MINI-REVIEWS: Sorcery & Cecelia, Rot & Ruin, Peter Pan

165. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
Publication: Graphia (September 1, 2004), Paperback, 336pp / ISBN 015205300X
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Read: September 1, 2012
Source: Library

I’ve read and enjoyed books written by both authors before so I had high hopes for this one, not least because it’s an episolary novel and I love those especially. Letters! Telling a story! It’s almost as good as a diary book– well, usually. Sorcery & Cecelia is a cute but ultimately forgettable book, and that really disappoints me. I MAY read the sequel, if only because they go on a trip through Europe (right?) and the bits that annoyed me in this book1 may have been fixed in the next one. And now that the romance is settled, maybe the couples will annoy me less! And MAYBE things will be BETTER and and and I will ENJOY it! POSSIBILITIES OF BETTER THINGS. Yay!

166. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Publication: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010), Hardcover, 464pp / ISBN 1442402326
Genre: YA Horror/Action/Sci-fi
Read: September 8, 2012
Source: Library

Good points: mixed race protag, PoC characters everywhere, some sort of post-racist town?, zombies!, central California setting, Tom (protag’s brother).

Not-so-good points: protag is extremely stupid (but I think that was the point), the Aesop hits you over the head like a brick, mysterious feral killer girl who can barely talk and has lots of issues which get paved over as soon as she shows up personally in the narrative and who is very hot with boobs and long immaculate hair which doesn’t have a single tangle. BIG SIGH.

I think basically this is kind of like a lighter version of Feed with an emphasis on family relationships and working through them instead of on conspiracies and Finding the Truth. Might have been a better book if Tom was the protagonist and it was written for a slightly older audience.

168. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Publication: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (September 12, 2006), 5:16:00 / ISBN 0739336908
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Read: September 10-14, 2012
Source: Freebie

I don’t remember ever listening to a Jim Dale-narrated audiobook before, but now that I have I’m determined to find more. He made Peter Pan magical enough that I could almost entirely ignore the racist/sexist/annoying bits and focus on the good stuff, like the humor and the interesting fantasy stuff and how Hook is weirdly more sympathetic than you’d expect. And now I want to watch the movie Hook again, because it turned out to be more clever than you’d think if you’ve never read the source material.

Speaking of Hook, here’s a picture of Dustin Hoffman playing the title character (click to enlarge):


  1. clumsiness as a personality trait OH PLEASE

9 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: Sorcery & Cecelia, Rot & Ruin, Peter Pan”

  1. I had a hard time getting into Sorcery & Cecelia, too. And it sounded so promising! Speaking of Jim Dale, I’m listening to him narrate the first Harry Potter right now – it’s a re-listen – he’s very, very good! (Although Prof McGonagall’s Scottish accent takes a little getting used to if you’ve seen the movies, and his Hermoine is a bit too whiny)

    1. I REALLY want to listen to the Jim Dale HP audiobooks, now. I mean, I love Stephen Fry and I’m sure he’s a good narrator, too, but Jim Dale seems like he narrates children characters just a bit better than SF?

  2. Aw, I loved Sorcery and Cecelia. The sequel is not better. It’s way worse. I don’t even own it. Sorcery and Cecelia I own in hardback and reread all the time. I love that they really truly wrote it as part of a game! And I also read it for the first time when I was young and uncritical.

    1. If you disliked the sequel but liked the first one, then maybe I’d like the sequel since I disliked the first book! Yes? No? idk.

  3. I agree with Jenny. Sorcery & Cecelia is much better than the sequel so I think you might be better off skipping it. I also own the first but not the second. And I read Peter Pan for the first time a year or two ago and was shocked by some of the things that were in there. Maybe Jim Dale could have eased the journey for me too. 🙂 (And who doesn’t love Hook?!)

    1. Some of the things in PP ARE shocking, but then again it’s a product of the times and whatever. But yeah, I think Jim Dale could have helped ease the “wtf” feeling, lol. 😀

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