Saturday, January 28, 2017
A Discovery of Witches was a fabulous story: a little love, a lot of history, and a whole lot of supernatural. I loved how the author, who's actually a historian herself as it turns out, is able to bring the feeling of different places to life so vividly. I could literally smell the warm cozy scents of the Bishop family home, and feel the chill in the air of the large French chateau.
The same can be said for the characters. They were all brought to life so richly, opening like flowers as they revealed their mysteries slowly and deliberately. In the beginning, I didn't much care for Diana—she was too academic and focused on her studies and seemed to have little interest in much else, using rowing, running, and yoga only as a way to work out her anxieties. It was only as she began to open up and feel comfortable with the devilishly handsome vampire Matthew that she became a bit more interesting.
The author has a unique way of looking at the world: vampires, witches, and daemons living among us, but each their own separate species distinct from humans. Yes, they are hiding in plain sight, attempting to keep their existence secret from humans by blending in with the rest of the world. I didn't quite understand how this was entirely possible in the beginning, but Ms. Harkness is so wonderful at world building that everything falls into place quite nicely, especially since these three species are able to tell one another apart based on their other senses in a way humans cannot.
As a natural born witch, we discover that Diana's been suppressing her magical abilities ever since her parents died when she was seven years old. But now these same abilities are bursting to get out of her, despite her lack of control, and all manner of creatures now have her on their radar. Danger starts to follow her around and despite Matthew's attempts to keep her safe, Diana must start to understand her magic if she's to figure out what the Congregation is after her for.
Overall, a delightfully engaging book that I'd recommend highly to lovers of books, history, and the supernatural. I anxiously look forward to reading Shadow of Night, the second book in the trilogy.
Friday, January 13, 2017
The thrilling adventures of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children comes to a close in this highly satisfying and fulfilling conclusion to the trilogy. The story picks up right where the previous one left off, so it's best to read these books together if you can.
Jacob has discovered he possesses a peculiar skill that allows him to talk to the monsters that have been raiding the peculiars' time loops. Accompanied by fire girl Emma, and a talking dog named Addison, they set out through the bowels of London to rescue their peculiar friends and ymbrynes. If they can traverse the pirate-filled cesspool of Fever Ditch and back alleys of Devil's Acre without getting themselves killed—and Jacob can master this strange new talent of his—they may just be able to pull off this whole rescue mission without getting themselves killed.
The fast paced action in these books left me not wanting to put them down. I read them in record time (for me at least). I fell in love with (nearly) all the characters, so much so that I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I hope it does these wonderful books justice and don't mess with the story line too much. I'll be looking forward to Ransom Riggs's next project.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Picking up right where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left off, Hollow City throws the reader right into the action. For that reason, you may want to read this trilogy all at once.
Jacob and the rest of the peculiar children have taken to the open sea, attempting to escape the monsters pursuing them on their little island and also to get help for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine, who is unwillingly stuck in bird form. But trouble continues to follow the children on their trek to London, and their perilous journey is rife with danger and adventure. When Jacob made the decision to stay in 1940, he didn't realize at the time how important he'd become to their survival. Will he ever get back to his parents in the present? Or will the past consume him, body and soul?
Though this installment contained all the thrilling adventure of the first, I liked it only slightly less, if only for a certain little plot twist that irked me. I can't say much without giving too much away, except this: How can such a large group, both children and adult, be overcome by one wily wight after they've managed to take down an entire army of them? There, that shouldn't have given too much away. But it felt like the whole book was a sequence of them running from the monsters, escaping or killing said monsters, rinse and repeat. Fortunately, it was kept interesting by the fact that circumstances were drastically different each time, but I think this volume might've suffered slightly from middle-book-itis. Note I still loved it enough to give it an 8, but it was almost a 7 for that reason, when I gave the first one a 9. I'm looking forward to reading Library of Souls next to see how it all wraps up.
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
A stack of peculiar photographs and a mysterious letter send Jacob and his father to a remote island in Wales after his grandfather dies under strange circumstances. Having grown up hearing all his grandfather's unbelievable stories of peculiar children—one who can levitate, another who can fly, one with bees living inside him, and yet another with inhuman strength—Jacob is determined to follow the bread crumbs his grandfather left him to discover the truth. When they arrive at Cairnholm Island, what they discover is certainly not what Jacob expected. It's even better! Or is it???
This was an amazing read I couldn't put down. The pacing was spot on and all the characters were so well developed I felt as if I was right there living it all with Jacob.
The relationship between Jacob and Emma felt much more real than any of the relationships Jacob had back in Florida, so I think he's definitely where he belongs now. :)
Now that I've finally read the book, I'm very much looking forward to the movie, waiting in my Netflix queue.