Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George

Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
Series: #2 in the Castle Glower series
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 235
Received: Review copy from publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads page


From Goodreads:

A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it... Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.

Strange things are afoot in Castle Glower: new rooms, corridors, and even stables keep arriving, even when they aren't needed. Celie's brother Bran, the new Royal Wizard, has his hands full cataloging an entire storeroom full of exotic and highly dangerous weapons, while Celie has her hands full . . . raising the creature that hatches from a giant egg she finds! Will they be able to find out what's making the Castle behave this way in time?


Good books keep me entertained from start to finish, but great books make me think about them when I'm not reading them. Wednesdays in the Tower hovers between good and great for me.  
The Good

The good comes from the characters and the overall plot. I really like spending time with Princess Celie and her family, but they don't leave a lasting impression.

Still, the time I spend with them is always fun. Celie is a likable main character who strikes that nice balance between intrepid and daring while still remaining true to her age. I liked how she turned to her older siblings (well, mostly her older brother) for guidance when the situations became a little too big for her to handle on her own.

I really like reading about loving families (see The Penderwicks) and as long as they're interacting in a loving, fun way then I'm usually pretty happy. Celie's family largely fulfills what I'm looking for in family books.

I say "largely" because I can't say "totally." I don't feel like I've gotten a chance to truly know any of the characters outside of Celie. True, she's the main character and the story is told from her limited perspective, but it would have been nice to have explored her siblings a little more. Lilah seemed especially neglected, though I did very much appreciate the development of Pogue Parry (his secret is so wonderful!)

The plot overall was nice and enjoyable, but again it didn't grab me. There isn't a whole lot of action and while the plot of raising the animal that hatches from the egg was sweet, I wasn't totally engaged.

The Great

Two things made Wednesdays in the Tower rise above for me. First, the castle. The entire concept of Castle Glower is brilliant! I will read every single book in this series just so I can spend more time in that castle. I want to make it real and I want to live there. Put Castle Glower right up there with Hogwarts, Manderly, and Facade in the category of Fictional Places I Wish Were Real.

I'd be totally lying if I said I didn't spend at least a little time daydreaming up what rooms I'd want Castle Glower to create for me. Okay, okay, I've spent a lot of time.

I mean, the rooms shift around and new rooms are always appearing and disappearing. How cool is that?! I'm a big fan of secret passageways and finding new rooms in big houses, but a house that actually creates new rooms? And rooms that are stocked with all sorts of cool things like Room of Hidden Things in Hogwarts? SIGN ME UP NOW!

But, how in the world does this work? Why it is happening? These were things I sort of wondered about after reading the first book, but the second book actually spins out that mystery and, finally, answers it!

And the answer is totally worth it! Plus, it also sets up book three for all sorts of adventures and I can't wait to go on them.

The second thing that made me think about Wednesdays in the Tower when I wasn't reading it was the history of a certain mythological creature that is somehow connected to the castle's history.

I was so into the story and trying to dig into the history of all this (I LOVE history) that I kept having to fight the urge to start my own internet research (and, um, yeah, Wikipedia isn't all that helpful when trying to research fictional histories like this). Which is to say, I was really into it.

Bottom line

This one ended much more cliffhangery than the last book and I'm really wishing I had book three on me now. It's set up for all sorts of adventure and history sleuthing and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

So, yes, I will be continuing with the series for sure. Readers who enjoyed the first book will probably like the second just as much. While I don't think it's entirely necessary to have read the first book in order to understand this one, I do think it would help and I recommend reading them all and in order.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Wednesdays in the Tower that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Want to win a copy?
Click HERE to enter!

Or click to read my interview with Jessica Day George! 


  1. I was a little disappointed with this one-I found the first book so delightful but didn't feel that this one added that much to it. I wish there was more depth and characterization.

    1. aw, too bad! There definitely wasn't as much character development as I would have liked, especially since I do like the characters a lot.

  2. Small!! You totally made me want to go to the Castle!! (I mean, you put it up there with all the places I Wish I could go to!, that's pretty sustancial endorsement).

    I know what you mean about the limited perspective and how the other characters don't get to be as developed, that can be annoying but it sounds charming over all.

    1. It's such a cool castle! I want to pull it out of the book, make it real, and get one of my own!

      It is for sure charming overall. I think you'd like it.

  3. This sounds super cute! It's not my normal read, and I have to be honest and say the cover isn't for me, but wow...I'd be sold on your review alone! Great thoughts :)

    1. Glad you liked my review! It's a cute book. The cover isn't at all how I picture the book.

  4. Oh, you've completely sold me with the mention of this magic castle, haha! Because I love me a fantastical literary castle that I want to visit in real life. Seriously, that castle would be the COOLEST. It's too bad some of the other elements didn't add up though. Hopefully the next book grabs you a bit more!


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