Grossman, Lev. The Magician King.

NY: Viking, 2011.

It’s difficult to write a review of the second volume of a trilogy without spoiling it for those who haven’t begun the first volume yet. Let’s try this: At the end of volume one, Quentin Coldwater, recent graduate of Brakebills, had lost something precious and attempted to give up magic entirely as a result, but found that was impossible. Well, in this second episode, he gains the one thing he has wanted all his life: Entrance to Filory, the magical world. (And I mean that literally.)


Published in: on 15 July 2019 at 5:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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Matson, Morgan. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

This was Matson’s debut YA novel and it won several awards and appeared on a number of “Best of” lists. Which is to say, it’s a pretty good story, nicely told, and shows a lot of heart. Amy Curry is a high school junior and a lifelong resident of southern California. She’s never been out of the state, except for a trip to England when she was little, and which she doesn’t really remember. Both her parents are professors at a local college, and Amy expects her life to just go on as it always has.


Cleeves, Ann. Dead Water.

NY: St. Martin, 2013.

I started this sixth “Shetlands” mystery novel with a few misgivings, considering how the previous volume ended. Inspector Jimmy Perez has been on leave for six months, staring bleakly into a dark future without Fran. The only thing keeping him going at all is looking after her daughter, six-year-old Cassie, but he can’t seem to concentrate or even think about anything else but the absence of his fiancée.


Murakami, Haruki. Norwegian Wood.

NY: Random House, 2000.

It’s 1989 and thirty-seven-year-old Toru Watanabe has just flown into Hamburg when he hears the Beatles song of the title coming over the 747’s sound system. And he’s instantly back in Tokyo in 1969, a college freshman facing his twentieth birthday. Toru is something of an intellectual — he read Balzac and Mann and Updike in high school, though his favorite author seems to be Scott Fitzgerald — but he thinks of himself as something of a slacker.