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The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic Audiobook

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

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Publisher's Summary

Emily Croy Barker’s riveting debut novel is a must-read for fans of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic follows grad student Nora Fischer as she stumbles through a portal into a magical world.

Having been transformed from drab to beautiful, Nora finds herself surrounded by glamorous friends. Life seems perfect. But then things take a terrible turn, and Nora must learn magic from a reclusive ally if she is to have any hope of survival...

©2013 Emily Croy Barker (P)2013 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1361 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (1252 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (1243 )
5 star
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4 star
 (351)
3 star
 (167)
2 star
 (42)
1 star
 (26)
Performance
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  •  
    Elisabeth STANTON, CA, United States 12-27-16
    Elisabeth STANTON, CA, United States 12-27-16 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Could not keep my interest"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Because I hate it when the main character (almost invariably a woman) does stupid things/makes stupid choices just to advance the plot.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd rate this a 2.5 I don't mind a long book, but this went on so long I just gave up due to boredom even though I was almost to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura 12-21-16
    laura 12-21-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All those hours and nothing ever happens"

    Disappointing. All that time and very anticlimactic. Left open for a sequel I'm guessing because soooo many storylines were left unfinished.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kristin Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-21-16
    kristin Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-21-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    Story
    "Boring."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I want to like this book - i really do. I listen for a while and lose interest, so I go back and start the chapter over thinking I missed something....nope, the book is just poorly written, slow, and boring. I'm returning it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jannetteb56 12-09-16
    Jannetteb56 12-09-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    32
    13
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    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book to a friend because it starts out confusing, sort of clears up in the middle, but the ending is bad. It is so abrupt I thought I missed something and listened to the ending again just to be sure.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with some of the reviews I read, after I listened to the book. The ending is terrible and 3 years is a long time to wait for a sequel. I won't return this book to redeem the credit I used because I did soldier through and listen to the whole thing, but I consider this a wasted credit. How many ways can any author sneak in Pride and Prejudice? This is another example of a sappy female and older male who can't reveal their true love for each other. Bother, another thinly veiled romantic book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Liakos 08-26-16
    Kim Liakos 08-26-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Returned"

    Asked for a refund. After 5 chapters, I just could not get into it. Disappointed

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-29-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    14
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    "weak female lead."

    female lead character leaves much to be desired. she is far from thinking often acting rashly with little thought to the consequences of her actions. she repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over again. as an avid reader (like this character was suppose to be) I would hope I could follow a logical series of events with more thought than this character. I stuck through the book hoping that the end would justify the read, but I was highly disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Hill 05-23-16
    E. Hill 05-23-16

    MaryBethAK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reader Beware: No, Nothing Ever Happens"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I never write reviews since I believe them to be subjective. However, reader be warned. This story is not good. If there was a character I cared about. A story line. The author deciding if it was romance, fantasy or science fiction. Anything to have brought it together in a cohesive plot. However, I kept going on thinking that surely at some point something would happen. I was wrong. No love story, no magic story. Sure there was magic in the story. Certainly no Hogwarts. It took place on "another planet' which is science fiction in my book, not fantasy. However this "other planet" had humans and all the flora and fauna of earth? It was terribly confusing and you didn't care anyway. Certainly not someplace you would ever dream of going.


    What could Emily Croy Barker have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nora is as boring as peeling paint and the magician is as exciting as clog dancing. I could never care one way or another about the emotionless Magician or the plain boring Nora who never cared enough about her own situation of being on another planet, or kidnapped or even married to a dragon to try and get home or even fight. Really fight. More that "Oh this is awful" Nora just accepts that she is now a servant and her best hope is to learn a little magic.
    WOW! Really? That was all you had? The only remotely humorous character is an ICE Demon who feeds on poetry. That was it. There wasn't even a great bad guy to sink your teeth into and we NEVER hear about what happen to Ilyssa and her son in the end.

    The worst part was after dragging myself through the entire almost 50 chapters all I got at the end is that Nora is home but now she knows her path and it is back to her Magician, somehow and someway. The Magician she has never expressed love for nor he for her. It is all in Nora's mind that she should leave the 21st century to go back to the medieval days of the foreign planet. So disappointed. At least that story might have been interesting.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Well a good, decent story to read would have made her job much easier.


    What character would you cut from The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic?

    I'd scrape it all except the ICE Demon and go from there.


    Any additional comments?

    It should be criminal to compare this book in any way to Harry Potter or Wrinkle in Time or Narnia or Middle Earth. That is like saying peanuts are lima beans because they are both legumes. Nonsense. This is a hodge podge of " I don't know where I am going with this story" on the authors part. Don't bother.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather L 03-31-16
    Heather L 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    24
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    Story
    "Well... It's no A Discovery of Witches..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I might recommend this book to a friend who was a fan of Harry Potter, but not to a fan of Deborah Harkness' All Souls series. This book was recommended by Audible because I enjoyed the All Souls Trilogy, but this story does not have any of the adventure, romance or mystery that kept you wanting to hear more of Diana & Matthew's story.


    What was most disappointing about Emily Croy Barker’s story?

    There really were no high points in the story. I kept it going waiting for the need to get to the next chapter, but that never came. Unfortunately, I think that author waited until the very end of the book to try to create a cliffhanger effect to entice readers to buy the next book. Sadly, I'm not invested enough in the story or the characters to really care what happens next.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Not sure. She wasn't awful, but she wasn't great. It may have been that she didn't have the best material to work with, but she did a nice enough job.


    Was The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic worth the listening time?

    Again, I'm not sure... I guess I might have to say no because it was quickly demoted from my commute to being my company while I prepared meals or folded laundry.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible should not recommend this to listeners based on their purchase of Deborah Harkness' All Souls series. The 2 stories are not alike at all & I would not say that they draw from the same listener pool.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah N Benson 02-11-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    "Main Character Unsympathetic"

    I found the main character Nora to be a selfish, vain, whiny, naïve know-it-all who I had a hard time rooting for. this story was recommended to fans of Deborah Harkness's "A Discovery of Witches" (which i love) but this book is not in the same league. The ending also felt very abrupt to me. I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator either. I would recommend saving your credit for something better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 01-25-16
    Samantha 01-25-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    1
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    Story
    "Disappointed"

    Interesting at first. Then I kept waiting for it to get better or at least stay interesting. It didn't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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