Cool Dude Gang

Full Circle, Chapter 6: So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance?

Last time on Full Circle, the Spider Witch and Dark Sorceress had flashbacks. Are we going to get more background information on the Original Party? Find out after the cut.

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The Warlock Diaries, Part 2: Hey, Check the Party Out, They’re Dancing!

Last time on The Warlock Diaries, the party met Donovan, a warlock who wants to learn mage magic and find Avalon. Unfortunately for our heroines, mage and warlock magic don’t mix, and Donovan’s dad has been sending monsters to Ravenswood to retrieve his son. And by monsters, I mean a group of bulwoggles. Will the party figure out how to do combination attacks with Donovan? Will Donovan dance with Kara at the benefit dance? Will we learn how horses can make sandwiches? Find out after the cut.

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Ghost Wolf, Chapter 20: A Day at the Museum

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the first half of Chapter 17.)

Adriane, Emily, Kara, Zach, and the entire Charday family — yes, this includes Gran, because she’s finally recovered from her coma — visit the gallery in Philadelphia where Luc is showing off his sculptures. And apparently my art grad student friends and I were totally wrong about what the sculptures looked like, because they’re steel geometric shapes, and not neon lights. Anyway, Luc offers to teach Adriane how to make these sculptures, which is pretty awesome of him.

On the Ravenswood front, Dreamer’s “epic” return to the preserve has become front-page news in the Stonehill newspaper. Everyone thinks that Dreamer escaped from the zoo and walked all the way back to Ravenswood. This feat has catapulted Dreamer to “Ravenswood mascot” status. Also, the school started an extremely successful petition to keep Ravenswood open — so successful, in fact, that the Catty Girls and Cool Dudes are spreading the movement to other schools in the area.

After hearing about all this Ravenswood news, Luc, Emily, Kara, and Zach run off to do other stuff. This gives Gran and Willow the chance to tell Adriane that she can stay in Ravenswood instead of living with her parents in New York. So, hooray, status quo is restored.

The new edition then adds this scene, in which Adriane apologizes to Kara for acting like a total bitch earlier in the book:

Willow pulled away, patted her hair, and walked after her husband. Nodding in satisfaction, Gran took a seat to rest.

Adriane scanned the gallery and saw Kara standing alone in the next room, studying a sculpture suspended from the ceiling. The warrior walked over and stood silently next to the blond girl.

“Hey, what’s up?” Kara asked.

Adriane shuffled her boot across the wood floor. “I said some terrible things to a friend.”

“And?”

“Do you think she would forgive me?”

Kara turned to face Adriane. “If she’s really your friend, you shouldn’t have to even ask.”

“Okay,” Adriane said.

A slow smile spread over Kara’s face. “Besides, I was getting lonely being the only Level Two mage.”

Adriane’s wolf stone flashed bright silver. “Not anymore.”

Next time: A massive status update.

All’s Fairy in Love and War, Chapter 20: Stealing the Spotlight

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the first half of Chapter 14.)

Kara finds herself on stage in the middle of the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her Unicorn Jewel is out of magic, but that’s not the worst thing going on.

The play is in total chaos. Adriane — still disguised as Kara — is hanging on to Marcus in a lovey-dovey way. Ozzie is attempting to do dragonfly damage control, and utterly failing. The Catty Girls are force-feeding Musso. Rae is chasing Kyle like a lovesick puppy. Oh, and the entire audience noticed that Kara suddenly popped into the play … and they think it’s part of the show. Kara recites some of her lines from the play, but Adriane fires Magic Missiles at her. Of course, with humans being stupid in this series, they just think that the Magic Missiles are some kind of special effects trick.

Thankfully, Emily dresses up as a wall (what?) and hides Kara from the audience, giving them the perfect opportunity to recap everything that’s happened so far. Oddly enough, the audience thinks that the unexpected appearance of a wall is all part of the show, too.

Kara summons Starfire so she can return to the Fairy Realms, and the fire horse appears! Turns out he’s not dead after all, because he found another Power Crystal to fuel him. So yay, the party knows where two Power Crystals are!

But wait — what about the obvious fire horse that’s somehow not burning down the entire school? Luckily, Emily takes off her costume and comes up with some BS about advertising the upcoming tourist season at Ravenswood. She then casts Dispel — which Kara amplifies — removing all spells from the cast and crew. The play continues as if nothing happened, and the Catty Girls back away from Musso because they think he’s a weirdo.

Kara then mounts Starfire, and the two ride out of the auditorium. And of course, nobody questions the existence of a bad-ass fire horse. Stupid humans.

Next time: Kara fights a boss with the Power of Friendship.

All’s Fairy in Love and War, Chapter 14: Middle School Shakespearean Actors in Love

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the first half of Chapter 10.)

So, um … Adriane is playing the part of Kara as Titania for the school play. I know, it doesn’t seem like the best idea, because Adriane is a brunette, probably has a different skin tone (come on, she’s half-Native American), and she obviously doesn’t sound like her. Luckily for her, Adriane got a blonde wig, Ozzie learned Throw Voice in the last book, and — as proven earlier — humans are stupid.

The new edition has a rather funny scene in which Ozzie tests out Throw Voice:

Adriane’s voice came out squeaky and high pitched.

“Gah!” Ozzie sputtered. “Needs some minor magical modulation.” He shook the stone and scrunched his whiskers in concentration.

“Check, test one, Prada,” Adriane spoke — in Kara’s voice! “Is it working?”

“Kara! You’re back!”

Adriane was startled by the sound of Heather’s voice. The red-haired girl eyed Kara closely. “Say, you sure you’re all right? You look taller.”

Adriane waved her magic wand and bonked Heather on the head. “Fly free, Fairy Codfish!”

“Cobweb! Geez, what’s with you?” the red-haired girl scurried back to the other fairies.

Adriane shrugged.

Later on, all the Catty Girls Molly and Tiffany run into Adriane backstage after Ozzie’s voice check, but all they seem to notice is that “Kara” is dressed strange. And by strange, I mean she’s wearing boots under that new fairy costume, and she’s “wearing contacts”. Rae eventually joins them and questions “Kara’s” new costume as well.

Unfortunately, the dragonflies are all sick. Musso — who I guess decided to join the party on this excursion — explains that they caught a bad spell from Goldie. That was probably from the spell vial Tangoo tossed earlier. And when the dragonflies get sick, they throw up magic sparkles all over Adriane, Rae, and the Catty Girls. The girls all fall in love with the first people they see — namely, Musso, Kyle, and Marcus the anthropomorphic donkey. Emily, who somehow didn’t get caught in this little instant-love fest, hides the dragonflies in her backpack to prevent more mayhem.

As even more proof that humans are stupid, the rest of the student body shows up for the play, and thinks that all the magical mayhem is part of the show. To quote one student, “Shakespeare rocks!”

Next time: Finally, some dungeon-crawling!

All’s Fairy in Love and War, Chapter 5: Hilarity Ensues

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the last half of Chapter 4 and the first half of Chapter 5 all smushed together.)

Kara, Queen Selinda, King Oriel, and Tangoo head for the Fairy Stables, where Kara’s new horse is housed. These stables are so awesome that they get a description in the new edition:

It was a large rectangular building created from living trees. What looked like giant oaks stood at each corner of the stable, their branches interweaving like logs to form the walls. Inside, rows of stalls lined the corridor, each gleaming with golden bark and lush leaves in countless shades of green.

Inside, Kara is introduced to two Elemental Horses: a green one with flowers sprouting out of its mane, and a silvery-blue one. Unfortunately, these are bonded to Selinda and Oriel respectively, so they won’t let Kara ride them. Instead, Kara is herded to an ominous glass stall metal cage, which contains something that breathes fire. Kara feels some sort of magical connection to it … because whatever’s inside is her horse.

But enough about badass fire horses. Let’s see what the rest of the party is up to!

Adriane and Emily finally reach the school auditorium, where everything is in chaos. In the new edition, they bring the dragonflies along to detect magic for them:

Offering magical assistance, Fred and Fiona popped their little heads out of Emily’s backpack, scanning the scene with brightly swirling jeweled eyes.

“Anything?” the red-haired mage asked the minis.

“Nope.”

“Double nope.”

Wait … when did the dragonflies start talking in complete sentences?

Rae, the play’s director, is pissed that Kara is “sick” and Joey isn’t in costume yet. Joey ducks out, and just in time, because Kyle and Musso show up. All the other students are idiots and think that Musso is Joey in costume as Puck.

Musso, of course, has no idea that he’s at a play rehearsal. He sees the Fairy Ring set — which conveniently looks like the real Fairy Ring in the Fairy Realms — and thinks that it’s the real thing until he discovers that there’s no magic mirror present. Rae makes Musso recite Titania’s lines in Kara’s place, but he refuses and instead tries to curry favor with Adam, who’s playing Oberon. Naturally, Rae tells Musso to shut the hell up. Musso now thinks that the Fairy Ring has been compromised, so he takes a spell vial from his utility belt and lobs it at Adam.

Luckily, Adriane was detecting magic, so she and Emily cast Shield on Adam. Musso’s spell is deflected offstage, creating a bunch of lighting effects that Adriane attributes to the stage crew. Of course, the kids all buy this explanation.

Unfortunately, the spell hit Marcus … and now he’s an anthropomorphic donkey. Makes sense, I guess, because he’s playing Nick Bottom. But still … anthropomorphic donkey. I wonder how the party’s going to explain this?

Status Update!
Emily learned: Shield!

Next time: this very NSFW video.

All’s Fairy in Love and War, Chapter 1: Uninvited Guests

Before we go on with the first chapter, let’s look at the playbill that’s included with the new edition. The kids at Stonehill Middle School are holding a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and some familiar characters have significant parts. Kara, Adam, and Marcus are performing, and Rae is directing. We also learn Adam and Marcus’s full names: Adam’s is “Adam Jason Brown”, and Marcus’s is “Marcus Wallace”.

Anyway, today is a very busy day for Kara. She’s getting ready for the school play, the Catty Girls are complaining about their makeup, and the party reminds Kara about preparations for tourist season. Kara wants nothing to do with the party (she apparently left the party again after their New Mexico adventure), she has no idea how to use her Blazing Star powers, and she feels responsible for everything that went wrong over the course of the series (i.e. Stormbringer’s death, whatever happened to Phel, the scattering of the Power Crystals). So she auditioned for the school play and got the part of Queen Titania.

And then (in the new edition) Kyle enters her bedroom and makes some rather lame Shakespeare jokes. And for once, the humor doesn’t sound half-bad:

“You’re late, thou fawning, onion-eyed flap dragon!” Kyle dramatically swung into Kara’s room, arms spread wide. He was reading from his Make Your Own Shakespeare Insults book.

Kara quickly threw the dress’s paper wrapping over Lyra to hide the large cat. “Kyle, I’m busy!”

“Your play is so dumb,” Kara’s older brother complained as he sat on the paper-covered “chair,” eliciting a growl. “Fairies, love spells, magic — as if!”

The chair began to move sideways. Kara lifted her brother by the arm, guiding him the rest of the way to the door. “I have to finish getting my costume ready, Kyle. So beat it.”

“Even Marcus and Joey are in the play,” he whined. “What am I supposed to do?”

“What you do best,” Kara suggested. “Make fun of everyone and cause trouble.”

“Forsooth!” he said as he leaped down the stairs.

After Kara kicks out Kyle, the lights suddenly flicker in her room … and a rat-like creature and a goblin-like humanoid burst out of her closet. They introduce themselves as Musso the Magnificent (the goblin-thing, who is apparently a hobgoblin) and Sparky (the rat-thing), and claim that they were hired to find “Princess” Kara. She has to enter the portal that mysteriously formed inside her closet. Kara, however, wants nothing to do with this … but her Unicorn Jewel thinks otherwise and pulls her into the portal. Lyra jumps in after her, and the portal closes.

And now two very alien creatures are stranded on Earth. This should be interesting!

Before I forget, Kara’s fairy costume is super pimped-out. It’s a pink, poufy dress with pearly white silk wings, crystal beading, and cap sleeves. And she has a sparkly tiara to go with it. Sounds a lot like Gwen’s party dress from Jewel Riders, but with wings.

Pimped-Out Kara Outfit Count: 5

Also, Ms. Roberts has decided to mess with continuity again, because this chapter says that Kara is 13 years old. Hmm, I guess this makes more sense than everyone being 14 at this point in the series (this book takes place three weeks after Song of the Unicorns), because it gives the party time to celebrate birthdays before the end of the school year. But it also firmly places Kara as being in the seventh grade … which will be a problem by the time the end of the series comes around.

Next time: A lot of stuff happens.