Monday, September 14, 2015


I'm going to be honest here, this was a bit of a disappointing book. I'm a huge fan of other stories by Gregory Maguire, but this was just not up to what I expect of his writing.

I think my biggest problem with it was that it seemed like there were at least three separate story lines going on simultaneously, but none of them really meshed together. It was also really jumbled. Like you got thrust into the middle of the story and just had to figure out where you were.

The main character, Winnie, is said to be a descendant of the man who had inspired Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickins' A Christmas Carol. But her character in general bothered me. She was both a little whiny and a little scatter-brained. I wanted to like her because she obviously had a story to tell, but I think because she kept getting lost in her own head, I found that I was just annoyed with her.

Hell, none of the characters really made me feel anything but some annoyance or even disdain. Only one made me laugh - a supporting character by the name of Ritzy Ostertag, a medium who Winnie goes to regarding a ghost in her step-cousin's flat. He was the only character that I wanted to know more about.

Even finding out the back story on Winnie (which takes most of the book to really come out), I didn't feel anything for her but a mild annoyance that she couldn't get herself out of her own mind long enough to focus on what was happening.

Like I said, it was just a disappointment after the enjoyment I've found in Maguire's other books.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I feel like each book of this series is my favorite book in the series. This is no exception.

While these books were marketed as children's, they got progressively darker as the series evolved. This book has some heavy points where you just sit back and go "whoa".

Harry is forced to grow up by the end of the book. Everything has changed since Order of the Phoenix when Sirius died and now he has to face a prophecy that was made years ago about him defeating Voldemort (or possibly Voldemort defeating him).

Dumbledore starts giving him extra "lessons" that could help him in his eventual pursuit of killing the greatest evil the wizarding world has. At the same time, he's exponentially improved in Potions thanks to a book by someone called the "Half-Blood Prince" who wrote all manner of tricks and tips in the margins that make potion brewing a lot easier. There are even some new spells that Harry gets to try that this Half-Blood Prince invented.

There are all sorts of struggles for the characters of this book. You even start to feel something other than hatred for Malfoy. Never would have expected that.

It's got another really hard ending like Order of the Phoenix did, but it's all for a reason. At least, that's what I tell myself. Off to read Deathly Hallows now.