Review: Sorcery for Beginners by Matt Harry and Juliane Crump

Summary/Cover Image from Goodreads: 
Five-hundred years ago, sorcery began to fade from the world. As technology prevailed, combustion engines and computers replaced enchanted plows and spell books. Real magicians were hunted almost to extinction. Science became the primary system of belief, and the secrets of spell-casting were forgotten. That is … until now.

Sorcery for Beginners is no fantasy or fairy tale. Written by arcane arts preservationist and elite mage Euphemia Whitmore (along with her ordinary civilian aide Matt Harry), this book is a how-to manual for returning magic to an uninspired world. It's also the story of Owen Macready, a seemingly average 13-year-old who finds himself drawn into a centuries-long war when he uses sorcery to take on a school bully. Owen's spell casting attracts the attention of a ruthless millionaire and a secret society of anti-magic mercenaries, all of whom wish to use Sorcery for Beginners to alter the course of world history forever.

One of my favorite parts about book blogging is reading books I wouldn't normally have learned about/picked up otherwise. 

That's the case with Sorcery for Beginners. It's not the type of book I would typically read; however, it's published by Inkshares, one of my new favorite publishers. Therefore, when I was offered the chance to read and review, I thought why not. I mean, I do love magic, and October is the PERFECT time to read magic filled books.  

The Result? If I was a middle grader, I would've been so in love with this book! I mean, it contains spells, fun facts, bad guys, and epic quest to save the day, and what middle grader doesn't love those things? Answer: (Almost) None. However, as a twenty something adult, I liked but didn't love this one. 

One of the aspects that made Sorcery for Beginners stand out to me was the way in which Matt Harry presented it. The combination of fun facts, illustrations, complete spells, and a narrative portions gives readers a little bit of everything. I especially loved the spells because they were presented just as the characters were learning about them in the narrative portion. Additionally, the format of Sorcery for Beginners makes this book fast paced and a ton of fun!It's never "bogged down" with one thing, which I think is perfect for younger readers, especially those who may be reluctant readers. 

The overall storyline in this book was interesting. I enjoy a quest to save the world as much as anyone else, and that rang true here. It was fun to see an "ordinary" character learn he wasn't quite as ordinary as he thought. Additionally, I loved the makeshift group that formed because of the magic. They were a funny group. 

There was one aspect that held me back from loving Sorcery for Beginners: the lack of development. Sometimes I wish more of the magic world would've been discussed. Additionally, I felt that some characters were better developed than others. 

In all, while I didn't LOVE this one to pieces, I still think it will find a strong fan group in the hands of younger readers. Plus with the holiday season quickly approaching, Sorcery for Beginners stands out as a great gift to give to your favorite middle schooler! 

Grade: B- 

Sorcery for Beginners is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by publisher 

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1 comment:

  1. I always think magic and autumn go together too! Sounds like a fun book for kids!


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