Black Magic Academy Paperback – January 13, 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 13, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 150 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1468081497
- ISBN-13 : 978-1468081497
- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.38 x 8.5 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Magical schools have been presented many times before, but this is one of the few takes I've seen where the school and the students seem so openly antagonistic towards one another. Partially this is because negative qualities are so openly praised in the students, but also because of the natural contention between the protagonist's natural characteristics and the school's expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, and the author's descriptiveness. The worldbuilding was thin, but held up decently well, and I appreciated that the author didn't try to stick extra world stuff into such a short book that flowed so well. The pacing was extremely good and the prose were transparent. I read the book in two sittings over a single day. The main reason that I'm not giving it five stars is because the final quarter of the book just seems to weaken and falter, with the plot rapidly diverging from what was previously established. The author has the skill to make it work, but the foreshadowing just wasn't there, and I felt a bit lost.
The characters are not fleshed out. This is an unfortunate oversight, but one that I would be willing to overlook considering how much I enjoyed the book while I was reading it. However, the ending lost me. I would still highly recommend this book, however. Just temper your expectations going in. A new epic this is not.
Problem is, she is a good witch.
Although I haven’t read all the stories of magical schools and academies that are out there, my experience of the ones
I have read is that for all the magic and occasionally gross things a young witch or wizard might encounter there, they usually feel safe, at least to the reader. Hogwarts, for example, always felt safer to me than my own natural environment despite the ever-present and growing threat of Voldemort. Black Magic Academy, however, doesn’t feel that way somehow. With an entrance gate that looks like a hungry mouth, an emphasis on Death Enemies, and a generally hostile faculty and student body, the place feels dangerous from the beginning.
Mildred, our new student witch, is from a family of evil witches, although some are eviler than others. She mainly wants to make a friend or two at her new school. But even before she discovers that her familiar talisman is a unicorn – a white magic symbol that her aunt hastily announces is something else – she has difficulty finding anyone to be friends with. Her only choice seems to be another girl that everybody else shuns because she is a low-status village witch.
Then comes a time when the Head Witch sends her out on an errand to deliver a message and supposedly to go spy on another of the academies. Mildred meets another girl, not a witch, who claims to be a princess, and her life changes completely.
Now, whenever I compare a book to Harry Potter, I get in a little trouble with the author. One author actually took to her Facebook page complaining that yet another reviewer compared her book to Harry Potter. For some reason, authors seem to take a comparison to a billion dollar book/movie enterprise as a bit of an insult. So, here's hoping that the author takes no offense when I say, with Black Magic Academy, Sorensen has given readers what Harry Potter should have been!
Mildred is born to a family of witches. However, these aren't good witches. These are hexing, haggish, cockroach-leg-necklace wearing witches. And the problem is that Mildred just isn't a very good Bad Witch. So, she's sent to a school for witches in the hope that she will finally live up to her horrid potential.
This book is incredibly fun. While a very good person, Mildred is spunky, plucky and likeable. And many of the "bad" witches have some terrific qualities. This is a rollicking adventure of a book and kept my interest from the very first page.
What's most apparent is the fun the author had while writing this one! Picture creepy castles, people being turned into frogs, uncontrollable brooms flying through the air, all told in a light-hearted, funny, and very engaging style.
My only warning is to the parents of boys - there are very few male characters in the book and those few play very small roles. While I generally think that most books can be read and enjoyed by people of both genders, this felt very much like a girl's book. While I think any boy would enjoy the adventure and terrific settings and plot, they may very much feel the lack of relatable boy characters. However, the book seems ripe for a sequel and there could be a greater role for the boys in later books.
This really is a terrific read and is very appropriate for kids of all ages!
Top reviews from other countries
The most annoying feature of this book, as others have mentioned, halfway through the story randomly changes and becomes a chapter by chapter of fairytale references, which is painful.
Honestly the tone of the book I never got, it seemed serious one moment and ridiculously silly at the next moment.
Overall, some good concepts, interesting if not detailed characters, and a light-hearted read. Would have been much better if it carried on like the book began.