Book Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker was my thirteenth book of the year. I am one book behind schedule if I want to read 20 books by the end of the year!

This book was chosen as the August book for the Bay Area Ladie’s Fantasy Book Club, but I didn’t finish it on time. I did however, not give up on it and read it this past month!

I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it promised everything I look for in a story: magic, adventure, world building and a strong female character, on the other hand, the book seemed lacking depth and tried to accommodate too many storylines at once.

The book starts in our world with a character who seemed very familiar and almost normal, but she soon enters not only one, but two new worlds, and things start going downhill.

I loved the world building in this book and I wanted to learn more about its origins, the different people and wanted to know more about the main characters, the magicians Aruendiel and Hirizjakanis (yeah, no idea how to pronounce that), but as readers, we never got to.

So many different things happened, and the book kept going on and on without any particular plot line actually developing. When we finally got one, the book ended on a cliffhanger, but I am not sure if that was enough for me to read the sequel.

I loved the premise, but not the execution. I just wish there hadn’t been so many different things to consider, so many completely different worlds and that it had been just fantasy set in a medieval-like world, not a combination of Middle Earth, The Great Gatsby parties, zombies and grad school. It just felt like too much.

I did, however, like it more as I persisted through it and finished it. Perhaps if the story had started halfway where it did, I would have enjoyed it more.


My review: 3/5 stars ☆☆★ ★ ★

Finished the book on September 12, 2018.

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