Morrigan may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And it's important to remember that not all magic is used for good . . .
This is just such a perfect story about finding your safe places in the world, and also escaping people's expectations of you, while also feeling a sense of belonging. I just love Morrigan so much, and this truly feels like a once in a lifetime series. The power of a little magic, a lot of friendship, and all the unconditional love.
Since everything that was good about the first book is still applicable here, thought of linking that review instead of repeating everything. The Calling of Morrigan Crow is an excellent continuation of that wonderful first book, taking us through the first 'official' year of Morrigan at Wunsoc. The storyline is still quite short, giving the feeling that this is in fact the second half of the first book, but I'm glad that Townsend's not pushing things too far, and taking it at a steady pace.
By the end of this book, readers are going to have a solid foundation to wherever the author decides to take us in future. Hopefully, it would be a long and equally adventurous journey!
"What remains of lost history - the stuff people remember longest - is usually the worst of it."
Wow, this was brilliant fun and in my opinion even better than the first in the series. I think this one gave me all those nostalgic feelings of when I first read Harry Potter, and I couldn't help but to fall in love with the world once again and get emotionally invested in the characters. There was so much to like in this book, and Morrigan's story felt a bit darker and the stakes were higher too. I think if you like the first you will love the second!
This book continues where the first one leaves off. After some troublesome trials in book 1 we know that many of the students were dropped without a chance of making it to the Wonderous Society, but now it is time for the ones who have made it to go to WunSoc and learn about just what they can do.
Morrigan is still very much unsure about her Knack and what she needs to learn about it as time goes on, but she quickly realises that although there are some firm friends who support her, she needs to earn the loyalty of those others in her group. She is forced to attend some mind-numbingly boring classes and yet she is also expected to keep her magic under wraps, and she has to do all of this whilst her guardian is once more absent for most of the book. Also, there's a whole lot of people disappearing strangely and she is more than likely going to get mixed up in the trouble because trouble just seems to find her...
What I loved about this was seeing the streets that changed as you went down them and the markets which were filled with magic and mayhem. There are seasonal celebrations, festivals, dramatic events and wondrous surprises that Morrigan can barely believe. Nevermoor has so many secrets to offer if you can just start to understand it and believe in it, and this is the real beginning of Morrigan's time to explore.
Overall, the plot and the magic were great and the characters became even better in this one too. I thoroughly enjoyed this and read it all in two sittings, and I highly recommend this as one to just lose yourself in for an evening. The magic will give you Harry Potter nostalgia, but the story is unique and wonderful too. 5*s from me :)
I think I liked this better than the first one! It's magical and funny, it has charming characters and the world building is super interesting. I wish we'd get a little more of it though. Excited for the third installment!
Once again, Townsend pulls you into a world of wunder and whimsy, and doesn't let go. We follow Morrigan as she begins classes as the Wundrous Society, and follow her on a journey about belonging and finding yourself.
Like many of the great classics of children's literature, Townsend plays with the fallibility of adults. What do you do when the people who are supposed to look out for you, to know what to do when faced with challenges, aren't there to help? What do you do when well-meaning adults make choices that ultimately harm you or your friends? What do you do when those with power actively wield that power in harmful ways? Townsend explores these questions with care and nuance.
I love that in a book about inclusivity and belonging, Townsend has clearly taken the time to craft a world that is itself inclusive. We see a diverse range of characters, and that diversity never feels shoehorned in. We also don't get any of that, "Well, I never said Hermione wasn't Black!" retcon nonsense--characters of color are described as such, made plain in the text. All children deserve to feel seen in the stories they consume, and it's lovely to see a book that puts in the effort to include representation.
As a sequel, this is fantastic. The world is expanded, the stakes are raised, and it has a distinctly darker tone than the first book. The well-meaning adults feel more insidious, the villain is more villainous.
Similarly as the first book, I am not fully invested in the characters and story but I know that this is a good book. It has good bones. I just need to come back to again at a later date. That's how it is with me with characters most of the time. I don't attach right away. Like with Six of Crows. I gave it 4 stars the first time I read it. But upon reread, I gave it 5 stars and considered it a favorite of all time. I needed to fall in love with the characters first.
Nine young people in Morrigan Crow’s unit – nine who had said under oath to be friends, be loyal to each other. Morrigan was thrilled to finally have a family; to have people who cared about her. When they all began their classes, the students had ingenious and exciting things to learn – all except Morrigan, whose teacher would concentrate on Wundersmith’s alone – and how evil and degraded they all were, both past and present. Morrigan’s patron, Jupiter North, did all he could to change the Elder’s minds about her classes, but they wouldn’t be budged…
When first one, then another went missing, Jupiter was away, searching constantly. His nephew Jack was occasionally by Morrigan’s side – when his schooling allowed – as was her best friend Hawthorne. But with the blackmailing threats focused on Morrigan’s group, she feared she would have no one left by her side. Everyone blamed her for the misfortunes that were happening – what could she do? And what had Ezra Squall to do with it all? The fear rippling through Nevermoor was infiltrating everyone.
Wow! What.A.Ride!! Wundersmith is the second in the Nevermoor series by Aussie author Jessica Townsend, and it is just as fantastical and exciting as the first. Fast paced with loads of action, plenty of magic and heart stopping tension, Wundersmith is one I highly recommend. But I also suggest Nevermoor be read first so the full benefit of the series is felt.
With thanks to Hachette AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
I am loving this series so much. This second installment was a blast and a half. It definitely continues to have some Harry Potter vibes with horrible teachers, a fantastical carriage/common room, a missing cat (Mrs. Norris?), a Malfoy-and-others-type group of bullies, and Morrigan being a parselmouth... *cough* I mean... lol enemies of the heir beware! But it is it's own story with tons of adventures for Morrigan and her classmates that keep you engaged and thoroughly entertained. My favorites were the alleys that changed as you went down them. Very twisty and unpredictable. I'm eager to get my hands on the third book!
Number two in the series and a great follow up to Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow. The author advanced all the characters and the main story line but still left plenty hanging to keep our interest open for the next book.
Jessica Townsend writes well. These are really middle grade children's books but they still stand up for an adult reader. There is plenty of action as Morrigan begins to come into her powers. She is a little bit prone to throwing herself into situations she has been warned about, regardless of her own or anyone else's danger but I guess if she was more sensible the story would not be so much fun.
I am really looking forward to the next book now. We need to see Morrigan really rocking that Wunder and dealing with all the baddies once and for all. And we definitely need more dragons. I am hoping Hawthorne is building them up for a big battle scene. Whatever happens I know it will be good - can't wait!
In this follow up to the highly original Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend continues the adventures of Morrigan Crow as she is admitted into the Wundrous society and sent to the Wundrous Society headquarters to receive her education along with the other successful applicants. While everyone else in her group is doing really interesting subjects, Morrigan is frustrated that the society doesn't seem to want her to learn anything useful. Jupiter is too distracted to help her as he is busy looking for a number of missing people and creatures and doesn't realise that she might be in danger.
This is a series that will delight children and parents alike as Morrigan navigates her way through trying to do make friends, and do the right thing which sometimes means disobeying the rules and getting into dangerous situations. The characters are developing well and the stage is now set for Morrigan to develop as a Wundersmith and to have a showdown with the evil Ezra Squall.
Hach... vom Inhalt her kann ich bei einem zweiten Teil natürlich nicht viel sagen. Trotzdem weiterhin meine Empfehlung für diese Reihe! Auch Band 2 hat mich auf jeder Seite wieder begeistert und ich war nach nur wenigen Zeilen wieder in der Welt von Morrigan Crow, Nevermoor und jetzt auch der Wundrous Society (Wie heisst sie auf deutsch eigentlich?). Ich liebe Jessica Townsends Schreibstil: So wunderschön beschreibend und eindringlich, dass man mitten drin ist und alles gut nachvollziehen kann. Trotzdem auf keiner Seite langatmig oder gar langweilig. Es passiert immer etwas und man fliegt durch die Seiten, dass man alles um sich herum vergisst - Besonders die Zeit :) Die Message ist toll, die magische Welt ganz besonders und die Charaktere habe ich alle so fest in mein Herz geschlossen, dass ich jetzt schon die Tage zähle, bis Band 3 in meinen Händen liegt!
15.09.2020 - Re-Read
Das englische Hörbuch ist super vertont und hat so viel Freude gemacht. Jetzt bin ich perfekt vorbereitet auf Band 3, der hoffentlich bald bei mir eintrifft!
I've just finished this book and I'm struggling to figure out the best way to sum up just how much I loved it. I can say with confidence that the Nevermoor series has already earned it's place amongst my favourite books. I adore Morrigan Crow, she is such a wonderful character, but it's not just her, it's Jupiter, Hawthorne, Fenestra, the hotel, the brilliantly crafted world that Jessica Townsend is sharing. I'm so excited for the next one (release date unknown), but in the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if the two that are currently out get at least one reread! 😺📖
A solid continuation, feeling much more distinct from Harry Potter than it's predecessor I have no time for childish problems. Should any arise, you will either take them up with your unit conductor, or squash them deep down in the pit of your soul where they shall no longer bother you. Have I made myself clear?
Jessica Townsend again managed to create a bubbling and fun book, focussing on the first year of Morrigan in school. Townsend even managed to write so convincing that I had a high tea this weekend, just inspired by the high tea Morrigan needs as comfort food after her first week at school :-)
The sweetness level in general in terms of the story and supporting adults is a bit toned down, with both quite harsh confrontations with fellow students (and even her own unit) and ghastly headmistresses. The museum at the end is a really creepy idea, the developing relationship between the kids is nicely done (with Jack suddenly quite a bit warmer than in The Trials of Morrigan Crow) and there are enough tantalising strings that still require a follow up story. We even get to see the Nevermoor Bazar, a magical combination of the internet in real life with a food court blended into it.
The only criticism I could raise is that the number of rememberable new characters is limited, with Miltman being an exception. Still very keen to see how Townsend manages to develop the story of Nevermoor further in Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow!
Update 8/9: I laughed, I cried, I relistened to certain chapters because they’re so fun or whimsical. Either way, still a perfect book.
Update 7/11: Gemma Whelan does it again! She is such a stunning narrator and truly captures the magic and whimsy of this series. Her voice talents are unparalleled in her ability to voice such a variety of characters. I can’t wait to listen to this again before the release of Hollowpox.
Original review: This goes as no surprise to anyone who has had to listen to me talk about how much I loved the first book, but guess what? I LOVE THE SECOND ONE JUST AS MUCH.
Why? Because it’s magicalfunwhimsicalwittyandstupendouslyamazing! Yeah. You read that right. It’s one word good.
Morrigan is now a junior member of Wunsoc and while she thought the trials ended last year she’s come to find out more await her. There’s blackmail, disappearances, a boooooooooooooring class schedule, dragons, the black market, and epic parties.
There’s is so much fun and whimsy to be had with this novel and honestly ya just gotta buy it! It’s wunderful.
The adorable quirky tales of Ms. Morrigan Crow continue...and her adventures get even more exciting...
After having barely passed her trials, Mog is left confused and bewildered. Saying anything more about the finale of the first book or elaborating further on the title of this book, will amount to revealing spoilers for the first book. So, I'll keep mum.
This book gives more reasons to the reader to draw parallels with Harry Potter. The stand-offs with the adversary, questioning one's own goodness, and an outlandishly faithful, loyal and protective parental figure will stir all those feelings inside you.
But, for me, I consider HP as the trope that the Nevermoor exploits and masters beautifully! And the fact, that I can forget my adult problems and be a child again while in this whimsically crafted universe is a reason enough for me to read each and every book in the series that are yet to come out.
4.5 stars :) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is something so uniquely endearing about this series, that even in the middle of a horrible reading slump, I flew through this in ONE DAY...
Magic schools and wondrous knacks make for an outstanding children's story in Jessica Townsend's follow up to The Trials of Morrigan Crow. As an illustrious new member of the Wunderous Society, Morrigan must face new challenges and new tests in her journey to uncover the mystery behind missing Arcanes, while also getting her new classmates to like her. Not such an easy task when they're terrified of your knack.
I loved this. Not only is it wonderfully written, filled with all the magical joy and excitement I want in a children's story, but also featuring complicated and we'll developed characters. Morrigan is still struggling with who she is, and coming out of a horrible childhood where she wasn't wanted. Several times, when things go wrong, she blames herself. She's hiding herself, and this is bolstered by the WunSoc also trying to hide her away. I loved seeing her come out of this shell and discovering herself and experience life and realising she's special. I also love all of her unit. Each character has a special knack, something that makes them different and I liked exploring each of them. I particularly loved Cadence and Hawthorne and their growing friendship. No matter what Morrigan does, Hawthorne takes it in his stride and knows she's a good person. In many respects he keeps her grounded and allows her to explore herself. Cadence is the friend who will push Morrigan outside of her comfort zone, knowing she can handle it. In the background, as a constant if chaotic father figure is Jupiter North. Charismatic, ginger, good natured. He's rather wonderful.
The story and plot are also so well done. There's a running mystery throughout involving missing people, but we also get a better look at the world of Nevermoor and all its tricks. There are strange passageways, unusual corridors and a subterranean school all waiting to be discovered. At no point did I feel the plot dragged, and I was fully invested in this world and characters. The pacing is fantastic, skipping from adventure to reveal and beyond managing to balance that fine line between action and rest without it ever feeling like a chore.
This series just seems to get better and better, as we delve deeper into the mythology of Nevermoor and examine hints of greater machinations in the background. Morrigan has a lot on her young shoulders, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up for her any time soon. And I can't wait to see what's next.
Band 2 hat mir noch besser gefallen als der Auftakt der Reihe (und Band 1 war schon herausragend!)
Jessica Townsend vereint in dieser Reihe einfach wunderbar bunte Figuren mit einer magischen Welt, deren Einfallsreichtum an vielen Stellen nur mit staunend aufgerissenen Augen auszuhalten ist (das wundersame Hotel Deucalion, die teils surreale Stadt, die detailreich beschriebene Schule uvm.)
Während der Erzählton ganz gut zur Zielgruppe von Kinderbüchern passt, werden auch reifere und teilweise richtig gefährliche Themen miterzählt. So werden kindliche Leser*innen nicht für dumm verkauft und auch erwachsene Leser*innen können wunderbar zwischen den Zeilen lesen.
Besonders beeindruckend fand ich, wie Townsend das Thema „Akzeptanz“ eingewoben hat. Akzeptanz von sich selbst, mit allen vermeintlichen Ecken und Kanten; aber auch fehlende oder wenigstens wachsende Akzeptanz durch andere.
Zum Schluss habe ich ein paar Tränchen verdrückt, loyale Freunde (fiktional oder real) zwingen mich einfach immer in die Knie. Jetzt freue ich mich auf Band 3, die Leserunde dazu steht schon in den Startlöchern :)
This series is such a breath of fresh air for the fantasy reader - if you haven't read them yet, why not? Don't let the middle grade label fool you. This story is for everyone.
World building: ★★★★★ Plot/Pacing: ★★★★ Enjoyment: ★★★★★ Character development: ★★★★★
Morrigan Crow thought her problems were over. After discovering in Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow that she was NOT a cursed child in a boring world and that there was a whole new world of magical people waiting for her, Morrigan thought she could breathe.
Oh dear. Not quite yet, Morrigan.
The city of Nevermoor and the Wundrous Society of magical people might be a glittering place filled with whimsy, magic, and promise—but it's also hiding quite a few secrets and prejudices. Especially when it comes to Morrigan. Without getting into spoilers for the first book, let's just say that Morrigan has her own kind of magic. While powerful and life-changing, it's also something that the residents of Nevermoor appear to fear. Society always fears the unknown, the uncontrollable. Nevermoor is no exception.
She should be enjoying her first year as a junior scholar to the Wundrous Society with her 8 fellow students. Instead, Morrigan discovers that the mantle of "cursed" can mean many different things, and she's still an Outsider.
But then the people and beings of Nevermoor begin to disappear... and Morrigan might be the only one who can connect the dots. With the help of her dragon-riding friend, Hawthorne, and a series of mysterious events, she sets off to discover the truth.
It just might not be the truth she expects to find.
My thoughts: What a sophisticated and unexpected sophomore novel for a middle grade fantasy series?! I don't mean to put down other series or to sound condescending—it's just rare to find authentic surprises when you're in a genre with established tropes. Wundersmith was just that: something NEW, and a surprise.
I also loved the deeper emotional burdens and complex relationship dynamics at play. Morrigan is not quite an "anti" Chosen One, but her experience as someone who is continually pushed to the fringes of acceptance in Nevermoor opened the door to so many different conversations of Othering, fearing the "unknown" to the point of harmful labeling, and what happens when Society decides to let fear and bigotry rule the conversation.
Oh, and obviously the world building and magical setting—I would live in this world in a HEARTBEAT. Lovely premise, lovely cityscape, lovely magic. The best.
“Morrigan was a Wundersmith too. And she would decide what that meant. Nobody else.” Oh my, my, a true story of Wunder!
Whilst it did take a while for the plot to truly begin, it was only with hindsight that I could look back and realise that all the pieces being laid on the chessboard were being moved surreptitiously around until, finally, Morrigan was staring up at the most powerful player: the King. In all the time that she’d been fighting the pawns, being constrained and controlled by them, she’d shrunk. The King taught her true power as he’d intended to all along. Then, the pawns fell. And the King graciously forfeited—he had bigger plans, after all.
It may have been a victory, but not one without losses. And she may have won the game, but she didn’t win the tournament — not yet, anyway. More lies in store for Morrigan and her friends. And I for one, cannot wait to see it! Next month: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow