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THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman

Title: The Magician's Trilogy Boxed Set, Author: Lev Grossman

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.

“Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.”

So we begin a murky, dark fantasy. Quentin is good at school, but not great at making friends. Like many of us, he’s obsessed with a children’s fantasy series, and dreams of another life, another world, where he can be magical.

He’s interviewing for a prestigious college when he finds an entrance to another place – Brakebills. It’s a secret university for magicians, hid behind a cloak of invisibility. When he passes the test, he is whirled away to a school where he is a prodigy, where he finally has friends who are equals, and where he belongs.

But a dark force waits just beneath the surface. A force of magic that threatens the school and the magical world itself.

I won’t say more than that, because I don’t want to give away what happens. Does he flunk out? Succeed? Hook up with his old flame from his old life, Julia? The new hot girl at school, Alice?

This book was off the charts. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Grossman is a master storyteller. Quentin is sympathetic, yet flawed. I loved him and was annoyed by his mistakes. I envisioned myself as a Brakebills student. I cried for Quentin’s losses.

I’m going to invoke the holy name of HARRY POTTER. Yes, this is compared to Harry Potter, but other than a young man going to a magic school, there’s not many other similarities. This is a great book that stands on its own.

A very dark, thrilling tale of getting exactly what you asked for. The truth can be a cruel mistress.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Are you still reading this review?

GO BUY IT. NOW.

(Also this is now a series on Syfy, but I’ve only seen an episode or two. It didn’t seem to follow the book plot-wise. But still worth watching on its own!)

Book Review: THE CASE OF THE MISSING DONUT

Title: The Case of the Missing Donut, Author: Alison McGhee

The Case of the Missing Donut is written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Isabel Roxas.

This delightful children’s book is so much fun to read to your kiddo. My daughter absolutely loved this book from the library. So, for her birthday, we bought her her own copy. The illustrations are delightful, and the story is written http://www.cheapambienpriceonline.com like a real western. The Sheriff, a little boy, is on a mission to bring home a dozen donuts. His trusty deputy (this schnauzer) is there to help him along the way. But what happens when one donut goes missing?

A real treat for little ones, 3-5 years old. Highly recommended!

Book Review: SoulPrint

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SOULPRINT is a fantastic modern thriller by Megan Miranda. Miranda has previously published three novels, including FRACTURE, HYSTERIA and VENGEANCE.

Alina Chase has been kept a prisoner on an island since she was a small child, and she’s told that this is for her own protection. After all, in a previous life her soul belonged to June Calahan, the infamous teen who ruined hundreds of lives through blackmail and subterfuge. Calahan was a mastermind behind the hack into the soul database, a place where record is kept of souls as they hop one generation to the next. That means that all of a soul’s misdeeds don’t die with them—they live on forever. Calahan allegedly blackmailed people with the terrible truth of their past lives.

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Book Review: DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS

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Amanda Verner has seen the Devil, and she knows he lives inside her. At least, she’s thought so since that horrible last winter when her Mama was sick and they all survived for months in a snowy prison on the mountain. When her Mama delivers a deaf and blind baby, their family is pushed to the brink – as is Amanda’s troubled mind. She’s been secretly meeting with a sweet boy who distracts her from the sadness of home, and accidentally becomes pregnant. When she tells him, it turns out he isn’t so sweet.

So when her family decides to move off the mountain and into the prairie, she hopes it’s a chance for a fresh start. But she’s heard the ghost stories of blood and mutilation down there, and she’s nervous she might revisit her time with the devil. As her family begins to settle in to a new life, Amanda is tortured by some unseen being creeping around her and the new cabin. Is it the Devil again, come to take her soul? Demons of the old ghost stories? Or her own horrible decisions come back to haunt her?

Review: This book is absolutely terrifying! If you love scary ghost stories, this is for you. I have NEVER been scared while reading a book…until now. Author Cat Winters likens the book to Stephen King writing Little House on the Prairie, and she’s absolutely right. Lukavics is an enormously talented writer who is a master of pace and tension. We are so drawn in to poor Amanda Verner’s world, and so sympathetic to her plight. i wanted to run out to the prairie and warn her family, “hey! Get the heck out of that cabin! IT’S HAUNTED! HAUNTED, I TELL YOU!”

This book has some pretty adult themes, so it’s a better fit for older or more mature teens and adults. Pitch-perfect scariness aside, this book is expertly written. Not a line is wasted, and you’ll be so drawn in to this horrible wagon-wreck you won’t be able to look away until the bloody conclusion. No happy endings here. At least, not for most of them :-)

Absolutely, highly recommended for those with strong constitutions!

Go forth and read, and be terrified. You’re welcome.

RIP Alan Rickman

Rest in peace, Alan.

Rest in peace, Alan.

Today we learn of a loss that really resonates with me: Alan Rickman has died of cancer. I feel like I should write about it, because no less than five people have already contacted me to see how I feel. Apparently, I’m known for being a bit of a Rickman fan.

Okay. I’m a huge Rickman fan. My old coworkers and I even had Alan Rickman fridays where we talked like Alan Rickman all day (even in meetings). We shared Alan Rickman pictures on Twitter. We quoted him all the time, and can’t call eachother without asking about the turtle joke from the party. Okay, the last one wasn’t really Alan Rickman, but it was a darn good impression (thanks Family Guy).

No one on Earth could have brought Severus Snape to life like Rickman. His performance through eight movies was absolutely brilliant.

SnapeIt’s a happy coincidence that Rickman is my favorite actor, playing one of my favorite characters from literature. Or is it? I’m not sure with this whole chicken-and-the-egg thing. Did my Rickman fascination start with Snape? Not sure.

Either way, the world has suffered a huge loss. I think it’s a shame we can’t barter with God to get Alan back. I’d happily trade a few celebrities for just one Rickman. Possibly up to five Kardashians.

Are there five Kardashians? I don’t even know. I’ll throw in Kanye for good measure.

I don’t know about you, but I plan on having a Rickman marathon. Let’s start with Sense and Sensibility (swoon) and end with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. We’ll rejoice when he gets the girl (Sensibility), laugh when he says “Forbes” (Die Hard) and weep when he loses Lily (HP).

Rest in Peace, Mr. Rickman. You’ll be missed.

 

 

Book Review: Vanishing Girls

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Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium trilogy, Before I Fall and Liesl & Po, has created a tense psychological thriller in Vanishing Girls. Part mystery, part coming of age, this standalone novel is an exciting ride that not only keeps the tension high, but explores the deepest connections of sisterhood and heartbreak.

Dara and Nick are sisters and extremely close in age. Dara is the beautiful, daring and fun sister, while Nick is the ho-hum ordinary sister who gets good grades. Nick relishes the friendship between she and her glamorous younger sister Dara, until things get too close. Her best friend, Parker, has fallen in love with Dara, splitting their trio of friendship into a fractured mess…

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Book Review: SEEKER

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Quin has trained for her entire life to be a Seeker—bringers of truth and justice to the world. She’s trained beside Shinobu and John, her closest friends, and looks forward to the day when they will make the world a better place together. And John has her heart, between stolen kisses in the woods and long training sessions sweating side-by-side, she and John share a connection that she could never have dreamed of.

That is, until the night she takes her oath…Continue Reading.

Book Review – Finding Audrey

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Audrey is doing okay now. Sure, she has to wear dark glasses at all times to avoid any sort of eye contact, she runs and hides when someone new comes in the room, and she has to see a therapist. But, other than that, she’s doing better. “Making progress,” as her therapist would say.

When Linus, her brother’s friend, comes around, Audrey finds herself entranced…Continue Reading.

New manuscript alert – SALEM!

Carrots!

Okay, maybe not as exciting as carrots, but…

The first two chapters of my latest manuscript is up! Check it out at the top of the page, or click here.  Set in 1692 just before the infamous Salem Witch Trials, this manuscript has witches, dark faeries, twisted romance and lots of creepiness. So, essentially something for everyone. :)

Check it out! Let me know what you think in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading!

denise