Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S OVER! Books never make me cry, they don’t have that kind of effect on me. But my eyes definitely got a little misty over this one…. 

In this book, everything finally comes together. Questions are answered and good ultimately triumphs over evil. Yet, it was not all sunshine and roses. There were some heart-wrenching parts that simply tore me to pieces. Fred…Lupin…Tonks… I can’t even. I feel like this had to happen, though. This was war and couldn’t come without its losses. 

“He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo.”

Harry’s decision at the end felt right too. After all of his character growth, he finally came to this moment and made the right choice. I’ve definitely been frustrated with him on many occasions, but I think he wouldn’t have become that wizard without those struggles. 

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

I really loved Mrs. Weasley’s moment of triumph. I was cheering her on like crazy! 

A few things that I didn’t care for in this book…. The pacing was a bit slow in some parts – something  I’ve never really noticed in this series before. It was especially so during those weeks that they weren’t sure what to do next. I understand that Rowling wanted to finish everything at the end of what would’ve been their seventh year at Hogwarts, but it was frustrating that they didn’t take action for so long. I was also surprised that Harry didn’t seem shocked after he saw Snape’s memories. That was a big deal but instead, he obsessed over his own death. Also in this book, I found multiple editing errors. 

Ah, but what to say in closing? I was rather skeptical when I started this series. Yet, I was dragged in – hook, line, and sinker. Rowling has created a wonderful masterpiece that isn’t just about a boy who could do magic. It’s about loyalty, friendship, courage, endurance. It’s about the conquering of good over evil. Yes, the world-building is fantastic, yes, the characters are wonderful, but I think that these values inspire the reader and cause them to walk away feeling stronger. I think that is the true magic of the Harry Potter series.  

“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”

P.S. That last scene “nineteen years later” is so sweet. 

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K Rowling

Goblet Of Fire GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

This was another great read from J.K Rowling. Everything became a little bit darker and more intense. Again, we had the privilege of travelling with Harry, Ron, and Hermione through another year at Hogwarts. I will confess, that I watched the movie before listening to the audiobook. I really can’t say if I regret it or not, but I think maybe if I had listened to the book first, I would have been immensely disappointed by the movie. But who knows, I might have still liked it. 

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Anyway, the extra details in the book and of course, the complexity of the characters were so fun to read about. Hermione’s tirade about elf freedom gave her character a whole new depth. I think it showed that she’s starting to grow up and look more at the world around her. This was also shown through her relationship with Krum. Which brings me to a whole other thing. The boys and girls of Harry’s year started to notice each other. His dilemma of having to ask a girl to the ball was quite amusing. Also, I’m really starting to get a sense of the chemistry between Ron and Hermione which is interesting to see. Oh, and I must say, I really liked the addition of Bill (the “cool” brother) and I’m excited to read more about him in the next book.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

The Triwizard tournament brought many more exciting thrills and dangerous experiences that had me sitting at the edge of my seat. Sometimes I got really frustrated with Harry and wanted to just grab his shoulders and shake him and tell him to hurry up and figure out the next task. Seriously, he needed to get his priorities straight. I can’t finish without mentioning the ending. It was actually quite scary! Rowling does a fabulous job of painting Voldemort as a terrible, frightening, and evil villain. When he came out of that cauldron…… I wanted to hightail it out of there. I’ve already started reading the Order of the Phoenix so far and I’m absolutely loving it. Fred and George are a hoot and Dolores Umbridge is a complete toad. 

Stay tuned for my next review and a little (or big…) writing update. 
Ta ta for now. 

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

This was another fantastic Harry Potter read! If I hadn’t watched the movie (I know, I know! Don’t throw your book at me!), I wouldn’t have guessed the outcome. Rowling was very clever with giving hints that were subtle, yet kept me on my toes. 

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Best Crookshanks Gif GIFs | Gfycat

For the new characters… Honestly, who doesn’t love Lupin and well, Black too. They’re both like the cool uncles. After all of the hype of Sirius being a hardened criminal, by the end, I loved him and was so sad that his name wasn’t cleared. I wanted Harry to finally have a father figure. And who wouldn’t want a teacher like Lupin? So far, he’s the very best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Another new character was Crookshanks. I was never quite sure what to think of him! Sometimes I was annoyed, but sometimes I suspected that he was onto something. I hope we get to see more of him in the following books. Also, Professor Trelawney was an interesting character. She was humorous in a ridiculous sort of way, but I have a niggling feeling that perhaps her predictions aren’t as far fetched as they might seem.  

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Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s friendship was, of course, classic. They had a bit of tension throughout this book which was hard to read. I kept yelling at Ron and Hermione to just make up, but with a little extra time, it was all good in the end.  

I’m really not sure what else to say. It’s all been said a hundred times over already. I’ve already started listening to book #4 and I can’t wait to see where this adventure will lead to next!    

“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”

weasley family in egypt | Weasley family, Ginny weasley, Weasley

Book Reviews

Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

8465337This book is a golden little nugget I found while digging through piles of dusty books at my local book fair.

“What caused the gods to fall upon my family like starved lions in a Roman arena?”

This was such a beautiful read! I was immediately drawn in by the vibrant world the author created. It was so colorful and full of life that I could imagine it all in detail. This was largely due to the writing style which had just the right amount of flourishes; yet, it was not weighed down by extravagant descriptions. It was precise and at the same time stunning!  

One thing I unexpectedly enjoyed, was the time span of the book. It began with Cleopatra Selene at age 7 and progressed till she was 16. This gave me a well-rounded understanding of the princess’s character as well as allowed for a great deal of character growth. Altogether, I found her very strong and determined. Even after she had been in Rome for a long while, she still did not give up on her dream of restoring Egypt’s glory. Now Selene’s brothers were adorable, especially Ptolly (although, he was a bit spoiled).

Lastly, it was a clean read. However, the worshipping of Isis and Egypt’s other gods takes a large place. Also, the characters often use the exclamatory expression, “gods.” I found that it became more prominent near the end of the book than it was at the beginning. An example… “Gods, Juba! I have been taking care of myself for a long time. I do not need your protection.”

Altogether, I definitely recommend this book. It’s gripping as well as elegantly written.

Happy summer

E.J. Hill

 

 

Book Reviews

The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn

Image result for the flame of olympus

I have always loved stories based on Roman or Greek mythology so when I saw this one at my local book fair, I couldn’t resist.

“It’s really you, isn’t it?” she whispered softly as she stroked the soft muzzle. “You’re Pegasus, aren’t you? I mean the really real Pegasus.”  

I don’t often read children’s books so it took me a bit to adjust to the style. Even though it was simpler than what I am used to, it was still eloquently written. For example, take a look at this…

“The darkness spread like a grape-juice stain on the carpet, as the city was hit with a blackout.” It’s easy, but at the same colorful. So kudos to O’Hearn for accomplishing this.

The storyline was fantastic (maybe I’m a bit biased since it’s Roman mythology). There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of action scenes and the pacing was even and easy to follow.

Moving on, I found the main character to be very sweet. Over the course of the book, she developed nicely, becoming stronger and braver. I also quite liked Joel. He had a rough life and O’Hearn allowed that to show in his personality. That’s great! well done good job GIF

It resulted in him being a well-rounded character and gave lots of room for growth. Then Pegasus… Not your typical character, but come on, he’s a winged horse. How can you not fall in love with him?

Image result for pegasus

Now the ending… I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I must say that I liked how it turned out. No spoilers, so I can’t say anything else, but I am interested in reading the next book…. 🙂Image result for Olympus at War

Altogether, I definitely recommend this book and you should give it a try if you like Roman mythology or if you just want a clean, easy, and enjoyable read.

Do you have a favorite book based on Roman of Greek mythology? Besides Percy Jackson & the Olympians… 😉  

Cheers,

  1. J. Hill