind of grabbed up because it was Nora Roberts. We'll see how much I like it. I really just kind of grabbed at things this sale. It makes it kind of like Book Roulette.

I have no clue what this about. I didn't read the back, and I'm not going to. It's J.K. Rowling's adult fiction book. Of course, I'm going to buy it and read it. Thoughts aren't necessary, yet.

A girl raised by wolves in the 1800s and there is a slew of murdered lovers? IN. I don't even know if I need to say more about this book. There are only 800 or so ratings on this book, so I'm intrigued by it. The ratings look decent. I'm kind of excited about this. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review of The King's Peace by Kevin Hammond

Goodreads Summary: The Kingdom is young, and yet it stands in great peril. Dark tales of the unnatural have reached the King's city.
The King is slain in his bed, and the storm on the horizon brings black ships closer to the coastal city of Erenon. Nathaniel, a clever thief, has stumbled upon a job that brings him to the home of the King when he is slain, and Nathaniel is unwillingly dragged into the quest to reach the southern garrison which has gone quiet in recent months. Strange powers are helping and hindering him, and the small company of soldiers dispatched to that garrison as war comes to the city.
They will find those horrors that plague the common man,
an ancient legend will unravel, and a deception so epic in scale it involves the Gods. The whole world of man and nations who live on the other side of the mountain range known as the Great Divide will come together in a war no one really understands, and as the kingdom fights
to survive, it will face an enemy they know nothing about.
Goodreads Rating:  5 stars with one rating
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure
Get the Book: Amazon


Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, Thanks to Kevin Hammond for sending me a copy of his book, The King's Peace. I really enjoyed reading it. One of the first things to catch my attention in The King's Peace was the Thieves' Guild. I thought it was a neat concept to turn it into an organization where they somewhat run together and get assignments. It made it seem more like a business than a crime. I also think that there was a great bit of detail that went into describing the city and scenery. I felt like I could really picture the city that Nathaniel lived in. 

I was actually really surprised by this book. I read a lot, and sometimes because of that, I can predict where a book is heading after a while. That was not the case with The King's Peace. I had no clue where this book was going, so it was nice to actually be surprised. There were actually some parts that creeped me out, which added to the surprise factor for me. Not to give too much of the story away, but there's a scene with fairies that's pretty haunting. I actually had to stop and turn a light on aside from my kindle because I was getting creeped out.

While I really enjoyed the book, there were a few things that could have been improved upon in my mind. The main thing for me is the more characters got added in, the harder it got for me to keep track of. I made some connection with Nathaniel and Richard because they were definitely discussed the most and there was a decent amount of backstory to them, but the rest of the characters didn't really stick in my mind. Even in the sections where there were various Gods talking to one another, I had to kind of force myself to remember who they were. It just kind of made it harder to read and harder to pick back up if I hadn't read it for a few days. Normally, I think this would be a big deterrent for me in a book, but with The King's Peace, I got the sense that the story was bigger than the characters presented. I also admit that some of my lack of a connection/ having to remember what went on is probably likely to me having a lot going on lately. I'm not going to knock it down for that. The other thing is so completely minor, but I feel like just a touch of bringing in some synonyms would have gone a long way. It made some of the wording repetitive.

The thing that I enjoyed most about this story is the wording (aside from the previously mentioned repetitive words) in it. Just based on this book and chatting with Kevin a bit, I can tell he's got a really creative way to word things and a good sense of humor. I also really liked the irony of the title. It's called The King's Peace, but it's anything but peaceful. I want to share some of my favorite lines from the book to illustrate why I appreciate the writing.

"They say all men are equal in the beginning and the wise man does not give charity to another who has not made the effort to toil in the field, or fish in the rivers."

"The man was a wrinkled old weasel who would, and possibly had, sold his own mother for some coin."

"This gift had served him well and kept his innards from being removed from his body many a time."

"The question, succinctly put, had nothing to do with quiet resolution. The King's peace more often than not, enabled justification for bloodshed, as long as it was for the stability of the Kingdom."

"Just don't tell that to the horse."

"At least they were having a good time being lost."

"We did it together because that is who we are; neither good nor evil- we just are what we are."

"Even in solitude, you are not alone. There is a dual nature in all of us, paths we shall choose and those we are set upon.. choices. Powers are stirring in the mortal realm. There is little time... you have work to do."

Overall, I really enjoyed The King's Peace. I'm really glad that Kevin asked me to take a look at it, and was patient with me while I took my sweet time reading it. The book is only 288 pages long, it just took me forever because well real life is crazy. Even though I haven't played WoW (only watched it being played a few times) and played Diablo II a little bit, the King's Peace kind of reminded me of those games. I can't really put my finger on why, maybe it's the variety of creatures in the story, but they came to mind a lot while reading this book. Hopefully that kind of gives a sense of the story.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: A Gleam of Light by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

Goodreads Summary: In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army's sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.
Goodreads Rating: 3.11 stars with 9 ratings
Genre Listing: Speculative Fiction, Aliens, Native American Culture


First of all, I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to T.J. & M.L. Wolf for sending me a copy of your book.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I like the concept of the speculative history surrounding a plane flight and an alien encounter. I feel like A Gleam of Light put way too many ideas in one book. There was just so many themes in this book ranging from aliens, Native American Culture, Military, and archeology. It just didn't feel cohesive story to me. I liked some of the aspects separately but being all mixed together made it difficult to stay interested in.
I didn't really feel any connection to any of the characters. They all felt fairly flat and one-dimensional to me. I didn't really feel like any of them had any personality, and from one character's point of view to the next, it was hard to decipher whose train of thought I was following.  There were a lot of parts in the book, especially in the beginning of the story, where it felt like the scene just stopped abruptly to add this sense of suspense. It really didn't make it any more suspenseful in my mind.

The military aspect of this story just seemed incredibly off to me. I've been around a lot of military people (tends to happen when your husband is a marine) in my life, and it just didn't feel believable to me. Especially where it talks about information being classified but then offering Una a tour and telling her information. She may have been able to get in with her government job, but it seems unlikely that her friends would have been able to be allowed in, and that's only if she had a security clearance. I don't know if the authors have previously had military experience, but based on how the scenes were written, I'm going to assume they did not. 

That being said, the aspects of the Hopi culture did feel a bit more believable to me, and I got the impression that there was a lot of research or first-hand knowledge that went into the writing of the Hopi's Culture in this story. I also liked the archaeology portion of the story. That felt realistic enough to me as well. And I enjoyed reading about their adventures in the cave.

Some of the wording in this book really irked me. I physically cringed when I read that the authors put in the quote "They laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at them because they are all the same." I've seen this statement on many things, and I can't help but including it might be grounds for plagiarism if someone really wanted to push it. Even if it's not, it's a very cliche line that has been completely overdone for years. Towards the end of the story, Una meets up with her friends, and they hug. Una starts crying because her friend starts crying and refers to it as being "A woman thing." This was another thing that made me cringe because it's a generalization that really doesn't apply to most or even all women.

Additionally, Una and Ashcroft having feelings for one another is just odd to me. It feels like it came out of nowhere and had no build up to it. There was one scene where they got close, and apparently, it was enough to make Una trust him implicitly and have feelings for it. Again, this doesn't feel realistic to me.

Personally, I did not enjoy the book. I can see how some would enjoy it, but for me, it would need a serious rewrite. I didn't feel like the weird plane flight experience correlated with the things that were going on around the reservation. I didn't really feel like there was a meaning behind bringing the characters from flight to the cave. I didn't get a sense of personality from any of the characters, and the majority of the themes just didn't come across as realistic. Even in speculation, there are ways to make it seem believable. I honestly haven't read any other books this month because I knew I needed to finish this one but just couldn't bring myself to want to pick it up beyond a sense of obligation.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

March Books of the Month and Reading Challenge Update

Normally, I try to do these in two separate posts, but I'm really behinds and didn't read much at all in March so I'm just going to combine them. The reading challenge list can be found here.

I think my favorite book I read in March was hands down Magyk by Angie Sage. It was fun, whimsical, and had a great sense of humor. I'd definitely recommend it for lovers of Harry Potter or Discworld. It's a very clever read, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. This was #13 on my reading challenge list, which is A book in a series you've been meaning to start. I had wanted to read this for years but had never gotten around to it. So glad I finally made myself sit down and read it! You can find my review of it here.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega was my Book I had intended to read in March. I was really excited to read it but was sadly disappointed in it. I think the only reason I finished it was because it's a very short read. The characters were incredibly flat, and really the only entertaining factor was some of the twisted things they were doing to "save" one of the girls. This was #19 on my reading challenge as A book you picked out because of the cover. Which is completely true. You can find my review of it here.

I also reread Marked by P.C. and Kristen Cast, but I didn't assign it to a number on my reading challenge. I felt like that was cheating since I've already read it. You can find my review for it here.

This currently puts me at 10/50 books on my good reads challenge, and I think 9/50 for my personal challenge. I need to get cracking on reading!
That leaves us with the book I plan to read in April. 

T.J. & M.L. Wolf contacted me recently and asked if I would review A Gleam of Light. I told them I would, and they sent me a lovely paperback copy to review (Thanks!!!) I'm a little apprehensive about reading it because it only has a 2.85 on Goodreads, but it's only been rated by 6 people. I'm going to go into it with an open mind, as the concept does seem interesting. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Library Book Haul 3/30/2017

I'm going to be doing a lot more book hauls I think. The best part, I'm not actually spending money on them. Yay Libraries! I went to the Library last week and picked up some goodies. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to read them before they're due. Here's what I got:

Goodreads Summary: To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…
Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they all must all work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars…
Goodreads Rating: 4 stars with over 16,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Fiction, Magic, Contemporary
Initial Thoughts: Apparently, I bought this for my Sister-in-law this for Christmas. Interestingly enough, she's the one who got me into Nora Roberts. I haven't read the entire summary. I don't plan on it. I want to be surprised. The bit about goddesses, moons, stars, etc. was enough for me to be intrigued. I promised the SIL I'd read this soon so we could talk about it, so I'll probably dive into it sometime this week.

Goodreads Summary: At the dawn of the Roman Empire, when tyranny ruled, a daughter of Egypt and a son of Rome found each other...
Selene's legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had.

Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her brother must quickly learn how to be Roman – and how to be useful to Caesar. She puts her artistry to work, in the hope of staying alive and being allowed to return to Egypt. Before long, however, she is distracted by the young and handsome heir to the empire...

When the elusive ‘Red Eagle' starts calling for the end of slavery, Selene and Alexander are in grave danger. Will this mysterious figure bring their liberation or their demise?
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 with over 20,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction, Egyptian Culture, Romance
Initial Thoughts: I actually picked this up thinking it was in a series with a couple of other books I got. But now that I look more into it, it doesn't seem like it is. Which is awesome because this was the one I wanted to read the most. I really haven't read much Historical Fiction in regards to Egyptian Culture, so I'm extremely excited about this read.

Goodreads Summary: Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.
From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.
Goodreads Rating: 4.06 with over 26,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction, Egyptian Culture
Initial Thoughts: This was one of two books I thought was in a series with Cleopatra's Daughter. It looks like none of them are in a series, which makes me extremely happy. Again, I haven't read much, if any, Egyptian Historical Fiction, so this is going to be a whole new literary world for me.I think the hardest part now is which do I read first since they are not in a series?

Goodreads Summary: In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.
The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family–with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.
Goodreads Rating: 4.21 with over 17,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction, Romance, Egyptian Culture
Initial Thoughts: My thoughts on this one pretty much are the same as the previous two books I mentioned. Sorry, I know that's not very deep at the moment. It's 4 am, and I should be sleeping.

Goodreads Summary: Lauren O'Farrell is an "art detective" who made it her mission to retrieve invaluable works stolen by the Nazis during the darkest days of World War II. Her quest leads her to the Manhattan apartment of elderly Isabella Fletcher, a woman who lives in the shadow of a terrible history-years ago her mother was rumored to have collaborated with the Nazis.
But as Isabella reveals the events of her mother's life, Lauren finds herself immersed in an amazing story of courage and secrecy as she discovers the extraordinary truth about a priceless piece of art that may have survived the war and the enduring relationship between a mother and a daughter.
Goodreads Rating: 3.92 with over 1,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction, Art, Mystery, World War II
Initial Thoughts: I think what grabbed my attention with this one was the title. It just seems interesting. The reviews I've checked so far seem kind of hit and miss, so we'll see how it ends up being.
Goodreads Summary: If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
Goodreads Rating: 3.96 with over 72,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Initial Thoughts: Of the books I picked up, this is probably the one I'm the least excited about. I was pretty "eh" about the Red Queen if I remember correctly. That being said, I'm intrigued enough to see where the series goes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review of Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Goodreads Summary: After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth, and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 stars with over 379,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Young Adult, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Fiction,
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository

Book Review:

So, this is not a new read for me. I read most of the series what feels like forever ago. I've been thinking about it a lot though and wanted to start rereading it. It's amazing how much of the first book I've forgotten, but then again I think I might have read it around the time it first came out. Despite how much I had forgotten it was just like catching up with a long-lost friend. 

Rereading this made me remember why I fell in love with the series. I love that it combines a variety of different beliefs to give Vampirism a unique twist. The intricate tattooing and the importance behind it is still fascinating to me. While I'm usually not a spiritual person, I really enjoy the spirituality that surrounds Nyx and her children. I'm assuming a lot of it is based on Paganism, but I should probably research that to be sure. Regardless, I enjoyed reading it the first time and still enjoyed it the second time around. 

I forgot how incredibly awful Aphrodite was early in the series. I think the thing that bugs me the most about Marked, and I don't know if it did previously or not, is the inconsistency in the language. There are a lot of parts that just mainly use regular swear words and then all of the sudden it will switch to things like "Poopie." It completely drives me nuts. Pick one, preferably the swearing. I don't mind swearing in books and given that the characters are 16ish actual swear words makes them seem more their age. I cringe every time Zoey reverts back to things like "poopie." It makes her seem so completely juvenile, even though she's supposed to be the most powerful fledgling and future High-Priestess. 

Aside from that annoyance, I still really enjoyed Marked the second time around. I'm going to be hopefully diving into the rest of the series soon. It'll be nice to reread everything somewhat close together. I know when I read it before there was a lot of gaps in between each book because I was generally waiting for the next one to come out. Now I have a dilemma, do I finish rereading this series or dive into my library books? Hmm.

Oh, and I'm not putting this on my reading challenge since I've already read it. That seems like it'd be cheating to me.  When I originally read it I gave it a five, and I'm content enough to keep it there.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review of Magyk by Angie Sage

Goodreads Summary: The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.
Goodreads Rating: 3.8 stars with over 88,000 ratings
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, Fiction
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
2017 Reading Challenge: #13 The first book in a series you've been meaning to start

Book Review:

I've wanted to start this series for so long, and I'm so glad I finally did. I think I was halfway done with it and had already started to recommend it to a few of my friends. I think if J.K. Rowling, Sir Terry Pratchett, and Douglass Adams all got together and wrote a book it would be Magyk by Angie Sage. It's just so quirky and adorable. It was hard not to love. 

There wasn't really anything about this story that I disliked. I will admit that the mystery around which of the potential boys were actually Septimus Heap was fairly predictable, but it didn't really detract from the story. With it being a kid's book, I didn't really expect a ton of surprises in the plot. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Heap family reminded me a bit of the Weasleys. They're kind of oddballs but in a charming sort of way. I enjoyed the legend of the seventh son of the seventh son. It seemed really fitting for a book about wizards. The characters were likable, but honestly, they weren't what made me love this story. For me, it was the details.

I'm a sucker for details, so this book basically was heaven for me. Everything was described so well, and I loved every minute of it. From the weird community that the Wizards lived in, to the details of spells and how they're bolded throughout the story and even the thought process of every character mentioned. I love that if it mentioned Maxie or Messenger Rat or Boggart,  even the Python it talked about what they were feeling or thinking at the moment. I love that Zelda has a pet duck that's actually a cat. Everything had it's own little story and personality.

I thought it was really cute at the end. It ends how it's supposed to but gives you random afterthoughts on some of the less important characters. I thought that it was very clever. I think this book could stand on its own, but I definitely want to read more in the series. It's got a really nice sense of humor to it and is all around an easy read. It was 500+ pages but didn't really feel like it because I was so entertained by it.