2020 Magical Readathon: I passed my O.W.L.’s!

I recently discovered a booktuber that holds a Magical Readathon for O.W.L’s and N.E.W.T’s each year. She creates magical printables and guides for each examination. (Each year has unique prompts) The O.W.L.’s are held in April, while the N.E.W.T’s take place in August. 

I loved reading through her Career Guide and other printables. Make sure to put this readathon on your calendar for next year because it was so much fun to find books that fit the prompt.

I decided to buckle down and study for my O.W.L.’s with the career of Mind Medic in my sights.

I present to you, my course list & the books read:

Ancient Runes

Heart Rune: Heart on the cover or in the title.

The Dark Heart
By: Joakim Palmkvis
(Genre: Mystery, Suspense, True Crime)

Rating: 3 Stars

Overall this story was laid out in an incredibly boring manner. It might be the translation but it read much like a report compared to the thrilling story that it is. Since it isn’t written in character and more of a re-account of events, it is hard to get sucked into the story or the lives at stake.

The actual details of the case, and family are fascinating, and it’s incredible that they were brought to justice at all. If you have a fascination of various justice systems, and cases in general you’ll find this book interesting. But otherwise, it isn’t a thrilling ride.

Arithmancy

Magical qualities of number 2: balance/opposites – read something outside of your favorite genre.

The Hallowed
by: Lani Lenore
(Genre: Gothic Romance)
Rating: 4 Stars

Creepy, creepy book. Great commentary on cults and playing god. Not a book I would have ever picked up if I hadn’t been specifically looking for something outside my normal reading genre.

The story unfolded in a manner that strung the reader along with the main characters. It gave and eerie feel to the whole story, by not knowing who to trust, and which person in the house was telling the truth.

The ending was perfection. A great wrap up to a creepy tale. My only complaint is the authors lack of use of the dialogue tag ‘said’. The constant emotes were distracting at times.

Charms

Lumos Maxima: White cover.

Awaken Online: Catharsis
by: Travis Bagwell
(Genre: LitRPG)
Rating: 5 Stars

I wish I would have bumped this book up on my TBR list way sooner! I had no idea it was going to have necromancy elements, swoon.

I had been putting it off because over all I was unsure about how I would like the litrpg elements. I’ve only read a few other books with light game mechanics, and they were humorous so more poking fun instead of laying it all out there.

I loved the format Travis put the stats in, it made it easy to skim them, as I wasn’t as into those parts of the book. I felt that it really opened up the readership that loved necromancy/dark fantasy, but not so into gaming.

All of the characters were so well written, each unique and relatable. I love the real world intrigue that is happening in the story, and how it mixes with the in game intrigue. I was on edge for the majority of the book, and could hardly put it down. I loved the game aspects, and all of the mysteries surrounding Alfred.

So many strands are opened in this book, I can’t wait to move onto the next in series.

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Grindylows: Book set at the sea/coast.

Gideon the Ninth
Series: The Locked Tomb, Book 1
(Genre: Fantasy, SciFi, Horror)
By: Tamsyn Muir
Rating: 5 Stars

After finishing this book I immediately screamed NOOOO! I am so mad and book drunk, and sad, and damn it!

I can’t believe the ending, it’s a lie. I swear it’s a lie! This snarky, perfectly dark book has wrecked me.

I LOVED the writing style. It’s so immersive. It’s refreshing to read a book on my level of snark. The banter was perfection between all of the characters. Gideon stole my heart and then shattered it into a million black pieces.

The world building so great, so many levels of deceit and lore. Ugh. It all played out so beautifully. Dark, tragic, and lovely. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator added so much emotion to the story. Great pick.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Herbology

Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title starts with an (I).

Ink & Sigil
Series: (Ink & Sigil #1)
(Genre: Urban Fantasy)
By:
 Kevin Hearne
Rating: 5 Stars

The cover for this book is so amazing!!! I’ve caught myself drooling over it multiple times. It’s 100% the reason I picked this book up to read. Didn’t read the blurb or who the author was, just had to read whatever was behind that cover.

Thank goodness what was there was awesome! Loved this book so much! From the sigil magic to the lizard wizard van to all the hierarchy. ugh. I’m ready to reread it.

I’m a sucker for inks & pens, and the research the author put into the main characters craft is high five worthy. The book is life like and mystical. You can feel the time put into to making sure the setting is culturally accurate, and all lore lines up. Some books fail at sinking in real world dialect into a fiction novel but this book works so freaking well. I feared i was going to be referencing the authors notes and half confused at the crazy spellings, but it never happened. The flow of the sentences supported the dialect perfectly.

All of the characters are well crafted, and the personalities of each are distinct and compliment the story perfectly. The grey of the ‘villains’, to the grey of the ‘good guys’ so much yes for this one. I’m also here for the commentary on ‘human’ trafficking, and how the magical world is dealing with the same problems we are dealing with in humanity.

Book one hasn’t even released yet, but I’m ready for book two. Also a poster for my wall of this cover *drooling*

Muggle Studies

Book from a perspective of a muggle. (contemporary)

Road Seven
(Genre: Magical Realism)
By: Keith Rosson
Rating: 5 Stars
(Told from the perspective of Brain, a non believer)

This book is drool worthy. I am once again book drunk thanks to Keith Rosson.

I’ll admit, I doubted him being able to top Smoke City. Which is an amazing mind fuck of a book. But Road Seven delivers.

I’m a sucker for fiction books about books/writers/libraries/anything literary so one of the main characters being a washed up writer was swoon worthy for me in reading the blurb. Disaster characters are my favorite characters.

The complexity of the plot and every single character in the story is great, it’s better than great, it’s relatable. Every. single. person. in this book could be your neighbor, your friend, that weird guy in your city.

The story has so many moving parts, as you read it’s hard to see how they will ever fit together, or who might be hallucinating but they magically piece together in a terrifying yet mystifying way.

By the end you’re left wondering if you’re living your best life, if you’ve made the right choices, and what you can do to start doing so. If you love books that are deep yet fantastical, light but heavy- you’re going to want to pick up Road Seven. This book will take you to places in your mind you probably avoid and make you ponder your mortality.

It was hard to put down, and left me puzzled in all the right ways.

Potions

Shrinking Solution: Book under 150 pages.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
(Genre: Gothic Fiction)

by: Shirley Jackson
Rating: 4 Stars

Page Count: 146

Such a sad yet happy story. So many ways one can find joy in life. Even if the whole world is against you.

It reminds me of Frankenstein with it’s messages of bullying and judging people at face value. 

Transfiguration

Animagus Lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting.

Pig Little Lies
Series: Magic Market Mysteries, Book 5
(Genre: Cozy Mystery)

By: Erin Johnson
Rating: 5 Stars


This book was so good!

The MLM (home party type companies) aspects are spot on, relatable and well researched. Love the twists and turns of the case, didn’t expect the ending, but totally made sense. Sends a good closing lesson, if it’s too good to be true, it’s people a scam.

The shifter community aspects are also perfection. So many clues being dropping, I’ve got so many suspicions about the boss now. Excited to see how it plays out and which ones end up being correct.

Peter and Jolenes relationship is realistic, and I adore how Erin writes relationships. Even the stressful, miscommunication, the fears and heartache. She is great and bringing these traits in people to live, making them relatable and lifelike.

So many aspects of this story make it hard to wait for the next books!

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