Not a replacement for Harry Potter

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (Theodosia Throckmorton, #1)Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book. The idea of a girl who works secretly in her parents’ museum, undoing the curses on the objects as they come in, could not be more compelling. Unfortunately, neither Theodosia, her parents, the curators, nor her brother and the friendly pickpocket are at all sympathetic characters. Theodosia is the worst: after she botches a curse removal (the only one I saw her do, after all her grand brave talk about her own skills), she manages to get her cat possessed by demons or evil spirits or something. And then she leaves it alone in the museum full of cursed objects to go on her Christmas holiday — without even leaving it a bowl of milk. When she eventually gets back to the museum after her holiday, she goes off on an adventure, chasing one thug after another across the wrong side of London. The cat — that Theodosia cursed — is completely forgotten.

I didn’t care about the mystery Theo was trying to solve. I didn’t believe there was a mystery, just a neglected 11-year-old girl trying to make adventure for herself. But she broke something precious and can’t be bothered to put it right for days at a time. I gave up waiting for her to realize what was important by page 130.

It’s too bad. I would love to read about a heroine to rival Harry Potter, as the Booklist blurb promised. If Harry had been this heartless, he wouldn’t have been riveting either.

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About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm also co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel. In addition to blogging at, I blog about my morbid life at
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2 Responses to Not a replacement for Harry Potter

  1. coastalcrone says:

    Apparently the author doesn’t care about cats either. I enjoyed reading the first Harry Potter with my grandson way back.

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      It was such a strange book. The cat appears on the cover and at the top of every chapter, so apparently it was important to the book designer. The author just seemed to forget about it. At one point, the mother says it seems to have gone feral and then the subject is completely dropped, despite its attack on an important visitor from the British Museum. Talk about plot contrivance!


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