Tag Archives: j.k. rowling

Career of Evil



Career of Evil is the third installment in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling. The first, The Cuckoo’s Calling, introduced us to both Strike and Robin and focused much of it’s efforts on how to plot of the novel brought the two characters together. The second Strike novel, The Silkworm, was extraordinarily plot driven. And this newest novel is a mix of the two. Career of Evil lets us get to know more about these characters that we’ve come to love. We learn about both Strike’s and Robin’s past and how their pasts lead them to each other and the life that each has chosen.

Strike and Robin remind me so much of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. They have a similar rapport with each other, outside of crime solving. Out of the three, this novel is by far my favorite. I feel like these two characters have been through so much together but know so very little about each other. And as a consequence, we the reader, don’t know much about either’s past.

This novel shines a light on the past of each and how it drew them to where they are. As we already know, Strike’s mother was a groupie and his father a famous rock star. The crime in this case directly goes back to Strike’s past and is the perpetrator’s way of getting revenge on Strike. The three main suspects represent each phase of Strike’s life and all of them have a good reason to want revenge. Robin’s past, although not directly related to the case, ultimately leads to her involvement in it.

I loved seeing both Robin and Strike evolve in this novel. The characters have so much depth to them. The closer I got to the end the sadder I became. I didn’t want this novel to have an ending. I would happily continue reading about Strike and Robin.

As with the other two novels, this one has all of the danger and perhaps a bit more romance. I loved the focus on each character as they get to know each other better, faults and all. This novel has a lot of miscommunication, especially between Robin and Strike. They see and hear what they want, and that may not be at all what the other person means. It leads to many tense moments in the novel and to the novel’s conclusion, which isn’t so much about the plot but more about resolving the conflict between characters.

Rating: 5/5 Can’t wait to see what’s next for this crime solving duo.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!


The Mistress of the Salmon Salt



Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a book my mom loves. Like myself, my mom loves a good mystery. She’s been reading the Cormoran Strike novels and recommended them to me for this challenge. I read the first two and liked them immensely. Cormoran Strike is a brilliant character. He’s an English Philip Marlowe if you will. He’s got all of the demons chasing him from his past that he continually tries to outrun.

In this novel, his assistant Robin gets sent a human leg in the mail which leads them down a dark trail to find a killer who has a vendetta against Strike. Once again, Strike and Robin take matters into their own hands and doggedly try to solve the case against the wishes of the police department.

I can’t wait to read what’s in store for Strike and Robin and perhaps find out more about both of their pasts.

Stay tuned for the full review of Career of Evil. Happy reading!

The Casual Vacancy


casual vacancy

If instead of going off to Hogwarts with Harry Potter, we stayed behind with the Dursley’s the result would be this novel. The Casual Vacancy is exactly what it says it is. It’s a big novel about a small town. Rowling seamlessly blends all of the disparate lives in the village of Pagford together, showing you the entire picture of a town on the brink.

So many people have told me they hated this novel. After reading it I’m not sure why. The Casual Vacancy has everything Rowling’s writing has to offer. She narrates a tale that plays like a movie in your head. Never intrusive just laying down the picture of the way things are. There’s no magic in this novel, just the magic humans can create together. I really can relate to this novel, growing up in a small town myself. There’s so much politics in a small town and the good old boys network that wants to keep everything the same while a small minority fight for much needed change.

Pagford is a dueling town. It’s dueling with keeping the status quo or growing in beneficial but difficult ways. After the death of the town’s big fighter for change, Barry, the town is bereft. Barry left a legacy felt by everyone. The town and the people in it just come apart at the seams. They’ve lost the glue and the gusto in Barry and revert back to their petty feuds.

Rowling presents the town as the best realist writers do, faults and all. Every single character has flaws, and by the same token, redeeming qualities. No one is one dimensional. These are people that you probably know from your own life. From high school boys trying so hard to be cool, to overwhelmed parents who don’t know what to do anymore. The novel deals more with the real world than a fairy tale happily ever after. The plot builds until it’s final tragic conclusion. I won’t spill the details but the ending hit me hard.

All in all, I really enjoyed The Casual Vacancy. I liked seeing how Rowling deals with a world bereft of the magic of Harry Potter.

Rating: 4/5

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

Misunderstood Literature



Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel with bad reviews. It took me awhile to find a novel suitable for this category. But I finally settled on The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, her first novel after the beloved Harry Potter series. Pretty much everyone I talk to has some pretty negative things to say about this novel. From it’s just too depressing to it’s just too tedious. It makes me wonder if the response to this novel is so negative purely because it’s not Harry Potter.

I can’t wait to find out for myself what it is that makes people dislike this novel so much. Having read Rowling’s Robert Galbraith novels I know she can write amazing things outside of the Harry Potter world and am excited to see what she conjures up in The Casual Vacancy. 

Stay tuned for the full review. Happy reading!