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“The point is—as far as the Society is concerned—if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.”
Whenever people compare things to Harry Potter I immediately become wary of whatever they are comparing to it. I know this mostly comes from nostalgia, but still, I feel like saying something is “the next Harry Potter” is not only the highest praise, but also setting that thing up for the greatest fall. It took me a while to pick Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow up, just because of that that. But you know what? I think it deserves that title; not only is it amazing, it actually does feel like the closest thing I’ve ever read to Harry Potter, while also completely and wholeheartedly being its own story. I loved this book.
This book stars a young girl named Morrigan Crow, who has lived her life feeling unwanted by a family who believes her to be cursed. And this curse has also lead everyone, including Morrigan, to believe that she will die on her eleventh birthday. That is, until Jupiter North comes with an invitation to compete to join the Wundrous Society.
Each year, kids compete to enter this exclusive Society, with the help of a sponsor. And all the children have different knacks, AKA: talents, which range from being able to grow hair on a whim, to being able to ride dragons, to being practically invisible, the possibilities are honestly endless. And Jupiter North has never taken a protégée under his wing, until Morrigan. So, everyone is wondering and assuming that she must have a talent unlike anyone has ever seen, but Morrigan doesn’t even know what special powers she possesses.
But to even get into the Wundrous Society, Morrigan must complete each of the four trials. And all the trials are so very different, and so very unique, and such a dang treat to read. The trials were truly my favorite scenes in this book. And that’s saying a lot, because we have a giant, talking cat who is sassy and perfect. And a hotel, where Morrigan stays, with such an amazing cast of characters. And the Christmas scene and competition in this book? Honestly perfection. I truly did love this story with my whole heart.
This book is such a love letter to found families. And I think this book could change so many lives of so many kids out there that feel so unwanted, when in reality they are so very wanted and the family we choose will always be greater than the family we are born into. This is something that took me a long while to figure out myself, but blood will always be just that – blood. Hell, every one out of fifteen people walking around Vegas are likely to have my blood type, and that’s all my blood has to say about me. Yes, this book is whimsical, and fun, but I also think it’s important. And my heart is so very happy just thinking about the message that will touch so many kids picking this book up.
And this book has such an overwhelming message about how we can truly be anything we want to be. That good and bad are in all of us, and as long as you’re striving to do good, you can be good, no matter your past, and no matter who tells you otherwise.
Overall, I can honestly say that each time I opened this book up that I experienced pure joy. From the messages, to the writing, to this fantastic story in general. There is so much to love about this book. If you are on the fence, please pick this one up. It’s honestly such a bright shining light in middle grade. And I cannot wait to see what comes next in Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow!
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Trigger and content warnings for emotionally abusive parents and abandonment.