Saturday, November 17, 2018

Book Review: The Language of Spells

I know it's the weekend but I am trying to get out as many book reviews as I can so I can clear off my book shelf but also give you more options for gift giving this season!

The Language of Spells - Garret Weyr
Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.
I'll be honest and tell you I wasn't totally sold on this and it almost had a Fantastic Beasts wannabe feel to it so maybe that's why I wasn't grabbed. BUT!! My ten year old son actually really loved this book and he finished it over the weekend, so what do I know? 

I think maybe my biggest issue with this book is really how slow it is. I think as an adult I'm used to faster paced books and I want a plot to really start moving by page 50 and that's not the case with this one. The entire book is Grisha (a dragon) wanting to "investigate a human" so he goes into town and he comes across Maggie, who is kind of a strange kid who can see dragons, which is unusual. Dragons aren't really around anymore because of a spell and this is about Grisha and Maggie saving the dragons from this spell. The entire book is kind of strange because it feels like a chess game- they make a move, stop and think about it, make another move, etc. My son said he really liked it and didn't understand why I thought that was slow and at times, boring. So again, maybe I'm just a dud who doesn't know what's cool anymore.

I really thought this was going to be the start of a cool series, but it's really not and there is a fairly precise ending. Jackson DID agree with me that the ending wasn't really what we thought it was going to be so I guess some points could be given that it wasn't really a predictable ending, though it wasn't entirely exciting. My only other complaint is this taking place after World War II and is a historical fiction, but there is literally no mention of the Holocaust. Do I think kids reading this book is going to pick up on that and be bothered? No. Will adults notice? I think so. Does it matter to the greater story? I'm not sure.. but I'm not sure how I feel about something that large in history not being mentioned. But again, my son didn't even think twice about it so maybe that was omitted on the premise that it wasn't important to the story. I'm not sure.

Overall I would give the book 2 stars but Jackson said he would give it 4 stars, so we're going to compromise at 3 stars. He thinks we should give our copy to the school library because other kids will like it, so that's what we'll do.

1 comment:

Midnight Cowgirl said...

The premise sounds really interesting!