On The 13th Day of Blogmas: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Blogmas

Sunday night, I did not have a very productive day but I did finish a book that I really enjoyed & that’s the perfect way to spend a day 😊 A friend of mine recommended the Nevermoor series to me & I’m so glad they did! At first I was a bit hesitant because most of the reviews compared the series to Harry Potter & I’m not the biggest fan of those books. Here’s the deal, I grew up on Harry Potter & enjoyed them until they started getting really dark. I just don’t need to read about death & thinly veiled political commentary in a fantasy series that’s supposed to be suited for young adults. I can turn on the news, watch documentaries or read a history book to educate myself on those things. Anyway, Nevermoor is much more lighthearted while still being a fantastic engaging series with endearing characters.

Morrigan Crow is a cursed child who is destined for death on the Eventide of her eleventh birthday. OK admittedly it does start out a bit bleak 😉 Morrigan is blamed for all bad things that happen in Jacklefax. Her father who feels that Morrigan’s cursed status is interfering with his political career, is ready to wash his hands of her as is the rest of the family. Unfortunately, Eventide comes early & Morrigan is hurtled towards her unlucky fate.

Enter a delightful, mysterious, brilliant Jupiter North who whisks her away from the Hunt of Horse & Hound just in the knick of time. He takes Morrigan to a magical dominion, Nevermoor where he owns a delightfully preposterous hotel, the Deucalion. It’s filled with a cast of eccentric characters including a magnificat & vampire dwarf. Morrigan is delighted to feel accepted but also confused as to why Jupiter went to such great lengths to save her.

Jupiter has chosen Morrigan to try out for the Wondrous Society, a very exclusive society of highly talented individuals. Morrigan must complete a series of trials to join the society including demonstrating her knack or very special talent that sets her apart from others. The problem is, she doesn’t have any idea what her knack is & Jupiter is maddeningly evasive.

As Morrigan prepares for these trials, odd things are happening in Nevermoor like trains derailing & wunder shortages. We start to hear about the Wundersmith, a very sinister fellow who was banned from Nevermoor because of his tyrrany & abuse of his Wundersmith powers. Morrigan grows increasingly concerned about her cursed status & wonders if it has followed her to Nevermoor. The citizens of Nevermoor though, fear the return of the Wundersmith.

After a series of very bizarre trials & almost being ousted a few times, Morrigan makes it to the final challenge but still has no idea what her knack is. Only Jupiter does & it turns out that Morrigan is a Wundersmith which is not a widely celebrated thing to be…

I thought this book was just a delight & am starting the second book tonight! Obviously, there are similar themes to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and even some Handmaid’s Tale but the story is unique enough to stand out from these. I’m fascinated by this mystical energy source & the entire world of Nevermoor. It’s zany, colorful & just good fun. Clearly, I’m a bit old for the series but I think it’s very well written & a pleasant escape.

Let me know what you’re reading & thanks for stopping by 🤍

One of Us Is Next: Bayview High Book II

Books, Entertainment

How’s that new blog schedule going? Terrible 😛 I have just been incredibly lazy lately, I literally cannot sleep enough even though I’m in bed by 8 most nights. Well, aside from one night where I decided that I would check out the Star Wars saga and stayed up until 3 AM. I can now say that I have watched these movies at the ripe old age of 33. You heard me, I had never seen a single one but they were OK if a little light on plot. Anyway, this post was supposed to be my January To Be Read but it’s already mid-January and I’ve read most of my picks. Instead, I will share my thoughts on the wildly anticipated sequel to the YA novel One of Us Is Lying which I really enjoyed. Now, I’m almost middle-aged and don’t dabble too much into this genre because of the corny high school scenarios but the plot of both books is pretty shocking and twisted for a YA novel which I appreciate.

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This book picks up where the first left off, there’s drama at Bayview High again and this time, the stakes are deadly. The main characters from the first installment have gone off to college, started lives of their own but still share an unbreakable bond after the death of one of their schoolmates, Simon. He ran a gossip app that tormented and entertained the population of Bayview, in his absence some have tried to rekindle the popular gossip forum without much success. That is until an anonymous schemer kicks off a game of Truth or Dare exposing the darkest secrets of the students.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author brought back some of the main characters from the first one but also fleshed out a few of the supporting characters that we didn’t know a lot about. The story is told from different points of view, the main characters this time are Phoebe, Maeve and Knox whose lives are somewhat already intertwined before they become the focus of the Truth or Dare game in one way or another. I like this narration style but it can be hard to follow each story line which is why I will most likely give this one a second read. As the story picks up towards the end, I found myself losing track of small details. The game kicks off with the anonymous texter exposing Phoebe for sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend which starts a rift between the sisters who are already under strain after the death of their father. Then Knox is exposed for an unfortunate performance during what was supposed to be he and Maeve’s first time. The game turns deadly though when a fellow classmate Brandon falls to his death after deciding to take the seemingly lesser high risk dare option. You’d think that everyone would tell their parents what was going on at this point but in true teenage fashion, they don’t. Problems only escalate when the anonymous texter tries to bomb a rehearsal dinner. Yeah, apparently high school students know how to build bombs and aren’t afraid to use them. Knox and Maeve save the day and we find out that the most unlikely student was involved with the anonymous bomb maker and Brandon’s death.

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It’s really a sad story all around, all of the kids involved have had their lives ruined by some family tragedy. There’s a weird feeling of revenge not being the answer but also thinking that some people deserved what they got. Then, when you find out who was really behind the whole ordeal, it just gets even sadder. After I read these types of books, it always makes me wonder if these things are really happening in schools or if it’s just the author embellishing the sometimes irrational actions of the American teenager. Not to get real dark here but in light of some of the violence that has happened in our schools, some of these events really wouldn’t even shock me. I enjoyed the pace of the writing, the characters are fun if a little moony at times and apparently none of these kids had any homework…or parents around to pay attention to what they are doing. Even if you aren’t into the whole YA genre (which I’m not) I would still recommend both Bayview books as pretty decent thrillers. I also like the writing style of the Author, Karen M. McManus and plan to check out her recent standalone novel.

Have you read either of these, let me know what you thought!

🖤