Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut Children of Blood and Bone.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The movie of Children of Blood and Bone is in development at Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions with the incredible Karen Rosenfelt and Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Maze Runner, The Fault In Our Stars) producing it.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This book is such a ride. I don’t know what to expect going through the book, so I put my expectations lower despite the great hype from the bookish community. I am not sure why, but when I read something that is totally loved and has extensive promotion by the community, somehow I would not be able to enjoy it as much as other people do. Don’t get me wrong, I love the story, but the pacing seems very slow during the first hundred pages and that makes me so unmotivated to continue. That is why I take so long to finish it.

Apart from that, all is good! Children of Blood and Bone is a West-African inspired fantasy set in Orïsha. Their life revolves around magic, and magic has to be restored to the people as it has been taken away by the King because it has been seen as a thread to the royalty.

Tomi Adeyemi’s intricate world-building needs to be praised. The world is so unique, the people and the culture in this book is so well-crafted to read as well. After the hundred pages, I am so intrigued to read it as it becomes so good that there are many revelations and plot twists revealed.

I love the character contrast between the main character, Zélie, with her determination to help her people restore magic to the land, and also Inan, the prince of Orïsha, who is also determined to finish his father’s will to destroy magic to the world. In the book, somehow their fate intertwine with each other, something happens and later it becomes complicated for both of them. I am excited to read their journey in the next book, because the ending is such a cliffhanger and many things are unresolved with the characters’ wellbeing.

I NEED THE SECOND BOOK NOW THANKS!

X

Sabrina

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.


RATING

5 SPARKLING STARS!

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Most seventeen-year olds do not even have a clue on what to do in their lives after school, but Harry Potter has got his life predicted by a prophecy, and there is no way of turning back.

In this book, J.K. Rowling has given us answers upon answers about the mysteries and problems since the first book of the series. I love how complex and complicated the series are, with more characters who are introduced in the book and more emotional and action-packed stories. This is truly not a story that you can create in a span of a night, this requires major plotting and crafting within years to complete! J.K. Rowling is such a genius.

Every time I want to reread this, I feel a surge of trauma inside of my mind because I totally sense how Harry is facing in this book. It truly shows how affected I am with the main character of the book, it tells that I am deeply attached to Harry. However this time, I want to overcome that fear and after all, I just want to finish my whole Harry Potter reread for the year.

It is crazy that I have spent so much time reading the books, watching the movies and listening to the audiobooks by Stephen Fry for me to immerse in the Wizarding World again. No other series in the world will make me feel good and better than what Harry Potter does to me. I am happy that this series is dearly loved by all and it makes it more wonderful to share the experience with others.

The Prince’s Tale and King’s Cross chapters are my favourite chapters in the book. I love how all their detailed plans come to a conclusion and make sense at the end.

There are many references on Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them series, one of it is about Ariana’s condition which is said that she is indeed an obscurus – a manifestation of the repressed energy of a magical child. In light of the recent events in Crimes of Grindlewald, I am excited to see how things will reveal in the next movie, since it is stated that Credence Barebone, who is also an obscurus, is Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius Dumbledore, which in my opinion doesn’t make sense at all.

There are many profound quotes that I am attracted to, most of them are from my favourite character, Albus Dumbledore. 

“Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”

“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it” – Albus Dumbledore

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” – Albus Dumbledore

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore

What I truly love about this series is between the thousands of pages and millions of words in the series, many topics and discussions on life are covered in the book such as race and racism, hate, ignorance, arrogance, power and influence of the media, slavery, dictatorship, revolution, feminism, depression, death, loss, equality, love, and lastly, the value of friendship. It is no question that this series can impact the world so deeply. It changes the perspective on how we view life. It is fulfilling that we have seen these topics in our real life situations happen to the world now. Reading can change the world!

This is not an in-depth review of the technicalities of the book, this is my view of the book and the series as a whole. No words can really describe how thankful I am to have the chance to read Harry Potter for the past years.

J.K. Rowling writes a gripping ending to Harry Potter’s farewell that leaves the fans pleased yet craved for more!

But it is not really a farewell isn’t it?

My review for:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

X

Sabrina

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

“You are sharing the Dark Lord’s thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord.”

Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord’s return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort’s savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time…


RATING

5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

This is a my second reread, the last time I read the Order of the Phoenix was in 2016, it was a long time ago and I could not remember much about the book.

Honestly this book was the hardest for me to read. It’s not about the length, it’s about the content of the book. It is very dark and gloomy, different from the other books in the series. I personally think that even Half-Blood Prince is not so dark and heavy like this book, as it is known that this book shows that true state of Harry throughout the series, as he struggles to find his identity as a person, yet he feels so alone despite having many friends beside him.

I take many breaks from reading the book, because some parts are unbearable to even read and let alone imagine the things that Harry and friends face in Hogwarts. I contemplate to ditch the book for a while because I cannot stand the heat but I manage to finish it nonetheless.

It is emotionally uplifting to read that the Order of the Phoenix members work their way to defeat Voldemort and the Death Eaters. They risk their lives to save their loved ones and to bring justice for the vanquished. I love the scenes in the Grimmauld Place because I feel complete reading about them gathering together at one place. Even though it is not the wonderful and whimsical “The Burrow”, the people are the heart and soul, not the house.

The most outstanding part of the book is the theme. It is no longer the lovey dovey endings and stories like the previous books. There are many difficult lessons to be learned that even a child could not comprehend the meaning behind it. This book introduces us to the grey shade of life, where there is no white or black, true or false in life, as what Sirius Black had said,

“Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

God I love that quote.

This story also taught that adults are not always the perfect protectors for the younger ones. They think by not sharing any information to them will spare and protect their lives. At the end of the day, they just want the best for them.

I also would like to highlight Harry’s wellbeing in this story. He suffers from PTSD, as we can confer from his angst behaviour after his confrontation with Voldemort and Cedric’ death. It is never explicitly stated in the book about him having PTSD, but he definitely suffers from the trauma. I find the angst to be relatable with me being a growing teenager before.

Harry also shown to have imposter syndrome in the book when he doubts his accomplishments when retrieving the Philosopher’s stone, saving Ginny in the Chamber of Secrets, performing the Patronus Charm to the Dementors and his capability in doing the tasks in Triwizard Tournament. He thinks that he gets through all of that by sheer luck.

One of my most hated scenes is the Ministy’s reaction towards Voldemort’s return at the introduction of the book. They are totally in denial of that situation and they are against people who agree that Voldemort is back. The Ministry is definitely the one that is truly responsible  for Voldemort to return as they are being complacent for ONE YEAR and that is enough time for them to rise up again! I could never forgive Fudge and Umbridge for doing such, they have done so much damage that is unacceptable.

The book has so much meaning to the series as a whole, as the content of the prophecy is told by Dumbledore and yet it pains me to say that this is my least favourite of the series. I enjoy reading it thoroughly but I feel tremendously sad for Harry for what had happened in the book.

My review for:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I look forward to re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after this!

X

Sabrina

 

Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

It is Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort’s sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes more and more clear to Harry that he will soon have to confront his destiny. But is he up to the challenges ahead of him?

In her darkest and most breathtaking adventure yet, J.K. Rowling skilfully begins to unravel the complex web she has woven, as we discover more of the truth about Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and, of course, He Who Must Not Be Named


 

RATINGS

5 SHINING STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I think y’all are sleeping on this book! After rereading the series for five times already, it is true that Half-Blood Prince is the most underrated book. I mean, it is the most crucial book when it comes to Voldemort’s life discovery and weaknesses. Even JK Rowling admitted that Deathly Hallows completely overshadows Half-Blood Prince since Half-Blood Prince is the key and paves the way for the events from Deathly Hallows to happen. It shapes the way to Hogwarts’ victory.

I also notice some changes in my reading favourites to my reading patterns throughout the years of rereading. During my younger years of reading Harry Potter, I tend to devour and enjoy the first three books more compared to others because in my opinion, they are very much carefree and fun to read since the characters are also young kids and they are relatable to me. I think that the books are also easy to comprehend since they are not so much dark related activities going on and simpler to read.18423227

However now, as I grow older, I appreciate the few last books dearly. It is because as a reader, I grow mature along the years with the characters as well. I understand how complex and complicated their feelings and wants can be. I comprehend their problems because it feels relatable to me. I grow attach to them since it is the only series that I grow up reading with.

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

Every time writing Harry Potter reviews, I would never expect to write such sentimental and emotional reviews. But when I am writing it down, all of the emotions based on my reading experience start pouring in and I will just go with the flow. It is heartwarming to come back to the world after so long leaving it. It has been a tradition to me which I will read the series annually, as a symbol that this is the series that is responsible in nurturing and shaping my life now. I cannot imagine my life without Harry Potter.

Since it is my favourite book, I would like to share my favourite scenes in the book, which may or may not be in the film.

If you haven’t read this, don’t read below if you don’t want to be spoiled.


  1. Confrontation between the Muggle and Magic prime minister.
  2.  Back at The Burrow
  3. Harry has been appointed as Quidditch Captain
  4. Fred and George made it big with their business
  5. Funny moments with the Slug Club
  6. Flashbacks of Voldemort’s past – the coolest scene in the book
  7. When Harry saved Ron when he was poisoned
  8. All of the Dumbledore and Harry’s discussion and meetings together

To end my review or rather my expression towards Harry Potter, this series has brought joy that I cannot explain to you with words. It has been an enormous roller coaster journey experiencing the Wizarding World, never again we will be able to read a series that is life-changing like Harry Potter. Now that Fantastic Beasts is debuting to the world, I really hope that it will do justice to Harry Potter. We have only seen two movies from the franchise so it is hard for me to judge the films entirely. I honestly cannot wait to watch the rest of it!

My review for:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Thanks for reading.

X

Sabrina

 

Review: The Tales of Beedle The Bard Illustrated Edition (J.K. Rowling and Chris Riddell)

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: October 2nd 2018
Format: Hardcover, Illustrated Edition
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 160

This lovely book is now available in all good bookstores nearby!

Blurb from Goodreads:

A spectacular full-colour illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s fairytale classic The Tales of Beedle the Bard, with breathtaking illustrations by all-round genius and national treasure Chris Riddell.

The dazzlingly brilliant Chris Riddell brings his magical illustration talents to J.K. Rowling’s gloriously inventive The Tales of Beedle the Bard in a fully illustrated colour edition of this essential classic for Harry Potter fans. Translated from the runes by Hermione Granger, the volume includes ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’, familiar to readers of Harry Potter from the crucial role it played in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Mischievous and witty, these five rollicking tales are a deeply satisfying read in the tradition of all great fables and fairytales. Kindnesses are rewarded and selfishness shown to be the ruin of many a wizard. Burping cauldrons, hairy hearts and cackling stumps are met along the way. Each of the tales is accompanied by a deliciously subversive and insightful commentary by Professor Albus Dumbledore, all brought vividly to life with Riddell’s trademark wit and elegance.

Former Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell is the only illustrator to have won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times, and is brought together here for the first time with one of the world’s best loved storytellers in this new edition of J.K. Rowling’s fairytale classic.

Much loved by generations of witches and wizards since they first appeared in the fifteenth century, this beautifully illustrated edition is set to become a firm favourite at bedtime in non-magical households the world over.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published in aid of Lumos, an international children’s charity founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling.


MY OVERALL RATING:

4.3 STARS

INDIVIDUAL RATING:

1. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot – 3.5 STARS
2. The Fountain of Fair Fortune – 4 STARS
3. The Warlock’s Hairy Heart – 5 STARS
4. Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump – 4 STARS
5. The Tale of Three Brothers – 5 STARS (My favourite of all!)

HERE’S MY THOUGHTS!

After finishing the entire 7 books back to back (now I have reread it for 3 times), actually I don’t have the intention to read this additional and companion story. I feel most attracted to The Tale of the Three Brothers mainly because its importance to Harry, Dumbledore and Voldermort’s origin and story. Many things we can learn from these short and fictional stories.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is compilation of short bedtime stories specifically written for young Wizards and Witches. It is like Cinderella, Snow White in the Muggle world! All of the moral values and knowledge received from these stories are tailored to young wizards for them to know what is right and what is wrong. This is to instill character and behaviour since young, so that they know what to do when they face obstacles. These stories are no different compared to the Muggle ones, they are all telling the same theme and subject, which is to always be kind to one another, to be never boastful when we thought that we have achieved our dreams, to be selfless and to always respect one another.

My favourite part of this book is definitely the commentary made by my favourite character ever, Albus Dumbledore. His absorbed and thoughtful insight on the story really made me understand the stories better. One of the things that I adore Albus is about his love and fascination towards Muggles.

I have no regrets receiving this Illustrated edition. All of the illustration are spot-on and flawless, and these are absolutely helpful to the reader for better visualisation and reading.

Right now I must purchase all of the Illustrated books and also the Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay as well! God I love this Wizarding World so much and I am eternally grateful to have known this universe.

Thank you so much Pansing Books for providing me this GORGEOUS review copy! 

X

Sabrina

[Movie Review] Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

p13663846_p_v8_agTHIS IS MY INITIAL THOUGHTS AFTER WATCHING THE FILM

Directed by: David Yates
Writer: JK Rowling
Based on the characters created by: JK Rowling
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, Johnny Depp


Now how do I review this without spoiling the movie so much? LOL

Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, three months after the event of the first film. I go into the cinema with such low expectations, thinking that the movie would be bad and bland, but I am absolutely blown out-of-the-way!

We get to see all of the characters from the first Fantastic Beast film and it is great to see them again on-screen after two years of waiting. A lot of new characters are introduced as well, such as Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander, Nicolas Flamel and my most favourite character, Albus Dumbledore. We get to see Gellert Grindelwald’s actions really well in the movie, as he is progressively dominating the world and people around him. It is refreshing to watch some of the characters on-screen that are sometimes mentioned in the books.

The plot is certainly interesting but it raised many questions instead of answers. It pains me that we have no way other than to wait for the next film to search for answers. I really hope that the waiting is worth it.

The setting of the movie is also different from the previous film, this particular film sets in London, Paris and also Hogwarts. When the soundtrack and scene of Hogwarts come into view, I cried because it has been such a long time we have seen Hogwarts on the big screen. The surroundings and students makes me feel home. It makes me miss Harry, Ron and Hermione more.

The most meaningful part of this film is the reunion between the characters. All of them have been separated for a quite of time, seeing them together again is totally a moment of triumph. Watching the movie feels like learning and starting about the Wizarding World all over again. It’s because this franchise is not based on books or written materials, so viewers are constantly being surprised by the story and plot twists. I honestly like it this way because it gives you the chance to expect the unexpected. It forces you to think out of the box. It makes me even excited to watch theory videos from Super Carlin Brothers after this!

There are many surprised, happy, damn-hilarious, sad and WTF moments in the movie. This movie is an epitome of roller coaster of emotions. It is both fun and light to watch a movie without too much of action, because all of the hilarious parts of the movie have balanced it all.

We also see a move of diversity in the film. The world and characters are in a different spectrum compared to the Harry Potter universe. More people of colour casts are involved in the film, showing the world is indeed inclusive with other cultures as well.

Personally, I really don’t mind watching and immersing myself in this new world. I totally appreciate new content from JK Rowling. I know people have been very vocal about JK Rowling messing up with this world and it seems a lot of things that JK Rowling has added and done to this new world is very much contradicting to the Harry Potter universe. I at times, question the canonicity of this universe, with such opposing information in this movie compared to what we have initially learnt in the books. Like Professor McGonagall’s cameo? The ending? After thinking about the film, I wish all of that would have not happened.

Anyway, as fans, I really hope that this franchise will be successful as the Harry Potter. I absolutely love this film, more than the first one. I would totally watch it again for the second time, for better understanding and research purposes. My advice is to watch it by yourself, without thinking too much of people’s critical review on this film. If you are a Harry Potter fan by heart, I can guarantee that you will love this as much I do.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the movie too! Are you excited or unimpressed?

My rating: 4 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

X

Sabrina

ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Brigid Kemmerer)

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 484
This book will be available in all good bookstores.

Blurb from Goodreads

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Oh my god guys.

This book was far better than I expected. I went through the story with such low expectations and hopes but I was very satisfied and contented with the story. First, I was thankful that I received this arc from Pansing. Upon receiving the arc, I was intimidated by the fact that the book was so thick (it’s 500 pages long) that I nearly guessed that this is definitely a stand alone fantasy. I was wrong. I could tell by the ending that there would be a sequel and I cannot wait to read it! I believe that there is more to be told in the next story!

I have never read Beauty and the Beast and since this is a retelling of the tale, I didn’t have any references to compare between the stories. The story was well written with such amazing and diverse casts. I love Harper, the main character who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and that the medical condition did not define her. She is strong as steel and quick with her movement. Her confidence and courage was shown by how she tried to solve problems in order to break the curse. She was so selfless because she cared and helped the people of Emberfall, even though she came from another world. The male main character, Prince Rhen was also interesting to read about. He was so mysterious and calm. I could feel his despair every time he spoke about his life and that made me truly sympathised him. The other supporting casts were also so fun to read.

Even though the story was set in a very much different world from us, the world of Emberfall seems so familiar and comfortable. I was so mesmerized with the world that I felt like I was in the story as well. I was surprised by the ending because I really didn’t anticipate it. It pains me until now that I have to wait for another year to finally get my hands on the second book! 😭

I read this book in just two days because it was so good and gripping from page one till the end!

Looking forward for the next book of the series ❤

Thank you Pansing Books for providing me this ARC in exchange of an honest review!

X

Sabrina