Werewolves and wizards

The Dresden Files Vol 1: Fool Moon by Jim Bitcher

Harry Dresden is the only practicing wizard in Chicago and he’s running out of money. His relationship with the police has fallen apart, but he doesn’t know how much until his contact there, Murphy, brings him in for what looks like werewolf attacks he realizes that they suspect him of being part of some of the cases he’s solved. So while dodging the police he’s tracking down a killer and making new allies or enemies as he goes.

I’m not going to say I was in love with this book. It was good, I enjoyed it but there wasn’t anything about it that made it stick out or seem special to me. I’m probably going to forget about it in a year or two.

Nothing wrong with it, just about very standard. Like watching an episode of most cop shows- it’s cool to see the individual variation or your particular favourite character but you can guess with depressing accuracy exactly what will happen. There’s no twists and turns that you don’t see coming. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good ’cause it was. I’m not expressing myself well.

The illustrations are great and Dresden’s mix of powers are interesting and cool, particularly the Soulgaze. My favourite was the demon with the tiny glasses. Pretty funny. I will read the next one probably, whenever I get to it. I liked it that much.

Last movie I watched:

Last few minutes of Moulin Rouge. So sad.

Last TV episode I watched:

Say Yes to the Dress. I’m embarrassed but it turns out, cable isn’t all I remember it to be.

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Tiniest Heros

Nnewts Book One Escape from the Lizzarks by Doug TenNapel

This is a pretty fantastic novel contains pretty much every trope you’ve ever heard but it was wonderful, essentially reminding me that tropes become part of our narrative for a particular reason, because they are important to our understanding of ourself.

Herk is a little nnewt. His legs haven’t grown in yet, he still can’t walk. But his Dad, the nnewt magician, loving mother, little sister Sissy and the eggs (his future brothers and sisters) love him and encourage him anyway. Despite his small legs, he’s happy. One normal night his Dad goes out with his friends who discovered something unusual they found on their hunt. It was a trap, the Lizzarks have come for Nnewttown. Herk’s mother saves his life, and he flees alone. The last nnewt from Nnewtown, alone in the world. But there is more to this little nnewt then anyone realizes.

So we get to see the underdog, the smallest one becoming the hero, the loss of the parents in a tragic and revenge driving quest, the mythical quest to become stronger, adoption after the loss of the family and long lost siblings. They’re all in there but the story is beautiful. Herk is the underdog you want to win, who you want to cheer with when he succeeds and you worry about when he’s in danger. The supporting characters are sweet, strong and funny.

This book also handles the murder of so many characters in a serious way. After they die, Herk’s family become lights, walking towards their god. It’s probably the most beautiful scene in the book.

I strongly recommend this for young readers looking for a fast pace, interesting story with great illustrations and lots of good stuff to come.

Last movie I watched:

About Time. So lovely. So lovely.

Last TV episode I watched:

Love It or List it. DAMNIT HILARY I DON’T CARE THAT THERE’S A FIRE HAZARD YOU PROMISED ME A TUB

 

 

Just for the funny

My Weird School Daze #5: Officer Spence Makes No Sense by Dan Gutman

This is a super easy novel, maybe 80 pages long that I recommend to parents and kids because it’s short and funny and a good starter novel. And there’s like a million in the series, so it’s a pretty solid recommendation. But until now I haven’t actually read one. It’s not much a commitment really.

The premise is there seems to be a sandwich thief in Ella Mentary School and Officer Spence, the security guard is determined to stop whoever it is, even if it means arresting everyone – all the teachers, the principle, everyone. When will the madness stop?

There was a lot about this book that I expected. Short, lots of pictures, funny, easy reading level, basically a perfect starter novel for a reluctant reader. What I wasn’t expecting was some of the clever language play and literacy jokes that were worked in there as well. As you may have noticed, they attend Ella Mentary School, which is a pretty excellent pun. And there’s more. So many more. The kids aren’t really meant to be characters, just jokes and it works well because they’re hilarious. And you can see the author laughing too, through funny tricks like having a chapter so short it was only one page, that ends with laughing at the teacher who’s making you read one more chapter.

I stand by my recommendation. Great literature it is not, but as a fun easy, transition read it’s basically perfect.

Last movie I watched:
Still About Time. I’m not watching much these days.

Last TV show I watched:

Probably still Love It or List It. Which is unnecessary dramatic.

It’s getting more magical!

Cainesville Book 2: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Everyone is really lucky I couldn’t figure out  how to spell the excited noises I shouted when I finished this book. Otherwise this blog post would have just been a string of crazy excited noises spelled out.

Because I want to encourage people to read these books (because they are awesome) I’m going to try not to spoil anything. But I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do this without spoiling a little bit of Omens, the first book in the series. So, if you think there’s the slightest change you’d enjoy this series (and if you don’t think you would, I’m sorry) leave now.Just go.

Visions takes place soon after the events of Omens, when Olivia returns to parent’s home to get some of her stuff . When she returns to her car she finds a dead body sitting in it. After this terrifying incident Gabrielle and Olivia are on the case again, not only trying to clear her biological parents of the six murders they are still serving time for but also investigating the death of this young woman. And it turns out, investigating the murder of this young women will bring them closer and closer to the secret of Cainesville, reveal some new enemies and lead them to some new allies.

Where the first book was a weird but exciting blend of science fiction and magic, this book is definitely leaning more to the magical side, and I’m pretty excited about it. The story draws on a lot of mythological history but also very subtly. As more of the residents of Cainesville start to show their real identities the mix of first person and third person narration makes it practically impossible not to speculate about who’s who and shout agitatedly at Olivia and Gabrielle as they fumble around the truth. Or maybe other people don’t talk to fictional characters. It made it nearly impossible for me not to anyway.

While I don’t necessarily advocate monitoring what children and teens are reading based on content  this book has a lot more sex than the last one, so it probably belongs in the adult section of the library. But if you are okay with the sex, like a little romance, a little mystery, a little science fiction, a little fantasy or a mix of any of these, I really can’t emphasis enough how much you’ll like this book.

That’s all I can say about that without telling everyone about all the amazing things i’m going to accidentally spoil for them.

Last movie I watched: About Time. Still a favourite

Last TV episode I watched: Love it or List It maybe? DAMN IT HILARY.