Monday, January 16, 2023

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures, by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

So often, I read the super-popular, highly rated book of the hour and I’m like, “Meh.”  Then I find some book I LOVE, and the 47 reviews are ho-hum, and no one I talk to has ever heard of it.


I LOVED this.  Reading as an adult who loves animals (and invented animals) and light-hearted reads where violence is not the solution, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I even made myself ration it. 

So, yeah, maybe some of the characters were a bit one-dimensional, and maybe I would have liked to know a little more about how all these creatures fit in (or didn't) in the wider world outside the story, and maybe the solution was a little too easy…but it was all so delightfully fun and charming and full of great imaginary creatures and really funny bits that I just didn’t care about any of its minor issues.

I highly recommend Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures.  With some series I’m like, “Great.  I have to read MORE?”  With this one I’m like, “Yes!!  There’s more!!!!” [Happy dance].

I rarely give 5 stars to novels.  This is probably more like a  4 or 4.5 for the average reader who isn’t quite as obsessed with magical animals as I am, but for me:  5 stars, no question. 

P.S.  As a writer, I'm always curious how the process works when a novel has two authors.  Whatever Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater did, it worked.  Full disclosure:  I listened to a YA novel by Maggie Stiefvater that I didn't love (Call Down the Hawk).  Her talent was apparent, but I didn't particularly enjoy the book.  This one, however, has all my stamps of approval.     

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