Thursday, September 18, 2014


Magyk (pronounced muh-JIKE [to rhyme with bike] or muh-GERK [to rhyme with work, as the Y makes an "ER" sound]) is a fantasy book about a long-lost princess, her long-lost brother, and some long-lost magic (sorry, magyk).
One day, on his way home, Silas Heap finds a little baby girl in the snow. Silas takes the girl home to his wife, Sarah only to find that his seventh son, Septimus, has died in a poison drinking accident for mysterious reasons. Silas and Sarah take in the baby, who(m?) they name Jenna. A few years later it turns out that Jenna is a princess, she is being hunted, an ancient evil has been set free, and all that good stuff. Jenna, Silas, the ExtraOrdinary wizard, and a handful of Jenna's brothers are forced out of their home and now have to save the world.
So, basically your average fantasy adventure story.
Seriously, though, Magyk is a great book. It's well-written, and has a really nice story. The best part of the book, however, is its predictability.
I know what you're thinking: "Hold on there a moment, dashing and attractive book-reader whose blog I will now follow, predictable books are boring. Books have to have at least some mystery and plot-twistedness, or else there would be no point in reading them."
To this I say that Magyk is different. It's subtle. and you never know exactly what's going to happen, but the clues are all there. I'd give examples, but those would be spoilers, and we don't like those here. Read the book, and you'll understand. The story is basically a love letter to Chekhov's gun; everything that happens could conceivably be predicted (and none of that "Dumbledore said something meaningless and it turned out to be actual information" stuff. While Dumbledore's ramblings can only be understood in retrospect, all of this can be predicted before it happens.) It's like foreshadowing for ninjas.
All in all, Magyk is a clever book, with memorable characters and a nice ending. Definitely a book you should read.

P.S. Usually I end with "If you like X, Y, and Z, then you should read this book." While that is an easy way to end things, now that I'm in high school what I want to do something different. From now on, I'll end with a simple recommendation. This doesn't mean I won't use the XYZ format anymore, but I'll only use it if I think it's a good ending. Otherwise, I'll mix it up a bit.

P.P.S. Given the similarly-designed covers to the right of this book in library shelves, and the fact that the cover says "Book One," I have determined that Magyk has a number of sequels. I have not read any of them, and I don't really plan on it, unless someone tells me to in the comments. Magyk had an incredibly satisfying ending: the loose ends were tied up, the villain did not run off shaking his fist at the heroes, and there was even a section at the end detailing what happened to the minor characters after they left the main story. If that isn't closure, then I don't know what is.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Saga (and also Epic)

Saga is the second book in a series starting with Epic. The series in set in the future, on New Earth (which is like old earth, but fresher). on New Earth, all arguments are settled in a video game called Epic, which is set in a fantasy world. Eric, a boy from New Earth, goes on a quest to become rich and then accidentally saves the world.
This is where the first book ends. In the second book, Saga, a mysterious robot probe replaces Epic with a new game called Saga. Saga is also set in the future, but more so (the people have hover cars, hover boards, holograms, and the like). Citizens in Saga are given a card of a certain color, and better colors get better things. The best colors are given to the people with power, so the people with the worst colors are struggling to survive.
However, something is different with this game. Something is not right. Something is trying to gain immortality, and will stop at nothing to do it.
So, yeah, basically, it's save-the-world time again.
Saga is a fast-paced, exciting book with an interesting story and cool characters. The story is told by Eric, the kid from New Earth; Ghost, a member of the resistance (in the game); and the Dark Queen, the leader of Saga.
Be sure to read the first book (Epic) first. Also, there is killing, (in both books), so be warned. Epic is really cool because it combines fantasy and science fiction really well. If you enjoy suspenseful stories where the book gives you a chance to figure things out before the character, this book is for you.