Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith | It Actually IS Like Harry Potter

Author: Shaun Hume
Genre: Fantasy | Middle grade
Series: Ewan Pendle #1
Goodreads rating: 4.16
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal …

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures (Goodreads).

DISCLAIMER: I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith was honestly a joy to read. I’m always a bit skeptical when a book is compared to Harry Potter, but Ewan Pendle definitely had the Harry Potter vibes I loved yet isn’t too similar too Harry Potter.

While there are definitely similarities (Ewan and Harry both being orphans, not growing up in a loving home, finding out they’re actually part of a magical world, going to a school in that world and discovering a bigger mystery that they’re trying to solve), Ewan Pendle is definitely not a blatant Harry Potter rip-off. Ewan’s world and story are definitely original (and fun!)

Being a Lenitnes, Ewan doesn’t just need to know magic, he also needs to know how to handle a sword, martial arts, stealth, and a bunch of other really cool subjects. Though he doesn’t need to excel at everything: after their first year they’re sorted into ‘cliques’ based on what subject they’re best at. I thought this was really cool, because when you’re taught how to battle dangerous magical creatures being able to handle your own without magic and being stealthy are really handy.

My favourite subject to read about was probably Pyro. It reminded me a bit of potions, but the ‘potions’ are inside Pyro Eggs, which I found really cool.

The Legerdemain Concoction (Black). When broken onto stone, will create the illusion of three large and heavyset cloaked figures deserting the area the Egg Shell is broken onto.

The Verglas Concoction (White). When broken onto a wet surface, creates a hard and slippery layer of ice, spreading out to over forty square feet and lasting up to an hour.

There are also Egg Shells that need to be broken into fire or grass, and I’m sure there are many more. I really loved all the worldbuilding in this book, but the Pyro Eggs really stood out to me.

I also really loved the writing style. The descriptions were so vivid I could easily imagine everything. You know how when a book is really good you forget you’re actually reading something, and you’re not actually there? That was me with Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. The entire book just felt magical and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It took me a while to actually finish this, but that’s definitely not the book’s fault. I wanted to read it whenever I could.

Whispers in the night, the White Wraith will call,
Slicing through the air, they will come for us all,
Turbulent in mind, it claws at your soul,
Spirits taken away, bodies left to fall

I also of course really loved the characters. There were lots of unique characters that all stood out. I do have to admit that sometimes I wasn’t sure which teacher was who, but the important ones were easy to keep track of. But the ones that captured my heart were Ewan and his two best friends: Mathilde and Enid. I loved their little trio, how supportive of each other they were, accepted each other and their flaws, had each other backs and tried to solve the mystery together. Ewan is a little cinnamon roll who had no problem standing up to older tough-looking kids who were bullying Enid (at this point he didn’t know her yet), even though Enid didn’t need the help at all (she’s such a bad-ass I love her. She’s also a pirate!!). Mathilde is just such a joy and such a good friend and together they all balance each other out.

Also! There were multiple characters that aren’t white, including both Mathilde and Enid

This book filled me with a lot of joy and warm and fuzzy feelings. I first rated this four stars, but writing this review made me wonder why I had given it four and not five? So I changed my rating, because I absolutely loved it.

If you loved Harry Potter, I think you’ll definitely enjoy this one

Have you read Ewan White and the White Wraith yet? Do you want to? Any other books that you think are worthy of being compared to Harry Potter (without being a rip-off)? Let me know in the comments!

It’s Not You, It’s Me // Doctor Who Myths and Legends Review

Author: Richard Dinnick
Genre: Sci-fi
Goodreads rating: 3.8
My rating: ⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters (Goodreads).

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I was really excited to read Doctor Who Myths and Legends. The world of Doctor Who is very broad and there’s so much to explore. Myths and legends set in that world? Yes please. Unfortunately this book was a huge let down for me, mostly because of one reason: the writing style.

The writing style was very simple, flat and there’s a lot of telling instead of showing.

I spoke with Orfak and told him of my concerns. He was deeply shocked but admitted to having the same fugue state when it came to the events of last night following the use of the sarcophagus by the Vardon.

This led to me not feeling immersed in the stories at all, nor caring about what happened. There was a lot of they did this, they did that. There was no excitement

Persis peered through one of the tiny windows. She was staring into the throne room. She recognised it from the holovid. It was empty.

I also felt like the stories were too short and sometimes rushed. Some of them ended very abruptly and made me wonder what even the point of the story was. I would’ve preferred if the author had reduced the amount of stories and had developed the remaining ones better. Though I’d still have trouble with the writing style, I do think that that way I would’ve cared a little bit more about the characters and their stories. Maybe I would’ve given the book a higher rating if that were the case. But now? I didn’t care at all for these characters, even though they definitely had potential to be interesting.

I didn’t expect the Doctor to be in this much, but the introduction did hint at them appearing in the stories, at least now and then. They appeared in only a few stories though, and except for one they barely played a part. It was still fun to see the Doctor show up though! It’s just a shame that they only appeared in some of the stories at the beginning.

I also liked that the first story hinted at River (‘She was an archeologist – feisty and unconvential’) and there’s a story about Lucy, The Master’s Wife in season 3 of New Who which I really liked.

All the other stories unfortuntely felt really flat to me, though they did have potential to be really interesting. Since the writing style was the biggest reason for that, I think this might be a case of it’s not you (the book), it’s me.

A 1-star rating feels really harsh, but I sadly really didn’t enjoy this one, so giving it more than 1 star felt like I was lying (to both myself and others).

Have you read Doctor Who Myths and Legends? What did you think of it? Who are your favourite Doctor and Companion? Let me know in the comments!

Goldie Vance // Black Queer Female Teenage Detective

You may know that I’ve been reading quite a lot of comics lately, and today I wanted to talk to you guys about another favourite that deserves more love (obviously all my favourites deserve more love but ssh), namely: Goldie Vance

Goldie Vance is about a teenage detective solving, well, mysteries obviously. It takes place during the sixties and is just a lot of fun. So why should you read it?

💛 First of all, because it’s about a black queer female teenage detective!!

💛 Goldie is such a fun character

💛 All characters are so colourful and unique

💛 Goldie has a cute girlfriend!!!

💛 It’s a fun read

💛 It takes place during the 60’s yet has a diverse cast

💛 Girls who race!!!

💛 Girls who work on cars!!!

💛 Girls who love cars!!!

💛 Lot’s of girl power and girls supporting girls

💛 There’s more to the mean girl than meets the eye (which honestly is one of my favourite tropes I can’t help it I’m such a sucker for it – maybe because ‘the mean girl’ is a far more used trope??)

💛 It’s funny and just delightful???

💛 THE ART. LOOK AT IT. IT’S SO CUTE AND COLOURFUL

💛 And the clothes omg I love the clothes

💛 Positive parental figures and positive relationships with their children

💛 Good mysteries!

💛 Basically: read it??

I hope my fangirling was useful to you and convinced you to read it haha. Do you know any similar comics or books (besides Nancy Drew) that you’d recommend? Have you read Goldie Vance? Let me know in the comments!

A Riordan Book with Second Book Syndrome? It’s More Likely Than You Think

Genre: YA // Fantasy
Series: The Trials of Apollo #2
Goodreads rating: 4.32
My rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . (Goodreads)

As I was writing down my thoughts in list format so that I wouldn’t forget them, I realised… I quite liked my list. Therefore I decided that it’s time for another list review

💛 Not as good as the first one

💛 Not much happened??

💛 Second book syndrome?? A Rick Riordan book?? It’s more likely than you think

💛 That’s really how it felt though, not much happened, by the end of the book I didn’t feel like the story had progressed that much. So all in all, it did feel like second book syndrome

💛 Still love Apollo though

💛 His past relationship with a man is a huge part of the plot!!!

💛 Can people stop being so mean to him pls give my boy a break

💛 His friendship with Meg!! I died and cried just aaah

💛 It’s just so beautiful?? They love each other so much and they keep on going for each other????

💛 Like these two will go to the end of the world for each other??

💛 Like Apollo who used to only care about himself would willingly sacrifice himsef to save her?? My heart?? Can’t handle it??

💛 The haikus are still enjoyable

💛 Leo and Calypso!! And becoming friends with Apollo!!

💛 Though I do wish we could’ve gotten the story from their POV as well, as now it didn’t feel like they played a big part

💛 Apollo and Calypso being clueless ex-immortals together (though Calypso more so since Apollo kept up with pop culture)

💛 Lesbians who played a big role and were important to the plot!! Spoiler (but a good one): they have a happy ending!!!

💛 More Roman history and myths!! While you’d think it could get a bit difficult keeping up with all these characters, creatures and myths, Rick Riordan never info dumps and makes it feel like your head will explode

💛 Cameos!! From old favourites!! Whether they actually appear or are mentioned

💛 I loved a lot about it, it’s just that it dragged a bit and it didn’t feel like much happened?

💛 All in all it was enjoyable, but I had high expectations since I adored the first one

Have you read The Dark Prophecy yet? What did you think? Oh and did you know that apparently it’s going to be five books?? I thought it was a trilogy! Did it change or was it always meant to be five books and did I get confused because Magnus Chase is a trilogy haha

BewarenBewaren

BewarenBewaren

The Wizard of Oz // You Want Brains, You Want A Heart and You Courage – I GET IT

Genre: Children’s | Fantasy
Series: Oz #1
Goodreads rating: 3.98
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again? (Goodreads)

I’m not that familiar with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I think once upon a time I’ve seen The Muppets version and I’ve seen what Once Upon a Time with the story, but other than that all I know about Dorothy and her friends is from pop culture. This meant that a lot of this was new for me, which was really fun.

The story started out that way too. I flew through the pages, but at some point I really felt like the story started to drag. And repeat itself.

If I got a euro every time the four went ‘We’re on our way to see Oz, to get a brain, to get a heart, to get courage, to get back to Kansas’ or ‘if we don’t get to Oz I won’t get a brain, and I won’t get a heart…’ – well I don’t know how much I’d have, but I’d have some money besides my irritation. Towards the end I really rolled my eyes at it. I get that it’s a children’s story but children don’t need to be reminded of the protagonists’ goal every few pages okay?

Other than that, I just got bored once they had reached Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t that wicked and was defeated really easily.

Another problem I had throughout the novel was that Oz wasn’t as magical as I thought it would be? The land’s a bit boring to be honest.

All in all it was a fun read, but I think I’ll give some of the movies a go instead.

Have you read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? What did you think of it? Which adaptation is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Rock and Riot – It’s Like Grease but Queer

I’m back to talk about more comics! Before I talked about Shoot Around and Lumberjanes, today it’s Rock and Riot’s turn (and believe me there are a lot more coming).

So what is Rock and Riot about? Taken from the comic’s tumblr:

Rock and Riot follows the tales of opposing teenage gangs in the 1950s with an LGBTQ theme! Will the teams set aside their differences to fight for what they have in common?

Doesn’t that sound great?! If that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are some reasons to read it:

‘LGBTQ THEME’ IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION

No one’s straight?? There are so many different gender identities and sexual orientations in this comic it’s amazing! There are lesbians, bisexuals, panromantics, pansexuals, demisexuals, asexuals, trans characters, an agender character, aromantics, a genderfluid character, a demiboy, a bigender… And I think I haven’t even mentioned all of them at this point. IT’S GREAT.

NOT JUST LGBTQ+ DIVERSITY 

Not everyone is white yay! And so many different body types!! That no one gets shamed for!!

CHARACTERS ARE UNIQUE AND RELATABLE AND JUST GREAT

Sometimes I hate myself for adding titles because honestly what can I add to that. THEY’RE JUST GREAT OKAY. They’re all so cute and funny and relatable sfnsghd I love them. Also they’re so much more than their gender identity and/or sexual orientation, though they are topics that are dealt with

THEY ARE IN GANGS

Which is so much fun! Like not the killing kind of gangs but the ‘I am cooler than thou’ kind of gang with amazing friendships. There’s a girl gang (with a trans girl in it!), a boy gang and an entire gang of teens who don’t stick to the gender binary and they’re definitely the coolest gang.

SUPER CUTE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL BE THE DEATH OF YOU

I’m not joking you will die

BEST COMING OUTS EVER

I don’t want to spoil anything, but… IT WAS GREAT. I need to see more of these

CUTE ART STYLE

Just look at it! It’s so cute and colourful

IT TAKES PLACE IN THE FIFTIES

Honestly I love the fifties but… Not good times. So it’s great to see a story take place in the fifties and be so diverse and positive (though there are obstacles as well of course, especially a big one going on right now but it looks like the characters will fight it yay!)

It’s just super fun and cute and relatable and so diverse!!! It’s great trust me. I already linked to the tumblr where you can read it, but I’ll do it again. So if you want to read this amazing comic (YAY) click here.

Are you reading Rock and Riot? What do you think? Are you reading any similar comics that you’d recommend to me? Let me know in the comments (fun fact I wrote comics instead of comments at first woops)!

Mini Reviews: Unremarkable One-Star Reads

Genre: Fantasy | possibly middle grade since it’s meant for younger readers
Series: Chronicles of Dragon #1
Goodreads rating: 3.70
My rating:  ★

summary

Nath is a special ~snowflake~ warrior. He is a man destined to be a dragon. In order to become a dragon, he must save the dragons.

For countless years Nath has been on a quest to become a dragon, but his meddling with the other races tends to get in the way. The way of men is not the way of Nath Dragon (yes he’s a dragon/about to become a dragon and he’s literally named Dragon) his father has warned him. Yet, Nath, unable to control his fascination of the world men, elves, dwarves and even the despised orcs, tends to get caught up in their affairs. To earn his scales, there is a high road he must follow.

With his close friend and ally, Brenwar the Dwarf, Nath, armed with a magic sword he calls Fang (not to be mixed up with the cute dog), travels to the Mountain of Doom (not inspired by LotR at all), the Free City of Narnum and to Orcen Hold where nothing but trouble awaits.

Will Nath Dragon, hero of the realm and protector of dragon kind choose the right path or wind up on a dark one? (Goodreads. Mostly. With my sarcastic commentary)

review

I didn’t know anything about this when I downloaded it (come on it was free on Amazon how could I not give it a shot) except DRAGONS. I love dragons, but I haven’t read that many dragon books let alone good ones (maybe it’s really time to give Eragon a try but those books are HUGE. And COMMITMENT. GAH). As you can tell from my rating, this one wasn’t good either.

The protagonist was unbearable.

”Just do what you always do, Dragon.” That’s what I call myself, and I talk to myself a lot.

Lame much?

Nath Dragon is my name; saving dragons (and other things) is my game.

The heat didn’t bother me; I was used to that, but it wrought damage on my glorious mane of recently mangled hair.

Okay look, I love characters like Apollo that are in love with themselves, but Apollo is hilarious (and Rick Riordan gave him beautiful character development) but this made me want to gauge my eyes out. He was full of himself and I’m not sure why. It was super annoying.

Ooh and let’s talk about the sexism! Except for one, all of the female characters are just there to confirm how handsome our protagonist is and being sexual objects. At one point the protagonist describes how difficult a language is by saying ‘more difficult than women’ excuse me. There is one scene in which all the women are just fawning over him and it was disgusting to read. It sounds like they may have been siren instead of regular women, but it was still degrading and just ugh. As soon as the protagonist has passed they’re already all over the next guy. Just no. And it’s not funny how many times the women were described by just their frickin’ hips.

Also the writing is just… bad. And awkward

”What? I can’t come back?”
An impatient tone took over his voice like a dam about to break.
”NO! Take with you that which you need.”

It happened quite a few times that dialogue was written in caps lock out of nowhere, not making sense at all. And the sound effects oh my god. This is such a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes it’s done right. This is not the case. ‘Clang! Clang! Clatter!’ No. And how the hell is ‘THAAAAAAROOOOONG’ supposed to sound like? What the hell is that?

Just this book man. The blatant sexism everywhere, the annoying protagonist, the plagiarism (Mountain of Doom can you at least try to be original), bad writing and there’s just nothing memorable about it (I marked quite a few things and made some notes)

Genre: YA | Fantasy
Series: Legends of Dimmingwood #1
Goodreads rating: 3.50
My rating:  ★

summary

In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw Rideon the Red Hand.

But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival, and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal, will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilan’s final salvation or her ultimate downfall?

review

What was the plot? Don’t ask me. Cause I have no clue. Who knows what the Praetor’s motives are? What living in that world is like? Not me. The entire thing was just pointless and everything was just meh about it. What a great review *pats self on shoulder*

Genre: YA | Fantasy | Post-apocalyptic
Series: Tales of Nevaeh #1
Goodreads rating: 4.07
My rating:  ★

summary

Welcome to Nevaeh— a world where technology no longer exists, but magic does.

Long ago, the violence and radiation of the terrorist wars killed America. Those left dwell in a world of ritual and magic where ten dominions struggle for supremacy and a dark power rises to claim all.

Areenna, the only daughter of the King of Freemorn, is barely eighteen, yet her psychic ability is strong. She is summoned to ‘The Island’ and learns that the fate of her world is in her hands. She must undertake a perilous journey to save Nevaeh from destruction. But she will not travel alone.

Mikaal, the son of the High King of Nevaeh, has as much at stake as Areenna. Their quest takes them through haunted wastelands filled with mutants while an evil force does everything in its power to stop Areenna and Mikaal—for it wants Nevaeh as its own.

review

Okay so I loved the concept of this one. I thought it would be pretty interesting to see the aftermaths of nuclear wars and radiation, which led to magic. But it was super confusing. They’ve got a new language and they have new animals (because of radiation) but the animals are never described so I’m just supposed to guess what they look like? Some point later one character does kind of describe them, but I felt like it should have been explained sooner. Also there’s this time jump, where we went from the future to the past back to the future which was a bit confusing.

And the names. Not all of them, but a lot of them are regular names but backwards. The name of the world, Nevaeh? Heaven. One Kingdom is named Tolemac, which is Camelot backwards. A queen is named Enaid, which is Diane backwards etc. It was annoying once I noticed it, and lazy.

It was boring, the writing was meh, the characters were meh. Everything was just meh. The worldbuilding could’ve been so interesting, but since except for one character, no one knows what the world used to look like, I had no idea where they were supposed to be and what happened to a place we now know pretty well. I wanted to know more about what happened to our world, but that’s not what I got. Also it’s super vague, but terrorists became some weird creatures called ‘The Dark Ones’ and I have no idea what they can do really. I mean they control people? But the rest? It was all just vague and confusing. The concept was interesting, but the execution not so much.

Guys the theme of these reviews is just MEH. Originally I was also going to include Darkness Reigns, but I just don’t have anything to say about it? Except – guess what – MEH. Have you read any ‘meh’ books lately? I sure hope not! Let me know in the comments

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