The Art of Neil Gaiman – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell

Published in 2014

Pages: 320

Genre: Nonfiction, biography, coffee table book

“Neil Richard Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960, to David and Sheila Gaiman (néeGoldman) above a grocery store on White Hart Lane, Portchester, a small town in Hampshire on the southern coast of England.”

The Art of Neil Gaiman is a nonfiction book written by Hayley Campbell; I simply call it a nonfiction book because while it deals with fiction, it is in itself about Neil Gaiman and his career. However, I’m not sure if I should call it a biography since I honestly don’t remember the last biography I read and Campbell herself refers to it as a coffee book in her writing, so the task of classification is a difficult one.

What it definitely is, though, is a glimpse into the storied (intentional pun, I assure…

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Thud! – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Published in 2005

Pages: 382

Genre: Fantasy, satire

 “It started out as a perfect day.”

A dwarf has been murdered by a troll; while this isn’t necessarily something new in the world of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, in Thud!, it is the small stone that begins an investigation that avalanches and brings Commander Vimes and his faithful City Watch into danger and mystery. Following the classic plotting of a police procedural, the murder that begins Thud! delves deeper into the history of animosity between dwarfs and trolls that leads back to a famous battle known as Koom Valley, where each side says they were ambushed by the other and every battle between the two races is considered a continuation of the original…battle. In addition to this, Koom Valley was immortalized by a painter gone insane and many believe that there is a secret hidden…

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Published in 1985

Pages: 311

Genre: Dystopian, speculative fiction

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”

The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a dystopian future where a religious sect has taken over the United States of America and transformed it into the Republic of Gilead. Patriarchy reigns supreme and a bastardized version of Christianity is the law of the land. Due to this, the Handmaid’s job is to be the sacred vessel for the coming generations. Read: used strictly for procreation. These Handmaids are indoctrinated and made to do their “duty” (awkward and uncomfortable sex) through unquestioning faith. The main character, Offred (whose name is based on the name of the Commander that she serves. Literally meaning “Of-Fred”, it is more of an identification of property. Other characters are named Ofwarren and Ofglen), recounts her experiences as a Handmaid and through her…

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The Black Prism – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Published in 2010

Pages: 626

Genre: Fantasy

“Kip crawled toward the battlefield in the darkness, the mist pressing down, blotting out sound, scattering starlight.”

The Black Prism is the first book in Nick Weeks’s Lightbringer series and packs quite a lot into its 626 pages. The story takes place in a world where some people are born with the ability to use colors of light to create magic. These people are known as drafters; the most powerful of whom is called The Prism. He is the spiritual leader of the seven satrapies, one for each color of the spectrum, and when it is discovered that the current Prism fathered a bastard son, the world of many characters gets thrown on its head.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Published in 2007

Pages: 759

Genre: Fantasy, magical realism

“The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”

*SPOILER ALERT*

Dumbledore is dead and has set Harry on a quest to destroy the seven Horcruxes, items imbued with parts of Voldemort’s soul, in order to defeat the Dark Lord and bring order to the world. He is not alone in his quest, Hermione and Ron are with him through the tough times though each has their misgivings in the pursuit of their goal. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows marks the ending of an era in the world of storytelling. The stakes are at their highest while nothing is certain but death and the end of the story for our heroes.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Review

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Perpetually Past Due

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Published in 2005

Pages: 652

Genre: Fantasy, magical realism

“It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince continues building toward the eventual climactic confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. After the battle in the Department of Mysteries in The Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore reveals that the prophecy foretold that the only person who can defeat Voldemort is Harry. His sixth year at Hogwarts finds numerous changes in the form of Professor Snape now teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry finding a potions book with notes in it written by the unknown “Half-Blood Prince” that helps him present himself as a potions prodigy, and the responsibility of being Quidditch Captain…

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Published in 2003

Pages: 870

Genre: Fantasy, magical realism

“The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix brings new levels of danger and realization to Harry’s world. Before even beginning his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry is attacked by dementors and is sentenced to a disciplinary hearing due to his use of magic to repel them and save his cousin. Following this is a year fraught with change in the form of a terrible new teacher, Professor Umbridge (according to dictionary.com, the word umbrage means hostility, offense, and annoyance so nice word choice there, Rowling), mounds of homework in preparation of the O.W.L. exams that will determine their career paths, and haunting dreams…

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