Cover Image: Rosemary and the Book of the Dead

Rosemary and the Book of the Dead

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Member Reviews

*2.5
I did not realize this was the second book in a series. As such, I found myself thoroughly lost for a bit. Sadly, on top of this, it did feel that the story had a lack of detail and the characters' motivations were not very clear. I don't have much to say other than I had high expectations and they were not met. I may eventually go back and read the series in proper order as this could definitely be part of why I did not enjoy this as much as I had hoped.

I will add that the cover is beautiful.
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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. 

1.5 stars. Have to say this was more disappointing than the first read. As with the the first book this story suffers from a lack of explanation and not enough detail. 

Characters motivations aren’t clear and every crisis that appears is immediately and easily solved. The intentions of the villain and their sidekick are unclear. What is the sidekick’s motivation? Is the villain a witch too? - this is never explained and they seemingly hate witches but yet use magic themselves. 

The setting of Egypt and references to ancient Egypt felt tagged on as an afterthought rather than the core of the plot. The exploration of ancient Egyptian myth was superficial at best and again there was no real explanation of why it was the book of the dead that the villain was settled on. Other than ‘evil beasts’ can be set loose from it.

The 1.5 stars is purely for Gile’s ability to showcase mental health in clear but imagery filed way. The magic in this feels wasted and it seems that perhaps Giles should focus on writing about mental health for children.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. All of the opinions given are my own and have been given nothing for my review.
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My first Rosemary book and I will be gifting the series to the young readers in my family this holiday season.  Fun, entertaining read for middle grade readers that doesn't talk down to them and challenges them.  Yes recommendation to purchase for the local library.
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I love a good middle-grade witchy book and I was very intrigued by the new release and its prequel Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill. I read the first book immediately before diving into the new instalment and I was interested to see what Rosemary and her friends would get up to next.

Rosemary’s mum is a witch but recently, she has turned her back on that kind of thing and landed a part on a soap opera. The witches and wizards that frequent their house (that only believers can see) have disappeared and the darkness surrounding her dad has gone. But when the Book of the Dead goes missing from the British Museum, it seems that she must journey to the hot sands of Egypt with her little sister Lois, best friend Adi and magical guardians to solve the mystery and overthrow the malevolent thief.

'The moon looked full and seemed to be glinting at me cheekily.'

This description of the night sky is excellent and fits the theme of a quirky, witch story perfectly. The idea of the moon subtly and cheekily winking, as if it knows something that neither us nor Rosemary knows, is so appropriate for the general vibe of the book and I just thought it was an excellent sentence that I couldn’t not highlight.

Rosemary has the ability to see how a person is really feeling via the colours or aura surrounding them. The fact that she is seeing holes in her mother suggests that something is eating away at her and if it’s not sorted out, her mother will simply fade away. I love how emotions were presented in this whimsical, literal way and it makes perfect sense.

Rosemary’s little sister Lois provides much of the humour in the book. She is constantly eating and farting, which is hilarious in itself, but she is also a general source of light relief. She simply offers a real six-year-old’s commentary on the events of the novel and it’s such a delight to read alongside a story that is littered with some quite dark, ominous adventure.

I loved the inclusion of Egyptian mythology in this instalment but I think it could have been pushed further. I wanted to meet more gods and magical creatures like Anubis and Sekhmet because I was so enthralled by their strange, ethereal appearances and powers. It offers a fantastic introduction to these beings and I’m sure it will prompt further research into them for young readers.

One thing that I love about both of these books is that it centres kindness, self-belief and courage. These are obviously really important things to base your life around and are essential in the fight between good and evil. I wish that they weren’t saved till the end as a kind of ‘and the lesson is…’ element but it does finish the stories off with a positive finish.

Rosemary and the Book of the Dead had some great ideas and some loveable characters. At times, it felt like two different books in one (the adventure following the Book of the Dead and the healing of the family) and I’m not sure these seams were fully joined. I don’t think the story was very unique and I was a little bored in places but I’m sure that the target audience will adore it.
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I loved Rosemary and The Witches of Pendle Hill and loved this one.
This is a gripping and highly entertaining series, perfect for readers of any age.
Rosemary is a fleshed out characters, a clever and sensible girl I really like.
The world building and the plot are well developed, the characters are fleshed out.
It's an interesting series and it's highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an EARC of this novel. The free copy did not influence my review. 

This was a sweet book about witches, mythology, and magic. When someone steals the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead', Rosemary knows that it must be her enemy, Mal Vine. She decides to take her friend, Adi, and her sister, Lois, with her on a journey to get the book back, before he can do too much evil with it. She travels to Egypt and goes on a great journey filled with gods and magic.

First, I do wish that I had read the first book in the series, as I was not familiar with any of the characters or their backstory. It would have cleared up a lot of things for me. But even having not read the first, this book was pretty good. I did enjoy it, and there were a few facts that I thought were interesting. Overall, a good book. 

Ages 9+
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I made the mistake of jumping into this without reading the first book so, there were so many names and events that were alien to me.
Nevertheless, some of the things were explained as the narrative progressed, which helped. And it was pretty easy to play catch-up on certain individuals once you knew who to look out for.
I decided to read this as the description was full of intrigue, and it did not disappoint. There is still a fascination for pyramids, mummies and hieroglyphs and books like this can help a new generation gain joy in Egyptology. 
Rosemary, as a character is smart, but she is not overconfident. She knows her limits. Her character has hidden depths, and that makes her a great main protagonist. There is more to her than meet the eye. She is ably assisted by her best friend Adi, her sister Lois.
The writing is easy on the eye, and the material well-researched. The dialogue and banter between the characters is a joy to behold. I love the fact that there is plenty of magic mystery and mayhem, especially mayhem.
I think this is going to go down really well in our library and will be a welcome addition to the children's myth and magic genre.
Thank you, Agora Books and NetGalley, for the Arc.
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4.5*

Rosemary and The Book of The Dead is my first story by Samantha Giles. As a kid I loved the Ancient Egypt and I could watch documentaries about it for hours. I was fascinated by pyramids, mummies and hieroglyphs. 

When I saw the book cover I was intrigued and when I read the blurb I knew it’s going to be a book for me. 

Rosemary, her sister Lois and their friend Adi need to save the world, apparently, again! The Book of The Dead has been stolen from the British Museum. It can be catastrophic if the demons would be unleashed and evil spread to our world. Kids need to be brave and help the witches find the stolen book. 

I loved that the story has been focused on the Ancient Egypt, their gods, creatures and culture. I’m certain that children will want to learn more and who knows maybe a future Egyptologist is going to be inspired by the book?

It had a smart ending which is a perfect invitation for the next book and I’m sure I’m going to read it in the future. Well done!

Truly enjoyable adventure, well written with interesting characters. I like the diversity and magical elements. 

The only thing which I think could be a bit better was that as I haven’t read the first book, I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of names appearing in the first chapters and I felt that I was really missing the context.
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It can be easy to lose oneself when trying to conform to the expectations of others. Ten year old Rosemary Pellow is able to see colors around people that not everyone is able to perceive. Rosemary begins to notice her mother’s appearance changing after she accepts a new job on a popular soap opera, and Rosemary is determined to find a way to make her mother whole again. When Rosemary learns the famed Book of the Dead has been stolen from the British Museum, she teams up with her best friend Adi, her sister Lois, and a handful of old friends to return it to its rightful home and save her mother in the process.

This novel continues the story set up in Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill, including familiar characters within the context of another adventure. Sufficient information is provided at necessary moments within the text to remind readers what happened in the first book, but this narrative builds upon that foundation to become its own, unique story. Rosemary is becoming more independent, discovering how to trust herself and her ability to problem-solve and find her way out of trouble. While there is usually someone there to help her when she needs it, Rosemary nonetheless thinks ahead and manages many challenges on her own.

Fast-moving and engaging, this story reads quickly thanks to its shorter chapters and well-paced narrative. Because it utilizes many phrases and colloquialisms found in British English, readers will find themselves in England alongside the characters, following their daily routines and seeing sights inherent to that locale. Profound quotes from Adi’s lips are interspersed throughout the story to enrich the narrative with deeper consideration of the events taking place within it. Accessible to a younger middle grade audience, this story is especially well suited to those becoming more comfortable with this genre.

As the second in its series, this book serves as an engaging connector between books one and three. By incorporating moments from the previous story with foreshadowing into the next, this book gives readers a way to get to know the characters better as they grow and mature. Incorporating Wicca and ancient Egyptian mythology, this book contains a unique flavor that readers will appreciate. This is an enjoyable addition to libraries for younger middle grade readers with an interest in mythology, magic, and being true to oneself.
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Another quick and easy read that is a perfect adventure book for children. A really great premise that was execurted really well and that has good characters, children will love it.
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Hmmm.  I wish I’d known going into this that the book was a sequel—although given that the author felt the need to spoil just about everything in the first installation I have no real need to read it, now.  This did feel like a very young middlegrade to me; things were overly explained and a tad ridiculous.  I mean it was an adventure story and things started picking up around the middle, but I found the pacing a bit off leading up to that point.

Also I never liked Lois.  She managed to be annoying and spoiled and everyone dropped what they were doing as soon as she started to cry or sniffle, which was OFTEN.  Unfortunately she was necessary to the plot.  

I did like the magic one the book, for the most part, so there’s that.  

Also the dad has GOT to be messing with them about Mrs. Flimmyflamshamery.  He’s pulling their leg, and their responses just make it funnier. 

So, this is probably suitable for younger readers, but I didn’t really have fun until the end.  Some jokes were overused (ie Lois’s gassiness and Adi’s “Indian sayings” for example) However I’m not a middlegrade student, so maybe this will be a favorite for them?  I imagine if you’ve got fans of The Magic Treehouse, this would suit them, for example.
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So glad I  picked this to read to my grandson.  It has exciting adventures,  well developed characters and an awesome story plot.  We decided to pick up the first book since we both loved this one so much! Great for all ages! Thanks #netgalley and #AgoraBooks for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.
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What an excellent follow up to the author's first book.  There are some wonderfully quirky characters as well as a couple of.really evil villains.  This time the heroes are having to try and stop the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead' from falling into the hands of their arch nemesis.  I am definitely looking forward to their further adventures.
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