Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Random magic by Sasha Soren

Random MagicRandom Magic by Sasha Soren
from author for honest review

Beach Books

January 1, 2010


When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

I have the most wonderful relationship with Ms. Soren - she is quirky, fun and absolutely interesting! I would consider her a friend after all the time we've spent writing back and forth online about her book and other ventures we've both begun. I was first asked to read and review Random Magic for part of a blog tour at the last minute, but due to a delay in the book arriving in time for me to post a review, I held out until this month so that I could post an amazingly fun review style and have Ms. Soren stop by for a guest post (that is scheduled for a little later today). 

Random Magic was sent to me in the sweetest care package I've yet to receive. It was wrapped in the prettiest paper, had the most amazing stamps on it, the book was wrapped in colourful tissue paper, it arrived with tea (side note: the tea made the book smell pretty and it still smells nice now), chocolate a feather and a rubber duck. There was a letter inside that said everything would make sense once I've read the book and honestly I was confused about the rubber duck, but it now sits on my desk and I smile whenever I see it. 

This will be a quite long review as I have chosen to write my thoughts on the chapters along the way. I've divided it by groups of five chapters at a time. Hope you enjoy my new and interesting way to review! I'd say this book is a mixture of being in Wonderland with Harry Potteresque characters and adventuring along like in The Neverending Story. There are so many references to pop culture (The Beatles and The Blair Witch Project) and I am sure that I missed a few along the way. Very hard to write this without giving everything away, but the adventures of Winnie and Henry are just filled with mischief, excitement and wonderment.

I was completely confuzzled - the scenes and dialogue were so utterly random and made no sense to me, but given the title of the book I kept on trucking. Once I arrived at chapter one when Henry appears things became a little clearer and the story started to unfold and make a lot more sense.

-Professor Random reminds me of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland a lot.
-I loved how Henry was pulled into the search for the missing Alice... very comical. How fun would it be to end up in a book?!? 
-I love the titles: In Which Henry Meets A Powerful Witch (Sort Of), Rescues Her (Sort Of), and Misses His Geometry Test (Thankfully, Because That Would Have Been An Utter Null)
-Ever heard of a doodle witch? Me neither, but Henry meets one names Winnie "I'm a doodle witch, practice witchery 'til I find what I'm really good at."
-Still haven't figured out the meaning of the feather or the rubber duck from the parcel, but I did notice that Winnie collects random things along her journeys, so I wonder what she will use them for

-I love how Winnie speaks in riddles and thinks she sounds like she's making sense to Henry and I suppose when Henry speaks like we do, that he sounds just as confusing to her
-I'm loving all the references to so many great fairy tales like Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood - its a lot of fun having new characters cross the path of the characters we've grown to love over the years - especially when the story lines get all twisted and you see things from a different point of view (like how Winnie tells Rapunzel to just use her own hair to free herself from the tower instead of waiting for a man to rescue her - GIRL POWER!)

-This is where we meet the de Morgue family - they are creepy and remind me of the Addams Family or The Munsters, they are all doom and gloom vampires with creeptastic servants and an unusual daughter that is reminiscent of Marilyn Munster though Hypatia is a lot more hip and trendy for our times (I wish we had more time to learn about them - or that they would have their own book someday)

-information about Henry's weird Latin teacher Mrs. Literati (very neat to see who she is)
-apparently green eyes are the mark of the highly unusual (I did not remember that when we first met Winnie that she has green eyes)
-it's great to see a handful of morals in this story: "The whole world could give up on me. But I won't give up on me. Not ever." - Winnie Flapjack
-wow Ms. Soren writes some of the most beautiful things - the words just flow so gently together and bring about the most amazing visuals

-The Garden of the Nine Muses is probably one of my favourite places described so far - inspiration is EVERYWHERE! From song writing and poetry to the written word and astronomy - there are muses for pretty much anything and everything
-My favourite muse is Callie who happens to be a lush and spends most of her time with authors trying to come up with new stories (her peers include Poe, Shakes, Twain, Baudy and many more)

-PIRATES - now the blog tour I participated in makes so much sense and so does the rubber duck and feather
-Is it possible to out-pirate a pirate?
-Winnie explains how enchantments and spells work to Henry (Harum-Scarum.....)

-Oh Henry!what adventures you find yourself upon with and without help
-I am loving that there are so many lessons to learn throughout this book - this time we learn about LOVE "Consider what we lose when love is greedy, when all we think about is what we call ours... Whatever is most precious to us."

-This stretch of the journey is magnificent with birght colours, clockwork and gemstone surroundings. Oh and just for the fun of it a ginormous game ensues called The Immortal Game (chess to the death)
-So many things remind me of Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass - yet they are not nearly the same (though the Red Queen is still just as mean and nasty) - oh and some of the chess players ride on beetles (kinda cute)

CHAPTER 41-46 (the end)
-they finally meet Baba Yaga (the most powerful witch ever - and the weirdest one to boot). She is very ecentric.
-so many fun references: Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Cheshire Cat
-Baron Samedi is quite the character if you parlez-vous francais - he wasn't what I expected though... I'd read reviews that loved him, but I actually like the Muses and the de Morgues better
-the final chapters were a little confusing like the first ones, but slowly they started making sense to me 
-Henry has a hard choice to make - I think he did good with his choice from the sounds of it

DELETED SCENE (chapter 16 - the de morgues fleshed out)
Oh yay! More info on the de Morgues! Ooooo there are mentions of Vlad, a love story, soulmates and more. Loving this deleted, death, the undead and more. 


I love when authors leave comments for me. :)

1 comment:

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