Review: Magisterium: The Iron Trial – Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

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It is an honour to be accepted into the Magisterium. Children from families of mages work their hardest to be considered as an apprentice to one of the skilled mages working at the Magisterium. To be chosen is considered a wonderful thing.

Not for Callum Hood. Callum has grown up being taught about the dangers of the Magisterium. His father tells him to do his best to fail the entrance exam for the Magisterium.

However, failing isn’t that easy. Despite his best (or worst) efforts, Callum ends up being accepted into the Magisterium, under the training of the top master.

Magisterium: The Iron Trial is an exciting story full of magic and humour. As the first book in the trilogy, it follows the beginning of Callum’s time learning magic. I think that the style of both authors work together really well. It was interesting to see the combination of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.

The plot twists in this novel were brilliant and unexpected, which added to the suspense and action in the novel.

I really liked the characters in the novel. I enjoyed the progression of the relationship between Callum, Aaron and Tamara.

I would recommend this novel for younger readers and lovers of the Harry Potter series.

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Review: A Song For Ella Grey – David Almond

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Claire is proud to say that she is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s always there for her, through exam stress, through the pressure Ella’s parents are putting on her, through the classes that Ella can’t seem to connect with.

When Orpheus swoops in and captures Ella’s heart, Claire does her best to stick with her best friend. However Ella is distracted, preoccupied with her newfound love.

A Song For Ella Grey is a modern retelling of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. In the original tragic love story, Eurydice dies, leaving Orpheus distraught. He journeys through the underworld to make a deal with death and return Eurydice to the living.

I liked Almonds writing style, although it left me confused at times. The book had a very surreal feel to it, which reflected the mystery of the character of Orpheus.

The lyrical style of the novel made it easy to continue reading, as easy chapter seemed to flow into the next. The description of things and people in the novel was very detailed and intricate.

Although the novel was difficult at times to comprehend, I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy modern retellings of Greek mythology.

Review: Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie – Jeff Norton

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On Adam Meltzer’s twelfth birthday he’s stung by a killer bee. Three months later he wakes up in his coffin as a zombie. After clawing his way up to the surface he returns home to his family, giving them the fright of their lives. Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie tells the story of Adam trying to fit back into his school and not draw attention to himself, which proves difficult for him to do.

When I picked up this novel I could not put it back down. It was compelling and full of action, making it hard to stop reading. It was easy to read, meaning that it is ideal for it’s target audience of nine year olds and above.

Norton’s style is humorous and I was smiling from the start. Adam is a very likable and amusing character. I found myself laughing out loud at some parts in the novel.

I loved how the novel teaches younger readers about issues such as OCD. Adam’s OCD is explained in a way that was funny but didn’t mock his condition.

I think that Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie is the perfect novel for younger fans of zombie stories. I would definitely recommend it to young readers.