BOOK REVIEWS

Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-07-30 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 479 user ratings
ISBN:006223692X
LANGUAGE:English

"This was tough to finish. It wasn't BAD, it just wasn't for me. As many other reviewers have mentioned, some young adult books easily entertain old adults as well but, in my opinion, this book doesn't even fall into the young adult category. I would call this a children's book, for sure.

The plot in this novel just was not cohesive enough for me. Angie Sage does an awful job (imo) of setting up and revealing her story world to us. There are wizards, queens, princesses, seventh sons of seventh sons, custodians, and ExtraOrdinary Wizards but... What does it all mean?! What is the history? What is the role of each label in regards to the others? I was constantly distracted by these questions as I read and the answers are never revealed!

Somehow the characters came across as flat and rather cardboard-ish to me. That, combined with the lack of understanding of the story world, made it extremely difficult for me to care about these characters at all. I didn't feel like it was just me, either. The characters' concern for other characters in this book felt lackluster to the point that I disliked Silas Heap (the father) for seeming completely ambivalent to the danger his family was in.

It's a fun, whacky world that Angie Sage has created but without revelation and massive tie-together at the end of the novel this loses the intellectual finesse that I believe many readers need in order to fully enjoy any novel but especially a "young adult" novel.
" said.

"I finished reading this a long time ago but I kept forgetting to write the review, even though I'm 2/3 of the way through the second book already, so I apologize for not having many details in this review. But this jist of it is that this book was just fantastic. It started off a little bit slow and I was a bit concerned, it was a little bit confusing to understand why I was hearing a story about a family and a little girl when the book title seemed to be about a kid named Septimus Heap, but it soon picked up and became lots of fun, charming, funny, sweet, and just all-around well-done. The author is so witty, I found myself laughing out loud so many times as I was listening to this book. Of course it helped that the narrator, Allan Corduner, was one of the best I've ever heard. He made each character unique and I loved his voice from the very first word of the book. He added so much to the story and I'm so disappointed that he only read this one, not using him for the rest of the books is a real loss. He's as good as Jim Dale or any of the other great narrators, it's such a shame. Anyway, back to the book, the author wrote such charming characters and so many witty and funny little lines, she just kept hitting it out of the park over and over again. It was just right, the way I hope a book will be but most aren't quite there. Of course, I have to add my usual disclaimer that I don't know if I would love it quite as much if I'd read it in print as I did with this fantastic narrator, but this one I think I would have. I really think the charm of the characters, the sweetness of the story, the adventure and and humor would translate no matter what. And considering how much several of my friends like the book too, I think I'm safe in recommending it, although you do have to keep in mind that it is intended for a middle school audience." said.

"This was the second time I've read this book! It is one of those books that get better each time you read it!
I read the audiobook with my 11 year old as a mother daughter buddy read! We laughed and laughed! The end made us cry big happy tears!
It's most definitely a children's book. A very simple and easy read but that doesn't make it any less of a wonderfully written story. It's up there with the greats like potter, the hobbit and all those other children's books that every child must read!
We are so excited for the next one in the series!
" said.

"I can not say that I didn't enjoy this book because I actually found it a very good read. I have to admit it was a little immature for me in places and I prefer my YA novels to be the older age of the spectrum.

I loved the characters and they were well written and engaging. You can clearly see how the characters will further develop through the books. I have to admit that I guessed the true identity of Septimus Heap very early on but I believe this was intentional. The reader knows a secret that the characters in the book don't.

I did however find the story a little slow in places and the fact that there was so many characters to keep track off meant that the story was slower as you introduced new characters.

Overall I think this book would appeal to a younger audience. I am not totally against reading further in the series but I will not be rushing out to buy the next ones.
" said.

"Magyk plays in a secondary fantasy world and is a middle grade series targeted towards the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans.
Silas Heap is a wizard and a seventh son. He and his wife Sarah also have seven sons, but the seventh son who is rumored to be magykal (having really great powers) dies onthe night of his birth. In the same night Silas finds a little newborn girl in the woods and the Heaps take care of her and raise Jenna as their seventh child.

When the true nature of Jenna's birth is revealed on her eleventh birthday, the family and some magical friends have to hide her, cause the Supreme Custodian who works for the evil Necromancer DomDaniel wants to have her killed.

The novel can roughly be seperated in three parts. The first third is a very action-packed flight, where Jenna gets spirited away and is constantly chased. When she reaches sanctuary the story slows down and the second part really starts to establish characters and fills the world with a lot of exposition.
The last part and the conclusion of the not that subtle secrets (at least for adult readers) is the strongest and the one I had the most fun with.

Overall this was an easy and fun read, but it was only able on a few occasions to produce that warm and fuzzy Harry Potter feeling.
" said.

" Magyk wasn't BAD, necessarily, it just really pales in comparison to so many other fantasy stories I've read. My main problem with it was the complete lack of a central main character. The series title, Septimus Heap, is supposed to be that main character. However, he doesn't, technically, show up until really late in the book.

Before that we jump between SO many different characters: Jenna, Silas, Marcia, Nicko, bad guys, good guys, and even boggarts, mice and a wolf. I mean those animal narrations are pretty funny, but it felt really unnecessary to me. And not having a central character to direct it all, it just felt way to jumbled. Add the fact that you meet a new character almost every chapter, introducing new viewpoints, personalities and opinions; I just starting not caring. I was never confused, persay, it IS a kid's book. It just felt like the author knew about her serious problem (aka lack of a hero), so she tried to throw in all these "crazy" characters to make up for it.

Story wise, it's just mediocre. Something about a seventh son of a seventh son born to take down the evil DomDaniel. It's not groundbreaking, we've all seen this before. That would have been fine, if I would have cared for the characters. And previously mentioned character problems really prevented that from happening

Reading on my nook, I was confused when I would happen across a word like, "Flyte" and it would be capitalized. I then found out in the actual book, those words are also bolded to show emphasis on Magykal spells and whatnot. The capitalization annoyed me, I couldn't even imagine the bolding.

It's exactly the same problem I had with Chuck Palahniuk's Tell All. I don't need you to point out something obvious to me, I'm not an idiot. And I don't even see how it helps kids, yeah you can put spells in bold and make them jump out at the reader, but what's the point? If you're reading the book you already know what the spells are, there's no need for it. I guess it just comes down to feeling like I was talked down to at times, and I don't enjoy that at all.

In the end, a cliched plot, kiddie characters, and a hilariously obvious twist all mean one thing: my Magykal *gag* journey ends here.
" said.

"

I enjoyed this despite the fact that:
a) It was a tad on the slow side.
b) It gives a really weird introduction to the world, magyk and everything else in general.
c) For the most part, nothing happens.


This series is in the “what to read after Harry Potter” lists and is the principal reason why I wanted to read it. While it’s a fun book, it’s certainly nothing like Harry Potter. I felt a little underwhelmed by it all. The world of the book and the magyk in it doesn’t feel very cohesive and well-defined to me yet. The explanations came when it was convenient and only then. The characters arrive at a cottage at a certain point in the story and they remain there for like, the next 60%.

I thought the characters were all adorable. The Heaps were a loveable bunch and so were Marcia and Alther and even the Boggart. The villain didn’t feel villainous to me so it was hard for me to take him and the ‘threat’ he posed seriously. What I did feel particularly interested by was Septimus’s role in all of this. I was not expecting him to be how he was. I guessed it after but did not expect it so that was new.


I would like the series to mature and darken a little. Overall, I feel it’s an extremely entertaining book but it barely scratches the surface.

“Let me fade into the air
Let all against me know not where
Let them that seeke me pass me by
Let harme not reach me from their eye”


" said.

"Overall, this book was a little disappointing. It was simply alright. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't that into it either. I was certainly right when I said this would be a light read. It was VERY light. The book just seemed a little undeveloped. It was like it COULD have been great, but it just wasn't. It had the potential, but it was just undeveloped and thin. Maybe it's because this book is clearly for a younger audience, maybe I'm reading this way too late, maybe I would've really liked it if I had've read it when I was younger, but oh well too late now. Besides I have read some books quite recently that have been for younger audiences, and they were better and a lot more engaging than this. I'm not saying this book was terrible, the story was quite good, however the world just seemed very undeveloped and it just felt 'meh' reading it the whole time. Pretty much all of the characters had like no depth. The only characters I found mildly interesting were Boy 412, the Apprentice and Simon towards the end. Even the villain DomDaniel (what kind of name is that?!) was crappy. There wasn't much to the plot and admittedly a fair bit of the story was just cliche. And seriously mostly takes place in like, one place, it was just slightly boring. Magyk had its interesting and unique little parts, and the ending was good I will say that (even though it was incredibly predictable) but overall it just alright. It seemed like the whole time the book was trying so hard, but it just wasn't engaging me. A shame too this series looked pretty cool. The heap of capitalised words annoyed me, seriously words like Caused, Removed, there were so many on EVERY page. It just got annoying. Again maybe I would have liked it better if I had read it when I was younger, but oh well. This book didn't impress. I'm glad I didn't pay for it at least.

SPOILERS
As I said before, pretty much all the characters were just bland and had no depth. I honestly didn't care for the majority of them. Jenna was alright, but she was just shallow, it just felt there was nothing to her besides her being the lost Princess or Queenling or whatever. I just didn't connect with her. I wanted to like Silas but he turned out to just be boring. Marcia was alright but she was a little annoying sometimes and at times I didn't like her, again she just had no depth. Nicko was alright but again no depth whatsoever. All these characters just felt so undeveloped. Honestly they were just there. Boy 412 was the only character who was good and actually had some depth, but that's probably only because he ends up being the main character of the entire series anyway. DomDaniel was an extremely lame villain, he was not threatening at all and seriously he did pretty much nothing. All the bad guys were stupid in fact, I hate when characters that are supposed to be evil just end up being completely unthreatening and stupid idiots, it's unrealistic and makes for a less enjoyable story. Everyone loves cool and awesome villains who are actually challenging. The Apprentice was an alright character, he's one I wanted to know more about. And Simon seemed like a deeper character, he turned a lot more interesting towards the end. Aunt Zelda, it felt like she was just there because she needed to be. The characters were just boring. Characters mean a lot to me in books, and they just need a lot more development then that. Yet again, maybe it's just because this book is for a younger audience - maybe younger than I thought - but still, I think it could have been better.

By the way, Boy 412 being Septimus Heap. Wow such a surprise... (Sarcasm) That was SOOO predictable. If you're trying to make it a surprise at least make it a little less obvious, like not making the Apprentice so poor at magyk or making it so obvious that Boy 412 had awesome magical talent. Seriously I guessed it like a quarter of the way through the book. The story was just cliche. And seriously, the main character of a book should be introduced properly for the majority of the story, this just felt weird to be honest. It feels like the whole book is just setup, and then the actual story begins at the end when you find out who Septimus is. It's weird.

Magyk ends really abruptly too. It's like; well what happens? Do they go back? What happens to Jenna does she become the princess or what? I also want to know what happened to DomDaniel's Apprentice. Apparently Aunt Zelda brought him back to life but what happened afterward? Seriously the only interesting characters were Boy 412, or Septimus, the Apprentice (who you find out to be Merrin at the end) and Simon, the oldest Heap son. In fact Simon seems much deeper, he gets very interesting towards the end. In that prologue of the second book, that was real interesting. Seriously the peek you got at the next book was more interesting than most of this book. It looks like Simon is gonna turn evil, I kind of want to see what happens there.

Spoilers end.

Anyway this book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great. It was just undeveloped and wasn't engaging enough. There wasn't much to the plot, it was uneventful and simple, the characters were mostly boring and had no depth, and the setting just felt undeveloped. And there were a few silly thing in my opinion like Messenger Rats that could speak and all this stuff about ghosts (cough Harry Potter thoughts). The writing style was also fairly plain, I get that this book is for a younger audience, but I've read many books for younger audiences that have been a lot better. Seriously the little peek you got at the next book - the prologue and chapter 1 - was more interesting than most of this book. I definitely won't be continuing this series I think, but I kinda want to pick up book 2 just to see what happens there after that prologue especially. Or I might just look it up. Either way it's a shame, this series looked pretty cool, but this book kinda disappointed. I didn't love it.

Magyk gets a 6/10. It wasn't terrible, it was alright. The book just didn't feel developed enough, and I guess I shouldn't be reading something written for such a young audience. Even so the story was just mediocre, in my opinion the plot was too uneventful. Even though I might have a peek at the second book, I definitely won't be continuing this series. See ya Septimus Heap.
" said.

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