Worst Witch Season 4

*Minor spoiler.*

I just finished season 4 of Netflix’s Worst Witch. Although I was disappointed (and surprised) to learn that the role of Mildred Hubble was no longer played by Bella Ramsey, Lydia Page does an excellent job of stepping into the role of Mildred Hubble. Fans of the show will find that, despite the change in physical appearance, Mildred Hubble is still the same “worst witch” we’ve grown to know and love. So be sure to check it out and join Mildred on her fourth year at Cackle’s Academy. You won’t be dissappointed!

Elizabeth’s Legacy

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, mainly due to the lack of reading or watching of anything worth writing about. I’ve spent most of my time binge watching NCIS and PSYCH.

However, I am pleased to report that I have FINALLY discovered something worth writing about – Elizabeth’s Legacy, the first book in the Royal Institute of Magic series by the late Victor Kloss.

Two years after his parents’ sudden disappearance, Ben Greenwood stumbles upon a cryptic letter that could shed some light on their whereabouts. But before he can track them down, he’ll need to find the mysterious organization that sent the letter: The Royal Institute of Magic.

Amazon.com description

For those of us who loved the Harry Potter series, you will definitely see some parallels – orphaned British boy, unpleasant relative, hidden magical world. But if you give it a chance, you will soon discover a unique, clever world that, aside from those few parallels, is not anything like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The magic of Taecia is not dark. In fact, it is almost a science, which is a clever spin on the magic we are familiar with. The humans of Taecia live a life fully integrated with the non-magical folks, using cell phones, computers, etc. Fun fact, they even attend school in the non-magical world!

There is little to no profanity which is often unheard of in books these days, and I love the camaraderie between the main characters. Their loyalty and sense of humor – especially Charlie’s (Ben’s best friend) is truly appreciated.

This is one of those rare, clean books that parents can enjoy with their kids. So, check it out!

Definitely getting added to my “favorites” list.

TombQuest by Michael Northrop

Recently, I have been enjoying TombQuest by Michael Northrop. I started it a couple of weeks ago and am on the last book now. The story is sort of like Percy Jackson meets The Infinity Rings.

The story centers around Alex, a boy with a mysterious illness who is suddenly cured when his mother uses an ancient Egyptian artifact to save him. Unfortunately, while Alex is saved, his mother’s actions open a rift (for lack of a better word) that allows an old Order to return and gain strength. Before he knows it, Alex is and his friend Ren are in a fight to save the world, battling beings from ancient Egypt as well as human foes.

There are several aspects of this story that I like. First and foremost, I love the relationship that Alex has with his mother. He really respects her and loves her; he appreciates the sacrifices she makes for him. Second, I like Alex and Ren’s relationship. While they are good friends, they do have disagreements (in one book they have a pretty big argument.) Most of the time in stories, you find that best friends get along perfectly. This story shows you that you can be best friends, have an argument, realize you were wrong, forgive each other, and move on. Third, I like the emphasis on forgiveness. I can’t really say much about this without spoiling something. But not only do Alex and Ren forgive each other when they disagree, there is betrayal in this story and forgiveness. Fourth, I like how Michael Northrop infuses humor into the serious situations. I think it is cleverly done. By just adding a word or phrase, Mr. Northrop breaks up the tension just enough to take the edge out of the situation.

I am adding this to my list of “favorites” for pre-teens and adults with a childlike heart. I will caution that the author does not hesitate to kill characters in his book. (Mini Spoiler: so far, he hasn’t killed any main characters, but there are minor characters that die.) So, if you have a child who is particularly sensitive to death in stories, you might want to steer clear of it until they are older.

Unplanned (my review)

Unplanned tells the story of how Abby Johnson, a former director of Planned Parenthood, grows to realize that abortion results in the killing of unborn babies. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the story and the R rating it received. I went to see the movie last week with some friends, and, honestly, I was torn as to what I would have rated the movie if I was on the panel. I would say the movie is somewhere between PG-13 and rated-R. Overall, the movie is clean; however, there are two relatively bloody scenes which may (and are intended) to make viewers squeamish as they depict two different types of abortions.

In terms of the movie, I’d give it 3-stars for overall quality. While the shooting of the film was good and the acting was solid, the script needed work. There was a lot of voice overs where “Abby” is telling you what is going on or what she is thinking, as opposed to the audience being shown through her actions and interactions with other characters. I also thought the ending was a bit rushed. The movie ends shortly after her court battle with Planned Parenthood, a battle that was anticlimactic as you don’t even know what was said in the court room and how Abby refuted it.

Personally, I would have liked to see more of her life after she left planned parenthood – what it was like for her when it came to finding jobs and how she dealt with the guilt she felt at having aided in the procurement of abortions. The story did a decent job setting up how she rose through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, but fell short of showing how she adjusted and healed after leaving.

I will say, I appreciate the message of this movie. It is eye opening in terms of how abortions are performed and the toll it takes on the women who receive them. I also appreciate that they do not condemn the women who have had abortions nor the people who provide abortions. The message was one of healing, and at the end, they offer assistance to those who have had abortions or those seeking to leave the abortion industry. I have put the information below for those who may need it.

If you are an abortion worker and are interested in leaving the abortion industry, visit: And Then There Were None

If you are a woman seeking healing after an abortion or a family member of someone who received an abortion, visit Unplanned’s resources on abortion healing. (Resources with lists of organizations to contact are available if you scroll down).