Tag Archives: Magic

ARC : Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess

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I received a copy of Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess from GoodReads First Reads giveaway for review. This in no way influenced my review and/or rating.

Let me start off by saying I’m not Wiccan, I am a firm Christian believer.  So be forewarned that I skipped over the spells/meditations/rituals, so no part of my review will deal with these.

Brigid has fascinated me for most my life.  I’m completely serious here.  My Junior year of high school was when I ‘discovered’ her, and it was at that same time a friend had asked a couple of us to design characters for a book she was writing.  Mine were triplets.  Any guess why?  In designing these characters around the three aspects of St. Brigid, I ran into her history as a Celtic Goddess.  So much of what is here (myth-wise) I have already come across in one form or another.  But there had never been anything I found on Maman Brigitte.  So I was very interested to learn about her Voudon lore.

Sadly, Maman Brigitte gets such a brief mention in this book that I had to go back to the index to verify she had been mentioned (I do have to confess I didn’t remember her name, so when I looked the sections back up, i took down the name).  Now, right off the bat Ms. Weber does mention that there are arguments over whether or not Brigid & Maman Brigitte are the same, so I understand why there wouldn’t be as much as the saint vs. goddess information.  But I had hoped for more than a couple paragraphs and a brief one sentence mention later.

Ms. Weber was in her element in regards to the saint/goddess conversions/comparisons and her telling of the druid/Celtic history was more interesting to me.  She didn’t sugar coat the rituals and practices that are horrifying to think of in this day and age, yet back then was something that they felt HAD to be done their people to survive.  And I feel she wasn’t vilifying the early Christians when she discusses how they change the Goddess Brigid in St Brigid to spread our religion.  And I respect her for how she handled this.

Unfortunately, after my praise, I do feel the need to now say what I didn’t like.  The writing didn’t keep me hooked.  It has taken me almost a year to read this book, and I finally had to leave it at work and force myself NOT to bring other books in order to do so.  Once I started reading, it was way to easy for me to set the book down without coming back to it for long periods of time.

And once again I have to mention Maman Brigitte.  Having alluding to her on the back of the book and in the book description, she should have had a larger part in the book.  I feel like this was close to false advertising, except she was mentioned briefly.

Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess is a good book if you are just getting into who/what this intriguing woman is, and you want to learn more about her as a Celtic deity.  I do not think this book is for someone who has researched Brigid previously, and is looking for new information.  Actually, let me say I think this book should really only be for those people who really don’t know Brigid’s lore, and who are looking for information into the her Goddess aspect.  Otherwise it is nothing all that new or noteworthy.

Initial reaction was 2 stars, changed to 3 once I sat down and actually thought my review out.

Average 2.5 stars

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ARC: Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly

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I received a copy of Hopcross Jilly from Netgalley for review. This in no way influenced my review.

I love Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes Thompson books. They are almost always an insta-buy/read for me. I’m actually rereading them at the moment. So when I saw a copy was available for review, I jumped on it. When I finished it, I was a tad disappointed. I guess I had higher expectations for anything with Patricia Briggs on it.

Hopcross Jilly starts out with Mercy and the pack finding a burial site full of children, around an old house suspected of belonging to a fae. Wanna guess which one? Told between flash backs and current events, the at times confusing tale of how the Fae works, her prey, and her reappearance comes together.

But, for me, the main star was Jesse. I have always liked her as a side/sub/background character, and while I didn’t care all that much for this story, I like how it showed her different aspects. Her ‘public’ face where she has to be tough and act like the bullying from school doesn’t bother her. And her ‘private’ face, the one she shows to Mercy and around the wolves.

Even with Jesse taking a HUGE part of this story, it didn’t suck me in until the final confrontation. And I think that’s sad. Being a graphic novel, there’s not alot of time to hook and draw me in. The visuals should draw me in with the story & dialog. They failed. Some scenes where drawn beautifully, and others seemed haphazardly thrown together. And I’m not sure how ‘Jilly’ was defeated. I have a pretty good idea, but not confirmation.

I have recommended this to a friend (turns out she was reading it serialized), but I won’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t familiar with the worlds of Mercedes Thompson and Alpha and Omega. 3 Stars.

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SERIES: Castle Glower by Jessica Day George

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I am in love with these books!  They follow Celie, the youngest princess in the magical Castle Glower.  From protecting the castle from evil doers trying to take over the throne to trying to make her way back home from another world; Celie shows that age and gender does not prevent you from becoming a hero.  I’m planning on getting these for my nieces for their birthdays.

Tuesdays in the Castle is a good introduction to Princess Celie and her beloved Castle Glower.  Every Tuesday the castle will switch things up by adding and removing rooms, making life difficult for most of the residents.  But not Celie.  She looks forward to each Tuesday so she can learn more about the castle and work on her atlas of it.  Which all comes in handy when she needs to use all her knowledge and wit to protect and save her family when outsides try taking control of the throne.

Wednesdays in the Tower provide Celie with an egg, her Royal Wizard brother with a bunch of old and unknown weapons, and the castle is starting to act weird.  Celie must protect the egg and what hatches while trying to figure out what is happening to the castle before it’s too late.

Thursday with the Crown immediately starts out where Wednesdays in the Tower left off.  I don’t want to give anything/too much away; just that the origins of the castle come to life, and the mystery of why it appeared in Celie’s homeland.  This book wasn’t as strong as the other two, but it is still a good addition to the overall story.

While these books seemed to be more aimed towards a middle school reading age, I think anyone looking for a light/fluff read will enjoy this series.  4.5 Stars overall.

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ARC: Wayward vol. 1: String Theory by Jim Zub

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I received a copy of Wayward from the publisher through Net Galley.  This had no bearing or influence on my review.

I LOVED Wayward vol. 1.  I am anxiously waiting for volume to be announced, so then I can get antsy waiting for it to be released.  I might just break my own rule and buy the individual issues.  It was that good!

The story starts with Rori, a half Japanese/Irish, arriving in Tokyo to start living with her mom.  This is also the first time we see her ‘strings’; glowing ribbons that lead her to here she needs to go/be.  Soon she runs into the crazy girl, the bad boy (who eats spirits), and another young boy with odd abilities.  There are some monsters and a mysterious figure that seems to have a connection to them.

As much as I find the story and the drop dead gorgeous artwork enthralling, I can’t describe the story.  I just can’t.  There is so much going on all at once; I’m not 100% what is taking place.  Except for the end, but that’s a spoiler.  *shh*  Hopefully the next collection will shed some light on some of the actions happening.

4.5 Stars

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Jackaby By William Ritter

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Jackaby is a supernatural twist on Sherlock Holmes for YA readers. The whirlwind action surrounding the killings takes on an almost realistic tone when told for the view of Abigail Rook. Newly to the US, she becomes Jackaby’s assistant (not really by his choice) and we get the unique perception of someone who is being influenced by the supernatural world, yet is blind to it. Jackaby CAN see and interact with it, causing much confusion to the people around him. This is great for the story and character development.

Abigail Rook is a ‘normal’ girl with no gifts other than being normal. Something Jackaby seems intrigued by. She is the character with the most development; going from a skeptic to a believer and willing to place her life in Jackaby’s hands. Even saying this, she’s not a gullible/complete believer. Proof is still needed in someway or another.

R. F. Jackaby is the main detective. He is a seer, someone who can see the supernatural world. While compared even by Abigail to Sherlock Holmes, he is not as great of a mind, nor does he notice as much mundane things. But he is good at what he does, even if at times he forgets to take into consideration others around him.

The supporting characters come in all shapes, sizes, and species. They help to create the scenery and push Abigail into becoming the strong character she is at the end. While the book is titled Jackaby, it is more about Abigail and how her association with Jackaby changes from the student who ran to the states to avoid facing her parents to the woman she is at the end.

I think the culprit was fair obvious, but that in no way took away from my enjoyment of this book. I HIGHLY recommend this book to mystery lovers who don’t mind a the dash of fairy for added spice. 5 Stars.

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ARC: Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

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I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. This in no way affected/influenced my rating and review.

To start with, I need to confess that when I agreed to review this book, I was thinking it was a different author. When I got my copy and realized I was wrong, I was unaware of what I was getting into. Am I ever glad I made that mistake! If you haven’t read anything by Alice Hoffman, you need to. Now. Preferably with this book. It was that good!

Nightbird is told from Twig’s point of view. She lives in the small town of Sidwell, where her family is famous for their apples (and pink apple pies) and an old legend about the Sidwell Witch cursing her family. What the town doesn’t know is that the legend is true. New neighbors move in (descendants of the witch), things go missing by way of the Sidwell Monster, and Twig is hard pressed to discover who the monster is and how to break the curse before the town starts a hunt for the monster and discovers the secret her family has hidden for all these years.

Teresa, aka Twig, is a young girl who lives a lonely life. All she knows is that if you let someone close, they discover your secrets-secrets that could devastate her family. Having no friends, she spends a lot of her time walking in the woods, and wandering her families apple orchards. That all changes when she falls out of a tree and meets the Hall family. This starts her on her journey to find out why her family was cursed and how to break it…

I cannot say enough how thoroughly I enjoyed this book. It’s not quite the fluff read I expected, but it was even better. I want to rate this a 7 or 8, but I can only give it 5 stars. I recommend this to EVERYONE!!!

I’m not 100% happy with my review, I just can’t figure out what to write that would make me happy.  So even if my review doesn’t spark you, I still recommend you give Nightbird a try.

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