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on 21 April 2015
I'll be kind and class this as fan fiction rather than plagiarism but really what we have here is a very clunkily written Harry Potteralike.
Orphan whose parents died in traumatic circumstances? Tick
Brought up by aunt and uncle? Tick. Except, let's be a bit different - they're nice to her. Yes, it's a she orphan, not a he.
Sudden summons to an English boarding school? Tick
Find out you're there to learn magic? Tick
Discovery that your parents were powerful magicians and you're expected to be the same? Tick
Except - there's something evil going on and nobody is prepared to talk about it. Tick
And so on.
Now the writing. Bad. Very. The author seems to have swallowed a dictionary, or rather a word list, as there's no indication she understands the meaning of many of the terms she sprinkles generously about, I was particularly taken with the 'combustible, deadly fire' which orphaned our heroine. We won't go into her attempts to write a Welsh accent, total failure doesn't begin to cover it.
Then there's characterisation. There isn't any; just a bunch of cardboard cut outs with physical characteristics and a magical ability.
Finally we come to the setting. England imagined by someone who doesn't know the country and hasn't done any discernible research. Those supposedly British cardboard cut outs talk about their Moms - really? Manchester and Edinburgh described as being at opposite ends of the country, well hardly. The blithe assumption that a sixteen year old can have a driving licence. The school has a 'dean'. No, lady - the term is 'bursar'. Just wrong, all of it.
I admit I'm hardly the target audience for this pathetic confection but the teenage girls it's aimed at deserve better. I did read to the end, utterly transfixed by how dreadful it was, sort of literary equivalent of a rabbit caught in the car headlights. I will not be seeking out anything else by this author.
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on 7 April 2016
You always know that you are going to be in for a hard time when the text is littered with schoolboy spelling mistakes.

"She took out a sheet of stationary[sic] and a pen" and further on "The room was at least four stories[sic] tall" I'll bet this old building could tell a tale or two (Boom-boom!)

There is an exotic and mythical 51st State - called "Europe" - which seems to be the setting for a whole host of poor American tales in which the characters all talk, sound and behave like Americans and where all the customs and social conventions are identical to those of the United States. And so it is with this offering. The author failed totally to convince me that the setting was anywhere in the United Kingdom or that the majority of the characters were supposed to be British - I am sure that no English boy refers to "graduating" when he means finishing secondary school. Nor would he be addressing the senior school staff as "Headmaster Whatsit". The author also seems to have completely missed that driving licenses (for cars) can only be obtained after a child's 17th birthday.

And so it goes on... The Scot who moved to the USA ten years previously writing using American spellings - as do the local English newspapers - apparently! Football teams for the last 50 or 60 years have lined up typically with four defenders - so the players who were introduced as "These are our two defensemen [sic] " are an anachronism from the 1940s or earlier.

The success of the Potter phenomenon was always going to bring a load of J.K. Rowling 'want-to-be's out of the woodwork, but the plot of of this Harry Potter clone is just too transparent! An orphaned child brought up by an Aunt and Uncle then sent away to a clandestine school for gifted children only to find out that they are not an ordinary child but the 'chosen one' in the secret circle and their peers know all about them and their past and their family - even though they themselves are clueless. Even down to being instantly disliked by one of the senior school staff and the best friend's father having a penchant for tinkering with mechanical gismos!

For having said that the book held my attention for only a couple of chapters, I did struggle through it until the end. At a couple of points I did laugh aloud at how blatant the Potter-cloning was.

In summary this can only be described as poorly written and poorly researched. To anybody thinking of picking it up I would suggest sticking to Harry Potter.
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on 3 August 2012
This whole storyline is epic - I loved the whole xmen/heroes vibe going on. I want a tatu. I think I just spent like half an hour seeing if I had a superpower ANYWAY
OH-KAAAY, Quick story sum up, Rae is sent to a school for `gifted' students by her Uncle, she quickly finds out this is no ordinary school...think Xmen style school yet for these students to get their `power' they need to wait until their 16th birthdays where a tatu appears on their body that symbolizes the nature of their power - with me so far? Rae is an outsider as soon as she turns up at the school and she quickly learns that her Dad was the `Hitler' of this gifted society and people are scared of what SHE might turn out like. Which pretty much sucks for Rae.
Right - Im not going to intentionally throw in any spoilers but if I feel a spoiler coming I'll be like MAY DAY MAY DAY SPOILER, I REPEAT SPOILER okay?
I read this book - well ebook because for some UNKNOWN reason this book isn't being published in the UK - in 4 hours. I dont own a kindle so I was walking around the house with my massive laptop (Kindle pc - best thing I've ever downloaded) which was very uncomfortable at times I can assure you! I could NOT stop reading. Im a big fan of `Xmen' AND `Heroes' and this book contains HUGE elements of both of them. Its like W.J.May put them both in a blender and came up with this story. I developed quick attachments to some characters and grew to HATE some characters and immediately thought `I dont trust this character' at times - and one instant distrust is actually the character that everybody seemed to like and - MAY DAY MAY DAY SPOILER, I REPEAT SPOILER - I was right NOT to trust this particular character. Theres also the whole `Severus Snape' thing going on which I guessed right from the beginning! Clever me. SPOILER OVER, SPOILER OVER
I did have some issues...There were just bits where she'd repeat something that she'd already mentioned just in a different so it made me feel she'd forgotten that she'd already mentioned it...does that make sense? Well anyway saying that it could have been me - so dont hold me to that okay! I tend to....read things wrong sometimes (Im not doing myself any good on the whole `Im reliable for recommending books thing...am I?) There was also the annoying factor of Rae CONSTANTLY being asked out by boys...(again...it could just be because Im jealous as that NEVER happens to me but shhh) I dont know WHY that annoyed me so much but it just seemed...um....kinda childish??? But there were amazing plot twists and mystery factors and the whole `ooooou Im going to find out her tatu' etc which made me want to read on as a reader so the negatives are always balanced by a positive which makes it a much more enjoyable read. I call this a `tbr' which means its a typical `TRAIN BOOK READ' so basically its a quick light read thats easy to read....and if someone distracts me while reading I can easily pick up where I left off without getting confused.
ANNNNNNNND thats the end of my review. over and out amigos
Oh and WELL DONE W.J.MAY - SEQUEL PLEASE!?
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on 19 April 2014
This is a new spin on the boarding school mystery. They are at a mixed school and they have special powers. And there is all the usual teenage angst about hair, clothes and boys. But for all that the story hums along quite nicely and is quite readable. Proof reading was patchy.
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on 9 March 2015
Don't read if you're a Brit! The first few chapters are littered with so many basic errors regarding terminology that is wholly incorrect in a British school setting. It means that it's impossible to enjoy the story, which is a shame because the premise is intriguing. The author could have so easily avoided these errors if they had made contact with a British English proof reader. I won't be reading any more. Luckily it was free. If the author is reading this, they should really take greater care to check these things out. There's this thing called the internet.
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on 4 May 2012
MY REVIEW

I'd had this e-book on my to read and review pile for a while, I've already interviewed W. J. May and had accepted an invitation to host her on my blog again as part of a Bewitching Blog Tours, tour. So I decided to try and fit in reading her book, and I am so pleased I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'll start with the cover which I also like, you see the main character Rae depicted in the models face. She looks worried and kind of lost which is how Rae Kerrigan feel initially and on and off through certain parts of the book. To begin with Rae doesn't know how special Guilder's School is. She also has no clue about her tatú and what it may look like. Rae doesn't know who her friends are, she doesn't know who to trust and who to be wary of. Its a tale of coming of age, where at the age of sixteen you get your ink, your tatú which will tell you what special talents you will have. then the school helps you learn how to use your talents fr the greater good. If all that wasn't bad enough, Rae has to cope with the fact her father used his gifts for his own agenda which was not for the greater good. Rae also uncovers clues about what happened in the fire that claimed her parents lives yet spared her. Did her mum really sacrifice herself to save Rae and stop her father Simon from doing evil deads.
I love the descriptions of the characters and surroundings. There's a lot of things to remember as you go along but you find that you can easily retain the information as each character has a different Tatú with it's own individual power. I love the friendships between the characters. It is quite funny that all the guys seem to have "a thing" Rae yet she doesn't really see herself as overly attractive, she is quite a modest girl, even when she realises how powerful her powers are too.
This is a good decent length book, it has plenty of things happening to keep you busy as well as having you wondering who are the bad/good guys. I truly didn't see the truth of who was bad/good until it played out in the book which is great.
I got really irritated when I kept getting interrupted reading this book, even the postman couldn't distract me lol.
The only addition I would have loved was illustrations so we could see all the individual ink Tatú marks. Having said that W. J. May does describe them very well.
So did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I recommend it? Yes those who love "school" based supernatural stories such as Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead should enjoy this too. Do I want to read more by W. J. May ? Yes definitely want to read more of this series of The Kerrigan Chronicles, I would also try any thing else she wrote too!
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on 24 August 2014
with a few errors which stopped me from being able to really get into it.
Although set in UK, it could have been set in the US with all the Americanisms used, which I thought was a shame as so few books tend to be set in the UK.
What annoyed me the most though, was the written accent for Rae's Welsh roommate.... Welsh people, especially from Cardiff, do not speak as the author has portrayed in this book. I appreciate that capturing accents might be difficult but it was so much in the wrong direction I found it hard to read.
if you don't know much about Britain you will probably be able to enjoy the book a little better.
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on 18 March 2016
Lovely storyline. A given re love developing between Rae and Devon. An interesting way of introducing all the character's and their individual tatu! I look forward to seeing how things develop in the next novel in the series.
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on 22 March 2015
To begin with I was sceptical about the book, once reading the blurb but found once I started to read I could not put the book down, I enjoyed every moment of the gripping story, in some ways it seems like history maybe repeating it self or it wants a voice to re tale a story and give guidance to each character thats involved . Honestly you will fall in love with the.main character and get to understand her need to find a place that she can fit and relax and find out who she is and who she wants to become
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on 31 July 2014
A good teenager story a bit like Harry Potter except:
-its a girl not a boy;
-the mark is not on the head
-the abilities are different
-the dark one is not a stranger; and
-the parents are not held in a picture frame.
Would recommend it for young adults as was a bit young for me but well written.
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