Admittedly, I have read most of these character biographies on the old Pottermore website. However, it was fun to read them again, and the flow with which they are put together was both interesting and organic. Again, the depth of J.K. Rowling’s back stories and the amount of thought which she has put into her characters was enviable and thrilling. The personal comments placed at the end of each tale and the reasoning behind names, diseases and hobbies gave me more and more insight into a world that I am already completely obsessed with.
I’ve always enjoyed the fact that throughout the Harry Potter series, some of the most evil and terrifying characters are that way due to their pursuit of power. This collection of character bios and short stories helped to drive this fact home. From Dolores Umbridge to Horace Slughorn, these characters were either inconceivably evil or just incredibly misguided in their ties to and desire for power. These tales were a great warning against an uncontrolled will to obtain power, regardless of the cost.
This is a really nice companion book to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It is a little quirky and different in its layout, but it really brings the world of Camp Half-blood to life. Interviews, short stories and profiles all morph together to create this short and lively book that are well worth reading if you have become as obsessed with the writings of Rick Riordan as I have.
This was an amazing short story – it had vampires, witches and pointless bureaucracy. The voice of Mars, the woman telling the story was strong and realistic, she’s bored with the tedium of a government job and worried about money. I love when writers pull the concerns that we all have, such as money, hobbies, careers, into a paranormal setting, like waiting for a newly turned vampire to rise.
This was a slightly dark and definitely morally questioning collection of short stories. In each tale there was no good or bad guy, but rather someone who was working at surviving with the cards that they have been dealt. The name hints beautifully at this though, Hex Appeal, both appealing and potentially damaging – like all of the leads in these nine very diverse stories.
I would love for this short story to be part of a much bigger series – it caught me and fascinated me in the first paragraph. I thoroughly enjoyed the urban fantasy setting and the idea of witches each having his or her own type of power – they have limitations, just like everyone else. Caine was able to build a wonderfully realistic world that sat perfectly within our own.
Another great short Holly & Andrew story, but this time, it’s their relationship that is tested. Hanging on to life for the sake of someone you love is admirable, but it also means that there can be some pretty severe consequences if something goes awry. Caine uses Holly’s Balm to test the limits of love and trust in a uniquely trialled way.
The overarching message in this short story is that love can conquer all – even death. That is, if you have enough power to try. The concept and the story itself is incredibly sweet, and enough to make anyone believe in true love again.
Grace of Small Magics is a fantastic reminder that “offense is the best defense”. Grace’s quiet strength and stability in the face of overwhelming odds is inspiring, and her ability to take control of her future admirable. I love the way that Andrews uses this to poignantly remind us that just because someone appears mousey and weak, they are still capable of great feats.
As with the rest of the books in the Percy Jackson Verse, Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods is a great adaptation of the Greek myths. Using a modern voice that makes them approachable to the today’s generation is not only a great way to retell ancient myths, but it also is a truly unique retelling that I thoroughly enjoyed.