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Book Review - Random Magic

 Sunday, 12 June 2011

Ahoy there maties! This 'ere review is part of my contribution to the swash-buckling Random Magic blog tour. Twas supposed t'be a video review but with the blogger downtime and my own issues in trying to film the videos for my stop I've decided to do my review of the book in written form.

Title: Random Magic
Author: Sasha Soren
Date: 9/5/2011 PM
Source: Received for Review from the author
Description: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time. (Description taken from Goodreads)

My Review
I got asked if I wanted to review Random Magic because Sasha thought it's quirky nature would be something I would enjoy, being of a kooky persuasion myself. I mean a book about literary characters, mythology, magic, pirates and randomosity? Doesn't that just sound right up my street?

The story starts off in a lacksidaisical fashion as we are introduced to various characters who while being amusingly eccentric don't actually feature in the story except in the first and last few chapters. The scene setting is lavishly descriptive and oddly hunger-inducing (believe me you'll be hankering for a cup of tea and teeny sandwiches after reading about a tea party). It does take a couple of chapters to get into the main swing of the story but it's certainly a quirky way to begin.

The two main characters are Henry Witherspoon and Winnie Flapjack and I gotta say that Winnie is my kinda gal; wise-cracking, no-nonsense with a creative bent towards profanity. She tends to keep Henry at a distance but occasionally you do get a glimpse of her softer side which I love. Henry is rather adorable in a dorky way and I really enjoyed seeing him mature over the course of the book. I also loved all the back-and forth banter between Henry and Winnie although at times it did get a little confusing as to who exactly was speaking.

Trying to explain what happens in a book like Random Magic is nigh on impossible as it's like a trippy train of thought that skips through a variety of different literary worlds, greek myths, russian folklore, hell it gets pretty "Treasure Island" around Chapter 26 and there's apparently a sneaky anagramatical homage to Douglas Adams in Chapter 42 (I didn't spot it myself but I know it's there somewhere). The simple explanation for the adventures of Henry and Winnie is that they're searching for Alice and have to trek here, there and bloody everywhere to find her. What passes in the pages of this book is like a massively out of control game of hide and seek where Alice is totally winning. 

Sasha has created a really quirky and fascinating world and while it may at first seem befuddling, the further you tumble down the proverbial rabbit hole the more everything starts to make sense, especially when Winnie delivers a perfectly serious line that *would* seem ridiculous if it was in another book but in Random Magic it makes you think "huh, of course she's right!"

I am super grateful for being given the chance to read this book as it was a terrifically fun romp with a cast of zany characters through a lavishly described world that kept surprising me with what weird and wonderful creature came jumping out from the hedges next. Sasha is a seriously cool gal and I'd be vair interested to read whatever she writes next as I'm sure it'll be delightfully quirky.

My Rating: 4 out 5 Stars

Holy cow! I cannot believe how late I am with getting this review done, my original tour stop was on the 13th May and it's taken me until now to actually finish the fracking thing with all the crap Youtube was giving me and just my general lack of blogger mojo making it impossible to string my thoughts together. I have apologised a gallon already to Sasha for being ridiculously delayed with posting but I'll say it again - Sooo Sorry! :S

Next time I will have to be *Far* more organised with expected reviews as I cannot be this bad a second time.



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