Archive for October, 2015
Guest Reviewer Noah Hill Reviews “Schooled in Magic” by Christopher Nuttall
Posted by Barb Caffrey in Book Review on October 1, 2015
Folks, please forgive the rather unenticing title of this review. As I’ve been working hard at turning in my third novel, CHANGING FACES, I haven’t been able to review for a few weeks.
A few months ago, I asked Noah Hill if he’d like to do another review for SBR, and he said, “Sure!” So this is his second review, with more to come in the weeks that follow.
Now, on to the review!
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the first book in the Schooled in Magic series by Christopher Nuttall. (Also titled Schooled in Magic. — BC)
Schooled in Magic is a familiar story, told in an interesting way. Emily, our unlikely protagonist, is transported to a magical world against her will, where she must learn magic, try to make friends, and fight against the forces of evil. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, no! Not another Harry Potter rip off!” Have faith, and keep reading; I thought the same thing at first.
Overall, I found Schooled in Magic to be quite enjoyable. The characters were fun, the evildoers were properly evil, and there were several twists and turns that left my head spinning. Mr. Nuttall was able to capture the darker side of fantasy, while keeping the story fun and lighthearted. It made me smile, it sent chills down my spine, and it made me laugh, all within the space of a few pages. This ability to rapidly shift mood is something that many authors lack.
The one flaw that I saw in Schooled in Magic was voice, or a lack thereof. There were several places in the book where I thought that voice was missing. More specifically, I felt that our protagonist wasn’t given the voice that she deserves. A part of the problem is that at times I felt as if the author were using Emily’s internal monologue as a vehicle for his own beliefs about our world. I could very well be wrong, but I think that there were times when she was thinking and acting in a way that was very strange for a young girl, without a solid explanation in her character background. Despite this, Schooled in Magic is a story that was able to grip me fairly early and pull me through those spots.
If you love a good fish-out-of-water story, a fun look into another world, and a quick read that pulls you along by your collar, then Schooled in Magic is a good, solid read that you will probably devour in one or two sittings, as I did.
Reviewer’s note: Keep an eye out, as I’ll be reading and reviewing more of this series in the weeks to come!
–reviewed by Noah Hill; posted by Barb Caffrey