It really just seems like they took Hogwarts and a murder mystery and threw it in a blender... Just not my thing.
What I liked:
The Grimoire of Grave Fates is written by 18 fabulous YA authors, which makes for a unique way to write a murder mystery. I can say that I could tell we had different authors writing, but it flowed so well as a murder mystery. The 18 students are a mixed group of gender and sexuality identities, religious and cultural identities, and magical cultures. I got just enough of each character to want more, and the "19th" character of the gargoyles wove like a thread throughout. The uniqueness of a magical school that travels was what sold it to me. I read many books about magical schools, but the appeal of it being a traveling school was unique.
While we have a large cast of characters to pull from who killed the professor and why it wasn't hard to keep track of them as they are a unique cast, each writer brought their voice to the book while still connecting to the characters the other authors created. Each student had their talents, insecurities, and viewpoints. The cool thing about the Galileo Academy is that it enrolls students worldwide, so we get to hear from people of different races, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and cultures. I loved that each author could share something of themselves through their character chapter, and I kept guessing till the end who the culprit was and why. A unique addition to the Ya mystery genre, and I would love to read another story like this one.
Brilliant concept, great execution! Was so wonderful to see such a diverse cast in a magic school story for once!
I love so many of the authors in this book, and was so excited to read it! However, when I actually got into it, the pacing was slow, the plot was confusing, and the characters felt very 2-dimensional.
*eARC provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was a strange book. I really wanted to love it, cause it a really cool concept, but it fell flat for me. Part of the issue is that we are only with each character for a single chapter, and there are a lot of chapters. Which leads to too many main characters and a reader who struggles to get attached and keep track of who's who.
It seems like each author was given a single fact about the mystery instead of knowing the whole thing, so it is hard to solve it yourself before the characters do.
The concept of this book is an immensely cool idea. I can only imagine how hard it was to get all 18 viewpoints to mesh together & make sure that it fit nicely. I'm impressed! The setting and descriptions of the Galileo school (and its many rooms/secret places), the creatures, the magical cultures, and the magical abilities seen in the book left me wanting to know so much more about the world that these authors have created. It would be intriguing to get a book for each character - learning more about where they came from or even an adventure taking place after this book.
Each chapter of this book has a different and unique student point of view. I believe that the overall book plot and characters suffered a little bit because it seemed difficult to find a perfect balance of character or plot development. There never seemed to be enough of either - even when the characters overlapped and became side characters in another POV. My favorite character wasn’t even a POV, Nurse Fibula. The main antagonist and the murderer seemed to have fairly bland reasons behind their actions. One aspect that I really loved were the gargoyles, I'd not encountered a book before where they were living breathing creatures. When the book ended it was fairly anticlimactic - even with the twist that I wasn't fully expecting.
My experience with these 18 students while they all gathered information on Professor Dropwort's mysterious death was interesting - I only wish that there was more. I would follow the students of Galileo in another adventure should a second book come out. I would like to thank Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this exceptionally unique book.
The Grimoire of Grave Fates is a YA murder-mystery fantasy themed anthology edited by Hanna Alkaf and Margaret Owen. Released 6th June 2023 by Penguin Random House on their Delacorte Press imprint, it's 464 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback due out 11th June 2024 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function.
This is an engaging murder mystery set in and around a school for magically talented students. A grisly murder has taken place, and the stories of the students and staff are written around finding (or concealing) the who why and how of the crime. There are 18 authors writing in an "hour per chapter" timeline format. The chapters are stylistically varying, but generally well edited enough to make a more-or-less cohesive whole.
It's definitely written toward a YA audience (Lexile score 800), but enjoyable to other ages; though not too young, there are some scary descriptions included. The authors and their characters are diverse and are drawn from a wide variety of ethnicities, orientations, and backgrounds.
It's an interesting and challenging premise, and the editors do a fine job of tying the chapters into a readable and engaging story.
Three and a half stars. This would be a nice choice for public or school library acquisition, home reading, or possibly a buddy read.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
I requested this for consideration for Book Riot's All the Books podcast for its release date. After sampling several books out this week, I decided to go with a different book for my review.
I finished this super fun Dark Academia, Magical School, Murder Mystery yesterday!! It’s witchy with magical creatures and a really fun plot line. The characters are diverse with lots of lgbtq+ rep, and different backgrounds.
I wasn’t too sure how much I’d love it based on the low ratings I’d been seeing, but I managed to go in blind. I binged it on audiobook because I did not want to put my ebook down!
Friends, if you’re looking for a fun witchy adventure then grab this!!! It will keep you guessing, hit you in the feels, and entertain you for hours!
I was captivated by the concept of this book, in which 18 different authors collectively craft the points of view for 18 different students as they endeavor to solve a murder mystery within the walls of their magical school, the renowned Galileo Academy. This unique institution shifts its location, along with its students, to various countries worldwide, boasting a diverse body of students and faculty. However, Professor Septimius Dropwort stands out as a harsh teacher with a penchant for rigid rules and consequences, especially towards students he deems 'other.' When he is suddenly discovered dead, the sheer number of potential suspects hinders any immediate arrests. Can the students unravel the mystery of the murderer lurking among them?
The narrative is skillfully woven through the perspectives of numerous characters, all of whom are students at the academy. Each chapter introduces a different character's viewpoint, with each segment contributed by a different author. While this approach offers diversity, it presents a challenge in the form of a large and somewhat unwieldy cast of characters, making it occasionally challenging to recall who each person is when referenced in subsequent chapters.
Overall it was an enjoyable read.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed for inclusion on the Texas Library Association's Tayshas List. What a fun book! I loved the concept and the format as well as the wide-spread representation.
Thank you so much to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for providing an advanced copy of this. All thoughts and opinions are still my own.
This was a such a fun and unique YA anthology. Told from 18 different POVs all written by different YA authors, you follow a magical school and its students as they try and solve the murder of a not-so-loved professor.
One of the best aspects of this book is how diverse it was in its characters and authors. There was everything from disability to trans to queer to POC rep. And it was fantastic. It also had amazing discussions are inclusion and colonization and performative allyship.
While I personally didn't find anything about this shocking, I think this mystery is perfectly tailored to its target audience. With themes and characters that will challenge and relate to teens.
This style and setup was something I've never seen before. And while it was a lot of fun, it doesn't keep you at arms length from each of the characters. Because you only get a few pages from each, you never really get to know a single character well.
Overall, I had a good time with this. I think it accomplished exactly what it set out to do. It has great themes and messages all with an eerie dark academia vibe and unique style & voice.
This book really wasn't for me. Switching between characters so frequently made it so I couldn't really connect with any of them.
There is a lot of representation of various cultures and abilities. The mystery is a "skull scratcher," so to speak...
The premise of this anthology was so promising, but the execution left a lot to be desired for me.
A cohesive YA story told through different short stories, all centered around solving a murder at a magical school. That should be the secret spell to success and make this book super riveting. There are good characters in here, but I feel like this would have worked better if each author had been able to write a story apart from solving the murder. Does that go against the whole premise? Yes. But I do think that with how the overarching story ended up… it would have been better to just not have it at all.
Either that, or have there be more of a consistent tone from story to story so that it doesn’t feel so disjointed.
But then it wouldn’t make for an anthology and allowing people to write in different voices.
Such conflicting emotions with this one, I’m sorry to say.
Thank you to the publisher for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary offers a home and education to all manner of magical people, regardless of their background or powers. The school travels all over the world to offer different educational opportunities and magical diversify to its education. When the biggest bigot of a teacher is found dead, the teachers and students try to figure out what happened. Told from the different perspectives and formats in the investigation, this unique story will leave you guessing.
A traveling magical school, murder mystery, and diverse cast, this was super cool and unique. I loved how it addressed sooooooo many cultures and backgrounds, addressing racism, socioeconomic statuses, and sexualities. While each story was written by different authors it felt completely cohesive and I thought the different formats of the stories were super cool too! It definitely read as a young YA book, but did a great job of addressing so many issues that teens have to deal with, and the different personalities of the students offered made this book so rich and interesting to read. I could totally see a younger person rating this higher and loving it, but because it read so young, it kept me from loving it. I did enjoy it a lot and loved the unique story and diversity, but was a 3/5 for me.
When I picked this book up I was really curious about the logistical aspects of how you put together a book like this.
This is a murder mystery but each chapter is from a different POV and written by a different author, also each chapter takes place sequentially in the story. And I was and still am, fascinated by how you put together a murder mystery where one character’s actions from one chapter would affect all other chapters, with 20 different authors!!
One of the best parts of this book is all the fantastic authors in it. Each chapter I read I was so invested I never wanted to switch to the next POV, but then next chapter I would feel the same. Also the list of authors is incredibly diverse and so are the characters they’ve written. There are many LGBTQIA+ characters, people of color and characters with disabilities. I would have loved to read any of these chapters as a full length book.
I loved so many details of this book: All the different types of magic, the magical school, the characters, the writing… I was also quite invested in some of the pairings, crushes etc. And I loved how usually there is a “chosen one” in these types of books, but this subverts that by making everyone think that they have to solve the mystery that it’s their destiny to do so, which honestly feels a lot more realistic in this kind of a setting.
The resolution to the mystery was a bit of a let down. I was quite invested throughout and there were fun little red herrings and clues sprinkled throughout. But paying close attention didn’t end up mattering that much since only a few of the chapters played into the solution.
Also the person who died is so villainous that he’s more of a caricature of a character, and you’re just left feeling good riddance to bad trash, do we have to solve his murder?
General note: There are a lot of characters so a reference sheet of some kind might be helpful as you’re reading.
Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the eARC!!
Thank you so much, NetGalley, Random House Children's, Delacorte Press, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.
The Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary is a prestigious school for young magicians, recently including people of all cultures and identities, even though this isn't widely accepted. Like the least favourite professor, Septimius Dropwort, known for his harsh rules and harsher punishments. But when he's discovered dead with
a note in his hand, the students have to solve the murder before one of them is blamed, since now everyone is a suspect.
In this brilliant book, the story is told by 18 authors following 18 different students, with 18 different point of views in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the professor's death. Each one is sure of their own abilities and power in discover the truth, as they follow the clues in order to find the culprit. The Grimoire of Grave Fates follows the most brilliant students and magicians, following clues and race to the truth, between magic and hidden secrets in the hall of Galileo.
I absolutely loved reading this book. It's original, funny, creepy and fantastic and it was such a pleasure reading how 18 authors worked together, with each a different student and perspective to write this awesome book! It's something I've never read before and an absolute pleasure! The story is intriguing and I love the change in POVs. Truly brilliant.
I was so excited by the idea of many authors coming together to write this book and the cover was equally gorgeous. But the execution didn’t really work out. It’s too ambitious and the fact that we get introduced to new characters with every chapter made it harder to connect to most of them. But the magic system and world building is very interesting and it was very quick paced, so I didn’t get bored. Maybe I would have loved it more if I could have spent more time with some of the characters.
thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.
oh my goodness! this was adorable and fun and sweet and cool and hilarious! i loved this book so very much and i hope that you'll pick it up! thank you so much to netgalley!!!!