The most obvious thing I need to point out about this book is: LOOK. IT’S MAGICAL. IT’S LEVITATING. Never doubt my magic skills, humans.
But onto the actual book, right?! Which is what this post is supposedly about.
I really wanted to love The Copper Gauntlet (which is the sequel to The Iron Trial), but IT DID NOT WORK FOR ME. Not even a little bit. Which is such a gargantuan pain to me because I adore both Holly Black AND Cassandra Clare in astronomical amounts. But just not together?! GARRR. In my review of The Iron Trial, I admitted I saw Harry Potter influences. But now? I honestly felt like I was rereading Harry Potter. And not just because of the whole “magic school” (they barely even learn magic at this school, to be honest, because they’re always dashing about and nearly-dying) but because the characters and plot twists are all SO similar.
AN UNFORTUNATELY SAD AND DEJECTED LIST OF WHY IT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME:
- Despite the characters Call, Tamara, and Aaron feeling like rehashes of Harry, Ron, and Hermione…I just didn’t enjoy reading about this trio. Their personalities felt ordinary and dry. No one POPPED off the page for me. Cal moved from a cute 12 year old bitter little expresso, to this acidic cranky 13 year old who needed a major attitude adjustment. He was so SOUR all of the time. And the “friendship bonds” (excuse me but snort) were constantly ignored! Cal couldn’t even trust his friends to keep his secrets.
- Tamara feels like Hermoine in personality…like exactly. Like, Aaron and Call would be DEAD without her.
- Aaron, despite being the Makar and the most POWERFUL MAGE OF EVER has…as much personality as a tuna sandwich.
- All the Harry Potter similarities. The Magisterium is corrupt, like the Ministry of Magic. Call’s dad was all buddy-buddy with the evil dude before he was evil. The evil dude is returning from the dead, aka like Voldemort. There’s an entire flying car scene like in Chamber of Secrets. Jaspar is just Draco Malfoy. And Call even has a protective weird wolf/dog….oh! Just like Harry sometimes had Sirius when he was in dog-form. I really expected MORE and BETTER from this series.
- When the 13 year olds were mistaken as total legit grown ups. Hmm, let me think if this could ever work on any planet?
- Incompetent grownups are everywhere. I get it. You can’t POSSIBLY have an adventure if surrounding adults have brains.
- I’m so glad that there is an entire school of powerful mages and none of them can find three runaway children.
- Considering the plot hinges around the trio going on a self-appointed quest to find Cal’s dad…I just want to know if the school TEACHES anything?? But who needs school when you are born destined and evil and fabulous??
Basically I did not love it. Even though there were some redeeming factors, like how Call has this little “list” in his head on ways to “Not Be an Evil Overlord” and how the book is short and punchy and full of action. There were a few quips that had me smiling! But mostly I felt lulled into a coma of boredom trying to process how much disbelief I was drowning in. Where was the originality?!
There is also a possibility that I’m just too old to appreciate this series. I confess: I’m not 13. Maybe if I wasn’t a vivacious reader of all things and didn’t care about world building or logic and JUST wanted a magical action-y adventure I would’ve loved it?! WHO CAN KNOW. I still firmly believe that all books can bring something new to the table. The Copper Gauntlet felt like stereotypes and tropes rehashed and with that “SEE IT A BILLION TIMES” vibe. I shall retreat to my darkness with a sad face. And don’t forget: don’t take my word for it! If this book intrigues you GO FOR IT. And if you love it, I’m super happy for you!
THANK YOU TO PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE FOR THE ARC! The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterum #2) by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black was published September, 2015.
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 school in the magical world of the Magisterium.
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 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, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict -and a whole world’s fate.