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The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel

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"The British boarding school mystery meets the best imagined of fantasies at breakneck speed and with fully realized characters."-Sarah A. Hoyt, author of the best-selling Darkship Thieves. Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl-but it's hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger, and no one will listen. Now, she's eavesdropping o "The British boarding school mystery meets the best imagined of fantasies at breakneck speed and with fully realized characters."-Sarah A. Hoyt, author of the best-selling Darkship Thieves. Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl-but it's hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger, and no one will listen. Now, she's eavesdropping on Wisecraft Agents and breaking a lot of rules. Because if the adults will not believe her, then it is up to Rachel and her friends-crazy, orphan-boy Sigfried the Dragonslayer and Nastasia, the Princess of Magical Australia-to stop the insidious Mortimer Egg from destroying the world. But first she must survive truth spells, fights with her brother, detention, Alchemy experiments, talking to elves, and conjuring class. As if that were not bad enough, someone has turned the boy she likes into a sheep. Oh, and the Raven with blood-red eyes continues to watch her. It is said to be an omen of the Doom of Worlds. Will her attempts to save her world bring the Raven's wrath down upon her?


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"The British boarding school mystery meets the best imagined of fantasies at breakneck speed and with fully realized characters."-Sarah A. Hoyt, author of the best-selling Darkship Thieves. Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl-but it's hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger, and no one will listen. Now, she's eavesdropping o "The British boarding school mystery meets the best imagined of fantasies at breakneck speed and with fully realized characters."-Sarah A. Hoyt, author of the best-selling Darkship Thieves. Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl-but it's hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger, and no one will listen. Now, she's eavesdropping on Wisecraft Agents and breaking a lot of rules. Because if the adults will not believe her, then it is up to Rachel and her friends-crazy, orphan-boy Sigfried the Dragonslayer and Nastasia, the Princess of Magical Australia-to stop the insidious Mortimer Egg from destroying the world. But first she must survive truth spells, fights with her brother, detention, Alchemy experiments, talking to elves, and conjuring class. As if that were not bad enough, someone has turned the boy she likes into a sheep. Oh, and the Raven with blood-red eyes continues to watch her. It is said to be an omen of the Doom of Worlds. Will her attempts to save her world bring the Raven's wrath down upon her?

30 review for The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    As much as I loved the first book in this series, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, it took me forever to get around to reading the second book. And I confess I was a little disappointed, as some of the charm had worn off and all the rough edges and silliness was a little more jarring this time around. Rachel Griffin is basically a Harry Potter AU, with Rachel in the Harry role. The series is also based on the author's home RPG campaign, and this is very evident by some of the crazy As much as I loved the first book in this series, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, it took me forever to get around to reading the second book. And I confess I was a little disappointed, as some of the charm had worn off and all the rough edges and silliness was a little more jarring this time around. Rachel Griffin is basically a Harry Potter AU, with Rachel in the Harry role. The series is also based on the author's home RPG campaign, and this is very evident by some of the crazy-silly things the playercharacters do, which make not a lot of sense in a narrative arc, but are totally the sorts of things PCs will do when they are running roughshod over the Gamemaster's plans. In the World of the Wise, wizards live in a parallel society hidden from the Unwary (Muggles). This is not quite our world or Rowling's world, though: all churches have been replaced by temples to Greek gods. The countries aren't quite the same as ours. There's a mysterious raven who seemed to be a harbinger of doom in the first book, but now appears to be on Rachel's side. There's also an elf woman who shows up to deliver exposition and plot Macguffins. Rachel is a 12-year-old girl with a 16-year-old boyfriend (it never really goes into squicky territory, but Rachel is certainly aware that she's dating above her age range), and her friends have to save the world I'll give L. Jagi Lamplighter this: she is no worse than JK Rowling at writing angsty tween romance, and Rachel is a more believable girl than Harry is a believable boy, albeit one who is, as of this book, too young for hormones to have really started rampaging. Along with the 12-year-old dating a 16-year-old, there were other little details that jarred me in what seemed to be a fairly PG-rated book. The violence gets quite graphic at times, there's quite a horrific situation in the climax involving mind control, and at one point, it's revealed that a secondary character was basically enslaved and raped over an extended period by one of the villains. None of that really made this book more "adult" though — it still reads very much like a YA fantasy novel, and at times, one in need of editing. There were far too many characters, far too many exposition dumps about this world's history and historical characters and plots and conspiracies from the past, let alone ones from the previous book which I could barely remember. The wizardry is a mishmash of Harry Potterish wandlore and some RPG magic system. Characters have random (Player Character) powers, like perfect recall and a pet dragon. The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel was entertaining but meandering, sometimes revealing itself too much as a novelization of the author's game sessions. While Harry Potter advanced a year in each book, so far after two books, Rachel is still in her first year at Roanoke Academy. I've already figured out what the big mystery is that I assume the series is leading to, but the author is certainly in no hurry to get there. Charming, goofy, and rambling.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not quite halfway through and am seriously contemplating filing this book onto the started/not finished shelf. I do like how the author picks up exactly where the former book left off. She does not utilize cliff hangers as Ms. Rowland did, which is why I believe her books sold so well. Anyone with an iota of curiosity would want to know what happens next. (I am in total disbelief that a reviewer wrote that these books are not a derivative of Harry Potter) I didn't care much for Sigfried in th I'm not quite halfway through and am seriously contemplating filing this book onto the started/not finished shelf. I do like how the author picks up exactly where the former book left off. She does not utilize cliff hangers as Ms. Rowland did, which is why I believe her books sold so well. Anyone with an iota of curiosity would want to know what happens next. (I am in total disbelief that a reviewer wrote that these books are not a derivative of Harry Potter) I didn't care much for Sigfried in the first book and his constant threats to annihilate perceived enemies. His inability to pronounce words, especially names, correctly is downright annoying. He is a pathological liar. He takes credit for slaying a dragon that Lucky had defeated. When put under the truth-telling spell he is inundated by the indicators that reveal lying. He also can't seem to get over his mistreatment at the orphanage and perceives all adults in the same negative light. He feels compelled to stash perishable food in fear of discipline causing him to miss a meal, despite all assurances to the contrary. In this second volume Sigfried is showing indications of wanting to reveal magic to the Unwary (AKA muggles in another world) I can't remember if he was in on the explanation of why this would be a terrible idea, but surely Rachel could enlighten him. Now, Rachel is becoming a character I rather dislike. She is furious at adults for not revealing everything they know about a plot to destroy their world. At one point she admits to herself an understanding of why this is so, but it does not deter her from sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. In spite of acknowledging that she is too young to date, she defies her family and hooks up with 16 year old Gaius Valiant. The princess has also warned her to steer clear of him. Rachel occasionally seems to revert to childish impetus with no boundaries. Who in their right mind approaches a virtual stranger and asks them if they'd like to date their sister? Admittedly, she has led a fairly sheltered life without much interaction with others her age, but still. Her grandmother drilled her on how to behave like a lady. Rachel also is way too preoccupied with imagining various boys as future husbands. I am at the point in the book where Rachel is interacting with Mortimer Egg, Jr. I am cringing at the thought that she will blurt out that his father is evil. Rachel considers abandoning her new-found friends when they don't realize how serious she is about saving the world. Unfortunately she discovers Gaius falls into this category. The only teen who seems to follow her line of thinking is the evil Prince of Bavaria with whom she makes a pact to share information. Well, I kept reading and am almost finished. Rachel has just discovered that her beloved grandfather had been married prior to marrying her grandmother. His first family had been killed in front of him. This modus operandi seems to be what occurred to a couple of her classmates but I'm not sure if Rachel has put two and two together yet. She is very sad that she did not get a chance to meet these relatives. Hello? If these relatives had not been killed her grandfather would not have gone on to marry her grandmother and Rachel wouldn't even exist. Genetics 101. Rachel stubbornly refuses to give up on her useless familiar Mistletoe. She is even offered the opportunity to work with a "loaner." Instead she finds out that she can conjure an object if she can either touch or draw it. I don't know how useful that will be if she needs to conjure up something in a hurry, i.e. a life-saving shield or the like. I'm pretty sure Mistletoe will somehow redeem himself (herself?) at some point proving Rachel's loyalty was not amiss. There seems to be a permanent geas on at least a couple of adults, causing them to swing back and forth between good and evil. The powers that be don't seem to be dealing with this issue in any meaningful way. I suppose Rachel and her gang will be the ones to save the day. The Raven and the Elf are pretty incomprehensible. They both seem to have powers above the norm, yet are relying on these children. I don't get it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Russell Newquist

    August was a great month for me, but it was also pretty rough. So after DragonCon last week, I took a bit of time to just relax. Outside of my day job, which I can't really shirk, I didn't do much "real work." That will catch up with me later. I still have a ton to do. But I did get to read a few good books. Last week I left a review of Christopher T Lansdown's Ordinary Superheroes. Today it's "The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel" by L. Jagi Lamplighter (aka the Mrs. John C. Wright). Full disclosure: August was a great month for me, but it was also pretty rough. So after DragonCon last week, I took a bit of time to just relax. Outside of my day job, which I can't really shirk, I didn't do much "real work." That will catch up with me later. I still have a ton to do. But I did get to read a few good books. Last week I left a review of Christopher T Lansdown's Ordinary Superheroes. Today it's "The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel" by L. Jagi Lamplighter (aka the Mrs. John C. Wright). Full disclosure: Mrs. Lamplighter sent me a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. I had been prepared to buy it anyway, because I absolutely loved the first book in the series. Thankfully she caught me in time and saved me some money! Like its predecessor, this book is a very fast and easy read. The language, as befits a young adult book, flows off the page easily and quickly - but it will still give younger readers enough new words to expand their vocabularies. It's also immediately engaging, and the characters retain your attention throughout. In the first tale, Mrs. Lamplighter introduced us to the rarest of mythical fantasy creatures. Rachel is a believable thirteen year-old girl that doesn't make you want to strangle her. That continues in this tale, and it's the strongest part of the series. Rachel herself is immediately recognizable as a true-to-life young girl, and she's extremely likable. All of her friends are fleshed out even further, and each of them continues to be an absolute joy to read about. The characters are easily the best part of this tale. In a coincidental bout of timing, Morgon and I also watched the entire first season of Stranger Things last week. These two series shared something that I greatly enjoyed: both featured smart, interesting, and believable children doing heroic things - but heroic things that weren't actually above their abilities to do as children. In our modern society of helicopter parenting and sheltered youth, it's refreshing to see children let out of their shackles for a while to grow and thrive. I do have two complaints about this book, however. First, there is a pretty fair amount of talking rather than doing. It's engaging talking, and it's fun. It never gets dull. But at the end of the day it feels like not much actually happens... until all of a sudden there's a giant confrontation at the end. The first book suffered a bit from "talking rather than doing" syndrome as well, but not to this degree. And that feeds into the second problem, which is closely related. This book is a "middle" book, and it kind of felt like it. It wasn't anywhere near enough to destroy the book - I still found myself so enthralled that I finished it very quickly. But it is enough that I noticed it. Even so, the book was a lot of fun, with a little depth to it as well. I'd highly recommend it for any youth into fantasy stories, and most especially to young girls and Harry Potter fans. Adults will enjoy it, too, however. I don't read a ton of young adult fiction these days, but this was a welcome bit of light fare. All told, this is a four out of five star book and I greatly look forward to finishing the series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    The sequel to The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. Lots of spoilers ahead. Indeed it begins with the Agents' questioning students to find out what happened and what they were magically prevented from knowing. After their own questioning, our trio of Rachel, Natissia, and Siggy, with Lucky, spy because the Agents won't tell them anything. Even the Agents who admit that they are on the front line of the fighting. Some horrific revelations ensue. One girl remembered that her parents -- or The sequel to The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. Lots of spoilers ahead. Indeed it begins with the Agents' questioning students to find out what happened and what they were magically prevented from knowing. After their own questioning, our trio of Rachel, Natissia, and Siggy, with Lucky, spy because the Agents won't tell them anything. Even the Agents who admit that they are on the front line of the fighting. Some horrific revelations ensue. One girl remembered that her parents -- or rather her aunt and uncle, raising her -- offered her as a human sacrifice. The person asking for the sacrifice rejected her because they didn't love her enough for it to be a sacrifice. And more. Siggy acts erratically. Rachel does seem to take everything he says at face value, though knowing he's not very honest. He seems to be more in shock from his transition of the world of magic from the mundane than Rachel realizes. Vladimir von Dread is not happy with the way the Knight of Walpurgis acquitted themselves under attack. Rachel sees more of Gaius, and also gets little help from her family, and gets to meet the title elf. More revelations about the world ensue. Meanwhile, the culprits move again. . . . It includes a student who's unable to use a flying broom, which you don't need magic for, putting essences in elixirs because it's too dangerous to put them straight into human bodies, Rachel's reflecting that she doesn't want to be a queen, two young princes trying to get rid of the oldest, how no one knows the meaning of the words "saint" and "steeple", and much more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I greatly enjoyed the book, though it seemed that the first two thirds were a lot of internal dialogues and exposition without much action, and then the last third was rushed with everything happening all at once with very little examination. Still, this is a great series and I recommend it to anyone looking for a Harry Potter-like story, but with more depth and maturity to the magical world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    mirba

    Nothing much to add to the other reviews. I liked it, it works good, while it has a Harry potterish theme, the characters and topics are pretty different and will follow it while it gets published.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Stewart

    Another greatly enjoyable read. I had difficulty paying attention to anything else while I finished up this book. I recommend it to everyone. Loved it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol Kean

    I love this series! Rarely do I buy all the books in a series at once, $20 for all five (and more to come!), but this one reeled me in and I knew it wouldn't disappoint. My Kindle is packed full of highlights -- scenes I love, things I want to know more about in later books. I read all five books in a few weeks, despite having many more-urgent things to do, because I just didn't want to leave this fictional world and this fun heroine. Now I have other matters to attend to before writing reviews fo I love this series! Rarely do I buy all the books in a series at once, $20 for all five (and more to come!), but this one reeled me in and I knew it wouldn't disappoint. My Kindle is packed full of highlights -- scenes I love, things I want to know more about in later books. I read all five books in a few weeks, despite having many more-urgent things to do, because I just didn't want to leave this fictional world and this fun heroine. Now I have other matters to attend to before writing reviews for the next four books, but I want to lodge just once complaint: after FIVE long books, Rachel is still in her first year at Roanoake school of magic (not a Hogwarts knock-off! really!). She is still only 13 years old. She has accomplished many extraordinary things this first year, won many new friends, earned the respect and allegiance of none other than Prince Vlad, and a mysterious angel (no spoilers here!), and even some famous ghosts. At the end of Book Five, Rachel still doesn't have a "familiar," and it is certain that her cat Mistletoe is never going to fulfill that role, but she remains inexplicably loyal to this useless animal. Either Mistletoe must rise to the occasion and do what cat familiars do (e.g. preventing falls from a broom in flight), or a new familiar must appear, or Rachel must establish that she is so competent, she doesn't need a familiar. A love triangle is hinted at in this book: can Rachel be attracted to two very different guys (one short and born into poverty, one tall and powerful and wealthy) at once? How would she choose one over the other? Good thing she's still only age thirteen and needn't commit for some time to come. Now I'm wondering how many books it will take to get to the end of Rachel's schooling, and how many pages before our questions are answered. Fortunately, all five novels are so engaging, so riveting, I am in no hurry for the end to be in sight--but I'll be impatient for the next book in the series, and if some 20+ books remain to be written, I may have a very long wait. Great series - highly recommended!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bekah Chu

    I still don't like Nastasia. I still don't like Nastasia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aelvana

    Things have barely quieted down at Roanoke Academy since the battle with the dragon. Now that the Wisecraft know there is a geas that can control people without them remembering it, everything is in an uproar. Rachel is desperate to be in the thick of things, but the adults are trying to keep students in the dark---even though the students themselves are the ones most likely to be hurt. If no one will tell her anything, she's determined to keep investigating herself . . . I really like how Vladim Things have barely quieted down at Roanoke Academy since the battle with the dragon. Now that the Wisecraft know there is a geas that can control people without them remembering it, everything is in an uproar. Rachel is desperate to be in the thick of things, but the adults are trying to keep students in the dark---even though the students themselves are the ones most likely to be hurt. If no one will tell her anything, she's determined to keep investigating herself . . . I really like how Vladimir Von Dread and Gaius are shaping up as the book goes on. Pretty much all the adults have written Vlad (and by extension, his loyal henchman Gaius) off as evil, but as the first book showed, that's oversimplifying things by a lot. Now Rachel is finding that the people she trusted so well are brushing off serious concerns, but Vlad is willing to take her warnings to heart. As for Gaius, he's enough older than Rachel to make dating a concern---which even Rachel admits. So she teeters between wanting to keep him as a friend, and wanting him to be more. I like how Gaius is, even more than Vlad, ambiguous. But nobody beats Siggy when it comes to making me laugh. Rachel sighed. “Sigfried, you’re a human being. You don’t have glands like that.” “Yet!” said Siggy stubbornly. “You told me people can’t turn into dragons—but look at Dr. Mordeau! If she can do it, I can do it. I have great hopes for alchemy class. I can’t wait to perform alchemical experiments on my head!” “It’ll work out great!” Lucky added loyally. “You’ll overcome many naked monkey boy handicaps! When have horrible experiments with unknown magical forces ever gone wrong?” The scene where Mr. Burke is trying to explain about dangerous areas to Sigfried is another bit of comedy gold. Siggy and Lucky take all his warnings as if they were signs on attractions, and wants to see them all. This is a darker book than the previous. Although the event itself happens offscreen, a student was raped, and she's struggling to heal. The Raven also gets some interesting bits of development. Rachel's always seen it as a harbinger of doom, but once she knows a little bit more of who he is and what he's doing, her feelings get more complicated. Overall the story continues to build and improve. I rate this book Recommended. See my reviews and more at https://offtheshelfreviews.wordpress....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This book completely blew me away. It continued right where the first book left off and it MOVED. There was a bit scrolling of time, but things happened and they happened FAST. I loved the pacing. It made me want to turn the pages (or in this case, touch the screen) almost faster than I could read it. *SPOLIERS FOLLOW* The characters were true to form and new ones were introduced to us, some in ways that made you want to SMACK them HARD. Seriously, this book is completely bringing me back to when This book completely blew me away. It continued right where the first book left off and it MOVED. There was a bit scrolling of time, but things happened and they happened FAST. I loved the pacing. It made me want to turn the pages (or in this case, touch the screen) almost faster than I could read it. *SPOLIERS FOLLOW* The characters were true to form and new ones were introduced to us, some in ways that made you want to SMACK them HARD. Seriously, this book is completely bringing me back to when I was in middle and high school and it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to get adults to listen or take me seriously. It's severe agism. So when NONE of the adults, including her sister, refuse to listen to Rachel, and her sister actually uses magic to SILENCE her which I take to be a HORRIBLE thing to do. It makes NO sense to take away the voice of a spell caster ON YOUR SIDE when you are fighting pure EVIL. It was to "protect" her. I'm sorry, but taking away the only way someone can defend themselves is NOT protecting anybody. If she was my sister and she did that to me, I would have kicked her! (Rachel's a much better person than I am.) This book ended in a way that seems final, BUT (huge smile, beaming like a moron) a little bird (maybe a raven?) told me that THERE IS ANOTHER BOOK COMING!!!!1!!!11!!!! I can't wait, I can't wait, I CAN'T WAIT!!!! XD I've read the first two books following Rachel Griffin and they are amazing. The pacing, the world building, the characters, all combine to form a book that I find very difficult to tear myself away from and which I will want to re-visit. I love Rachel and envy her the gift of total recall that she has. She has a good core of friends on which she relies and who rely on her, though the Princess....I'm on the fence about her. She's lawful stupid. Follow the letter of the law, to the exclusion of common sense. Siggy is chaotic good. He's a wild child who can, and does, do just about anything, rules be darned. Don't be fooled by the rather middle-grade looking cover (sorry, the cover for the first book was SOOOO much better IMHO) and by the fact that the main character Rachel is 13, this book has really dark themes in them. Most of the truly adult stuff happens off-screen as it were, but it is discussed and pondered/worried over by the characters at various times throughout the book. This is a book for advanced middle grade and YA. And adults of course. :) I highly recommend this book to just about anyone. I would say it's similar in world building to Harry Potter, but definitely not a copy of it. The world in this book is distinct and the characters unique. I really hope we get more of Siggy's story and maybe see some of the other secondary characters fleshed out a bit more. I want to go deeper into the characters and the world. It's a lot of fun and a quick read. Great book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roswitha

    This second installment of the series at once enthralled and frustrated the heck out of me. The larger over-arching plot, and the backdrop setting of world upon world continues to prove fascinating. But the characters start to drop somewhat in my estimation. Siegfried Smith, whom I look upon with tolerant affection, started to wear a bit thin as he shows no signs of maturing. (anything? even a hint would be nice!) And the Princess Nastasia, my favorite from book one, seems to be showing all her This second installment of the series at once enthralled and frustrated the heck out of me. The larger over-arching plot, and the backdrop setting of world upon world continues to prove fascinating. But the characters start to drop somewhat in my estimation. Siegfried Smith, whom I look upon with tolerant affection, started to wear a bit thin as he shows no signs of maturing. (anything? even a hint would be nice!) And the Princess Nastasia, my favorite from book one, seems to be showing all her negative qualities in full force. Every time you turn around she's being petulant, or frigid, or superficial. But the single worst thing about this book is the relationship between Rachel and Gauis, which absolutely reeks Mary Sue. Either the author is expecting us to believe that Rachel, endearing and adorable as she is, somehow despite being a tiny, underdeveloped thirteen-year-old somehow manages to fascinate a very charming, talented, and popular sixteen-year-old boy. Or, conversely, we are to believe that this charming and talented teenage boy is so pure and lofty and idealistic that he is romantically interested in this sweet and engaging little girl, for her mind. Or both. I don't buy it for a second. Pretty much the only way the author is going to redeem this particular storyline is to show Gauis had underlying motives all along, which would actually be rather a brilliant development; but she so far show no signs of so doing. I'm still champing at the bit to find out what happens next, but I confess the developments in this book dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. Edit: I read the revised edition, and found my feelings altered somewhat for the better. With a little more polish the whole story becomes more engaging and fascinating. Siegfried gained by the update, but Nastasia is still much the same. I rather like how the author is portraying the friendship between Rachel and her two best friends as a challenge, rather than a walk in the park, as it's much more natural; but I do hope Nastasia doesn't stand still while Rachel's character progresses.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Hughson

    This book gets 4.6 stars out of 5. I enjoyed it. As with the first in the series, I got to a point (around 75%) where I had to finish reading it. I didn't want to put it down. I love and adore the premise of this series. I think the similarities to the Harry Potter series are at basic levels, which prove Lamplighter used her own creative skills rather than stealing Rowling's. I found myself skimming some descriptions. I'm bad about this. It is one reason I could never "get into" The Lord of the Ri This book gets 4.6 stars out of 5. I enjoyed it. As with the first in the series, I got to a point (around 75%) where I had to finish reading it. I didn't want to put it down. I love and adore the premise of this series. I think the similarities to the Harry Potter series are at basic levels, which prove Lamplighter used her own creative skills rather than stealing Rowling's. I found myself skimming some descriptions. I'm bad about this. It is one reason I could never "get into" The Lord of the Rings. I want to hear the characters speak or run through an action scene with them. I don't want to look around at the setting. I will say, most of the setting pieces were important to the overall story. I love Rachel. She's a fun perfectionist. I felt like some of her reactions to one of the boys in the story seemed "too mature" for what she would be thinking. She's involved in a very innocent relationship and that's very appealing since she's only 13. I'm not crazy about everyone else getting the credit for all of Rachel's amazing saves. I know she's fine with it - but I don't think she should be quite as accepting. She gets angry because her dad treats her like a little girl (and she is his little girl) but doesn't insist he pay attention to the fact she just SAVED THE WORLD. I had a hard time swallowing it. I still recommend this to anyone who loves magical stories. It was quite enjoyable. In the end, I rarely read a book containing a story with choices I concur with fully. Yes, I am THAT reader.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Silvara Wilde

    Check out my other reviews, discussions and link ups at Fantasy of the Silver Dragon. This book picks up only minutes after the first book ends. So we get to see how that adventure wraps up, and then the new one starts creeping in. I loved the interactions between Rachel and Gaius, even if I occasionally wanted to smack Rachel. She picked the way I wanted her to pick in the end, so it's all good. We got to know some of the secondary characters better in this book. I think I actually might end up l Check out my other reviews, discussions and link ups at Fantasy of the Silver Dragon. This book picks up only minutes after the first book ends. So we get to see how that adventure wraps up, and then the new one starts creeping in. I loved the interactions between Rachel and Gaius, even if I occasionally wanted to smack Rachel. She picked the way I wanted her to pick in the end, so it's all good. We got to know some of the secondary characters better in this book. I think I actually might end up liking Von Dread. Though as the book went on, I started liking Princess Nastasia less and less. She's supposedly Rachel's friend, but she sure doesn't tend to treat Rachel well for a good bit of this book. Sigfried is as brash and focused on battle and killing as ever, though Rachel does come up with some new insights about him as well. I like how Rachel isn't perfect at everything, despite her photographic memory. She struggles with some forms of magic, but forces herself to keep practicing. We don't see much of Mistletoe (her cat familiar) in this book either. But she does finally see that he won't be following in the pawsteps of his family line. I really liked the first book in this series, but I think this second book outshines it. If you haven't read these books yet, you need to go do so. This review was originally posted on Fantasy of the Silver Dragon

  15. 4 out of 5

    Girlgeekallie

    Not only does this book live up to The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, it's even better, following Rachel and her friends as they encounter a Raven and an Elf whose otherworldly secrets could shatter their reality. In the process of solving life-threatening mysteries, she gathers clues about her own beloved grandfather as well as other family members she never knew about. Throughout this book, we really see Rachel’s flaws highlighted. As talented as she is in some areas, she sometimes Not only does this book live up to The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, it's even better, following Rachel and her friends as they encounter a Raven and an Elf whose otherworldly secrets could shatter their reality. In the process of solving life-threatening mysteries, she gathers clues about her own beloved grandfather as well as other family members she never knew about. Throughout this book, we really see Rachel’s flaws highlighted. As talented as she is in some areas, she sometimes finds it difficult to perform the smallest cantrip. She sometimes struggles with self-doubt, and her training in manners is tested by her sense of urgency that most others don’t share. She deals with the pitfalls of relationships and unwanted desire. It’s important that Rachel be complex, and Lamplighter balances making Rachel a tiny bit harder to understand in this book, with the payoff that she is much more relate-able. I love this series. Rachel is an important kind of character, and gaining insight into her heart and mind is fascinating. Read my full review: http://www.thegeekgirlproject.com/201...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kjirstin

    I was so glad to read this installment of the series! We learn more of the mysteries of Rachel's world -- a little about how people are showing up from other worlds, a little about the Raven, and some of the other mysteries from the last book. Also, there is a brand new world-threatening plot to deal with, which Rachel and her friends end up on the front lines doing. It was a bit slow-starting, and the first few chapters were essentially cleaning up the mess after the climactic events of Book 1. I was so glad to read this installment of the series! We learn more of the mysteries of Rachel's world -- a little about how people are showing up from other worlds, a little about the Raven, and some of the other mysteries from the last book. Also, there is a brand new world-threatening plot to deal with, which Rachel and her friends end up on the front lines doing. It was a bit slow-starting, and the first few chapters were essentially cleaning up the mess after the climactic events of Book 1. However, the story eventually hit its stride and the last half, in particular, was engrossing. I'm looking forward to reading more about Rachel's adventures at school. (I assume there are more because we don't know the whole story, and why things like saints, steeples, friars and angels are unknown.) I'm also interested in Rachel's relationships with her friends, and how she and the princess are going to navigate some potentially troublesome ground, and whether there's a new love interest in the wings for her. Anyhow, an enjoyable read, and I'll be looking forward to the next one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I think this book could have had more action and less introspection. Rachel and her friends learn that they are correct in their assumption that some people are from other worlds, or as Siggy calls them - metaplutons. More background information is introduced and Rachel spends a lot of time thinking about how all the pieces fit together in order to save the world. We learn that the Raven has another identity and saints and demons are one of the topics that has been erased from their history. Rac I think this book could have had more action and less introspection. Rachel and her friends learn that they are correct in their assumption that some people are from other worlds, or as Siggy calls them - metaplutons. More background information is introduced and Rachel spends a lot of time thinking about how all the pieces fit together in order to save the world. We learn that the Raven has another identity and saints and demons are one of the topics that has been erased from their history. Rachel's amazing memory and incredible broom riding skills help her to help others in this second book in the series. I look forward to reading the next book! I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Lubell

    The first hundred pages really belonged in the first book (which I felt ended too abruptly) and then the rest took too long to develop a plot. But it is interesting to see Rachel show signs of rebellion (albeit for a Harry Potterish, the grown ups won't tell us anything, they're treating us like children, reason.) My favorite scene is when they use a mirror to look at someone's memories and Rachel is shocked at how little normal people remember and then when it is her turn, everyone is surprised The first hundred pages really belonged in the first book (which I felt ended too abruptly) and then the rest took too long to develop a plot. But it is interesting to see Rachel show signs of rebellion (albeit for a Harry Potterish, the grown ups won't tell us anything, they're treating us like children, reason.) My favorite scene is when they use a mirror to look at someone's memories and Rachel is shocked at how little normal people remember and then when it is her turn, everyone is surprised at her total recall.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Watching Rachel Griffin discover aspects of her world previously unsuspected let alone unknown is an absolutely wonderful experience. She is not perfect but she is courageous and bright and at times utterly adorable. The action moves at a comfortable pace and includes those little frivolous in-between moments that fully have you remembering what it was to be 13 years-old with all that entails. I highly recommend this entire series to readers of all ages.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Kern

    This book is awesome The author is awesome. I contacted them and asked if there w ill be a third book. I was told hopefully there will be a total of 15. If they are as good as the first two books I can not wait.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Konecsni

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  23. 5 out of 5

    susie harper

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joel Salomon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annika

  26. 5 out of 5

    Curby Graham

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shari Taylor

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Ahern

  29. 4 out of 5

    steven haddock

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristopher Dewey

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