Callum Hunt's summer break isn't like other kids'. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren't heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.
It's not easy for Call...and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.
Call escapes to the Magisterium - but things only intensify there. The Alkahest - a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic - has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends, Aaron and Tamara, awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes - and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.
As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, best-selling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take listeners on an extraordinary journey through one boy's conflict - and a whole world's fate.
©2015 Holly Black (P)2015 Listening Library
Trust, Friendship & Awesome
This book is somewhat like Harry Potter. Always trying to do the right thing and save people.
Audio books in general bring the books to life for me but Paul Boehmer did an exceptional job with The Copper Gauntlet. I can't wait for the next book.
No major reaction. I just enjoyed it very much.
This is such a fantastic series. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.
When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
Harry Potter with a twist continues in The Copper Gauntlet, the second book in The Magisterium series from Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
As I mentioned in my review of book one, The Iron Trial, it is impossible to read The Magisterium and not think of Harry Potter. In this case, imagine that Harry has learned about his Horcrux situation right at the beginning of his academic studies and that Neville has been acclaimed as the Chosen One, able to defeat Voldemort. This gives Call a far more nuanced outlook than Harry, especially at an equivalent age (Chamber of Secrets era.) which makes him, to me, a more interesting character. Don’t get me wrong; I love Harry. However, in the early books at least, he sees things very much as black or white, good or evil. Not so Call.
The connections are too numerous to be accidental. This time around they are more subtle, but still present. We have an antagonist whose main objective is to conquer Death itself. His nickname is “The Enemy of Death.” Voldemort, anyone? Fair enough, it is a fairly common trope, but combine it with magic school and you have Harry Potter. Another theme common to both is the idea that we are defined by our choices. Although Clare and Black are using many of the same tropes as Rowling, the way they handle them is very different and this makes The Copper Gauntlet a great read.
With regard to being defined by our choices, it is interesting to note that this is something Call decides for himself through the maintenance of what he calls his “Evil Overlord list"; he mentally tallies each choice he makes and action he takes to decide if it makes him more or less evil. Sometimes, this is played for laughs when he thinks things like “well, an evil overlord wouldn’t fetch sandwiches for his friends,” but it still expresses that same theme. This is something he chooses to do for himself; Harry has to have this explained to him by Dumbledore.
Another trope in common is that of the leaders of the society being in denial about the reality of the situation. The Ministry of Magic denies the reality of the threat posed by Voldemort as the Assembly declares that Madden is dead and gone and that the war is over. Given that there are three more books to come, that seems rather naive, especially as it appears a traitor is working against them.
One theme which hasn’t yet come up explicitly in the Magisterium is that of Love. As any Harry Potter fan knows, it’s the core of the whole series; Lily’s sacrifice of love for Harry and Voldemort’s inability to love are what make them them. This appears to be turned on its head in the Magisterium. Call’s mother’s final act is, apparently, to leave instructions to kill her son, and Constantine Madden was motivated to wage war on Death because of the loss of his beloved younger brother. I believe this is too important not to be a part of the Magisterium, too, and I look forward to seeing where Black and Clare take this.
Despite the comparisons with Rowling, I did enjoy this book; possibly more so because of the Harry Potter parallels. True, we lose a lot of the wonder of Rowling’s worldbuilding and humour, but it is balanced by rich, nuanced characters.
I gave The Copper Gauntlet four stars out of five.
I love the narrator. I think he's my favorite narrator ever. I like him so much that I've been searching his other works! He's got a good voice, and it only adds to the story. He makes it very easy to follow the story line and I always know what character is talking.
I enjoyed this story as much as the first. I do think that this story could stand alone, but the first book is so good I would recommend anyone start with it instead of just jumping into this one. This one does give brief run-downs, but it doesn't waste a lot of time on catching newcomers up.
The pace in this book is nice and steady, with lots of action, and great dialog between the characters, a small group of young magicians working together to do what they think is the right thing. Issues of friendship and loyalty are a big part of the plot.
The world building is great, and the magic is imaginative and a lot of fun. The book managed to keep me guessing about character motivations all the way to the end, though it still wasn't fully resolved and I quickly pressed the button to get the next book, The Bronze Key.
I loved cleaning house to this book. It was so easy to follow and the narration was clear, and it helped me spend time doing chores more eagerly.
rushed with too many unanswered questions that equate plot holes. unimpressive effort from two writers who could have done better. don't write a series if you can't commit
The highlight of this MG Contemporary Fantasy is Call's ongoing evaluation of his own behavior & choices.
The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare, read by Paul Boehmer, published by Listening Library (2015) / Length: 8 hrs 21 min
This is Book #2 of "The Magisterium" series. Book #3, The Bronze Key, is scheduled to be published on 8/30/16.
**This review contains spoilers for the previous book(s).**
The Harry Potter similarities & differences were both a bit stronger in this one. I especially felt like the whole issue of Elementals being used as domestic servants (ala house elves) was completely unnecessary. The characters remain unique though. But I am still hoping for more development on the everyone besides Call.
Callum Hunt (Call): In the previous book, Call was told that he is "The Enemy of Death" who placed his own spirit inside the (stolen) body of the infant Callum Hunt. He spends this whole book dealing with this news.
"He'd started making a list in his head - any evidence of him being an Evil Overlord went into one column and any evidence against it went into another. He'd taken to referring to the list before making any and all decisions. Would an Evil Overlord drink the last cup of coffee in the pot? Which book would an Evil Overlord take out from the library? Was dressing in all black a definite Evil Overlord move, or a legitimate choice on laundry day?"
This is fun, but it is also gives great depth to such a young character. And despite this close evaluation of his own behavior, he still occasionally makes selfish decisions, which adds some realism.
We learn more about the social and administrative structure of the magic world. I continue to be disturbed by their failure to do more to protect their children.
We also learn more about what The Enemy went through and what he did; and get to meet some chaos-ridden people.
The beginning was well done, establishing backstory & character growth. Once Call left home though, I found the parts before he got back to school to be less interesting.
The story itself takes place over a fairly short period of time (rather than a whole school year). And the ending resolved the issue of the Copper Gauntlet, but left the larger issues unresolved.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
--Havoc remains a favorite. I like that he is but isn't more than a wolf.
--When Jasper (Call's sort of nemesis) is called out for certain behavior and Call is forced to recognize that he does something similar.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: The crush subplot. / The gruesome stuff with severed heads.
OTHER CAUTIONS(?): The book continues to be pretty dark for Middle Grade.
Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Yes / Emoting = Yes / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual
There was a small error (which may have come from the original) in which he said "Call & Tamara" when it should have been Aaron & Tamara.
it was pretty good. It all tied together nicely. i liked it -similar story to other books but yet with a new flavor. Dark and magical. Appropriate for ages 11+.
Characters were fun. The pace was good. Narration was enjoyable..
If I had the time, I would definitely lost in this quirky magically world.
I am big fan of Holly Black.
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