Tag Archives: witches

Boys and Plants and Magical Houses

So, when I bought the ‘Mostly True Story of Jack,’ by Kelly Barnhill–I for some reason thought it was going to be like this:

Not saying that I’m disappointed it’s not.  Jennifer Garner kind of gets on my nerves, and that little boy looks creepy as hell.

So what actually happens is that Jack’s parents are getting a divorce.  And while they ‘get things sorted,’ Jack’s brother goes to stay with friends, while Jack is dropped off at his aunt and uncle’s house.

Understandably, Jack is a little put out to be dumped in a weird house in the middle of nowhere with people he’s never met before.  Even though his previous home-life doesn’t seem that enviable—absent in all the family photos, he literally drew a picture of himself and pasted it in.  A little heartbreaking, that is.

And of course, the town that Jack’s been placed in is a little creepy, with his aunt and uncle’s house—the purple, green, every-color-of-the-rainbow house that seems to shudder and move, and also gives off electric shocks—well that’s the creepiest of all.

What Jack doesn’t know, and his uncle seems very slow to tell him (more a professor of the Socratic method I suppose) is that he is the key to the awakening of the town and it’s magical, nefarious guardians.

Upon arrival, after being almost ran-over by the town power player, tycoon Mr. Avery, Jack meets Anders, Wendy, and her twin brother Frankie.  Frankie was kidnapped several years ago, and mysteriously returned, speechless and with huge, red scars on half of his face.

Then shit gets complicated.  Continue reading


Blondi the Were-bitch

My original review for Lady Lazarus by Michele Lang was just the word ‘eh’ and a picture of a kitten.

I’ve been feeling all procrastinaty and grumpy after selling all my things and dragging my former roommate kicking and screaming from my apartment.  But then I realized I wasn’t being fair to you or Michele Lang, so I made some popcorn and decided to do some research.

See, I don’t want my review to be colored by the fact that I’ve been uber-busy and stressed the last week.  I mean, maybe this book IS impossible to put down, but I just didn’t get to find that out because I literally HAD to put it down hundreds of times to pack my collection of vintage dog books or write descriptions of a thousand computer things that I don’t know anything about for ebay.  According to my research, pretty much everyone on Amazon loves it.  Good Reads reviews are a little more varied, but still majority positive.

But you know what?  I didn’t.  I really didn’t like it.  You’d think that a book about magical Jewish witches (descended from the witch that helped Solomon build the temple) that can continually rise from the dead, Hungarian vampires, Nazi werewolves, and a demon-possessed Hitler (that makes sense actually) would be enough for any girl.  But for me the plot just lagged along. I didn’t really care about Magda, the fantastically powerful witch who doesn’t want to be a witch (WHEN is that going to stop being a thing?!  The last five witch related books have magical better-than-everyone protaganists who don’t want anything to do with their powers.  I’m writing a book about a witch who is awesome and brags about it all the time).   I didn’t really care about Magda’s beautiful, delicate-flower little sister who prophesied the holocaust blood-bath.  I couldn’t even muster up any admiration for the arch-angel Raziel (who ends up being not that impressive, to my mind, for an avenging angel of God), who inexplicably falls in love with Magda (natch).  Magda spends a lot of time walking in the forest and complaining.

But Michele needs some positive feedback here.  So, I will mention my favorite part of the book–Blondi the werebitch.  Yes, when Hitler’s girlfriend Eva Braun tires of being a Aryan princess, she turns into Blondi, his pet German Shepherd/werewolf.  True, German Shepherds can’t really be werewolves (as one Amazon reviewer indignantly points out, they are GENETICALLY DIFFERENT canines), but also werewolves aren’t real, so I’ll give Michele some artistic leeway.  Disappointingly, Blondi the werebitch only appears for about two sentences, but I’m hoping that she gets more play in the follow-up novel.