Yer a wizard, Harry!– Rubeus Hagrid
No matter your age or circumstances, chances are you have heard the name Harry Potter. And even if you’ve never read the books, chances are you’ve seen the films. Harry Potter isn’t just another middle grade or YA book series. When reading the books you feel a sense of nostalgia and find yourself immersed into a tale of love and friendship, wonder and magic. Of discovering what you believe in and finding the courage to stand up for those beliefs. Of believing in yourself and the people you care about. Harry Potter is special, and for many people, the foundation on which their love of reading was built.
It would be extremely hard to imbue a new story with the same vibes you get from Harry Potter, if not impossible all together. Nevertheless, we wait and we read, hoping for another magical book to enchant us and once again wrap us up in it’s warm glow. Most of us have devoured HP many times, but there’s nothing like experiencing it for the first time. That being said, I have–a few times in the past few years–read a book or heard of one that brings it’s own wonderful originality to the page, but also gives off the vibes we crave. And even though no one can ever duplicate The Boy who Lived, I recommend the following books to Harry Potter fans of all ages.
Note: I purchased this book based on a recommendation from booktuber Emmabooks. I’ve been following her for a while now and based on her content the two of us have nearly identical opinions on most books, therefore I trust her opinion a great deal. This book has a similar feel and storyline as HP and also those warm and magical vibes we all crave! Book #2, Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, is expected to release on November 13, 2018.
Synopsis: Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, Morrigan is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse dooms her to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s in Nevermoor that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, and stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman as well as the Harry Potter and Mysterious Benedict Society series, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new energy and a take on magic that will appeal to all generations, with a story that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the final word.
Note: I picked this up at random while perusing the shelves at the bookstore one day. I was attracted by it’s vibrant colors, it’s unusual title, and the short and fat shape of the book (sometimes I just love the way a book feels in my hand; call me crazy!). When I got home I discovered a gorgeous map inside the cover and black and white illustrations throughout that are reminiscent of the artwork for HP. The story is completely unrelated but it shares the same adventurous and exciting atmosphere as HP and the author shares that same charismatic and compelling writing style as J.K. Rowling. The Murderer’s Ape also won the Mildred L. Batchelder award for the year’s most outstanding children’s book translated into English and published in the U.S. in 2017, and it truly deserves it. Trust me, if you love our beloved HP (which, at this point, if you don’t, I’m flattered that you’re still reading!), this book will burrow it’s way into your warm, muggle heart.
Synopsis: Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she’s an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja’s turban, this gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.
For Sally Jones, this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief’s name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.
Richly illustrated with imaginative and detailed black-and-white drawings, this captivating story will linger with readers long after the last page.
Note: This author requested a review of this book and sent me a copy when I gladly accepted. This has to be the most well done indie book I’ve ever seen. The cover is absolutely stunning, the small black and white illustrations give a whimsical feel to the pages, and the story line is imaginative and super fun to read. When you start reading, the words on the page practically yell out “Read me if you love Harry Potter!” This book is probably the most similar to HP of any books I’ve read without being a cheap imitation. I absolutely adore this book and it has a permanent spot on my favorite books list. For one of the most beautiful webpages you’ve ever laid your eyes on, visit www.denight.com and learn more about this enchanting book! Also, while you’re there, follow Night’s blog for artwork from a scene in the book (beautiful, stunning, dazzling artwork like you’ve never seen, honestly!!) and information regarding the second book in the series and the publication date for the hardcover edition of this book. Book #2, The Crowns of Croswald: The Girl With the Whispering Shadow, coming soon!
Synopsis: In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic, is one secret…
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems.
When Ivy’s magic–and her life–is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
Note: The magicians is like Harry Potter for YA/New adult audiences. This book series has all the HP aspects we love; school of magic, fantasy lands, and dark secrets. For added fun, read the books and then watch the TV adaption on SyFy. I love watching my favorite books come to life on the screen, and when the adaption is done well it’s like a personal gift to book lovers everywhere. Book #1, The Magicians–Book #2, The Magician King— Book #3, The Magician’s Land.
Synopsis: Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams may have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined…
The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.–Albus Dumbledore
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