Review #271

Until this last chapter I had averaged my rating of a 4.1/5 stars. Because of the last chapter, this contemporary witchy fantasy was immediately bumped up to a 4.7/5 stars! I loved the main heroine and the overall inclusivity but wished there were only two pov instead of four.

Here’s my thoughts love while reading:

The prologue was to the point and interesting for how the five young girls became witches. I don’t always want to start a book with “25 years earlier” so hopefully there was a significant purpose for the backstory. I’m glad that the vibe seems to be contemporary which could be a great comp for my “Scorched.”

Niamh Barker is either a great vet or a witch who can “feel” animal/human thoughts or emotions. If she’s a witch it’s unclear if the woman who called for help about her horse is aware of it or not. I  already like Niamh because she treated the horse well, is grieving the loss of her partner, and seems to be likeable by others in the book too. I’m unsure her age so far but am eager to find out more. 

The writing is pretty “on the nose” which I do often too so I’m hoping there is more showing and less telling in the upcoming pages. 

So, now we meet Helena, the high priestess of the Royal Coven but I’m confused why she’s chasing this guy, what he did, if the world knows about witches and magic and what her specific power is. She seemed to use a whole lot of different magic in one scene so I need more clearly defined rules. Also, why does she think she needs Niamh’s help? Have they stayed in touch from when they were little girls? 

The prose are a bit choppy and blunt which more obvious than usual after I just finished a novel where prose were its strength. 

Then we get a perspective from Leonie, who I think is the youngest of the little clan from the prologue. She is still in the partying stage of her youth. After a brief talk with her girlfriend and brother we get a good idea of her personality, but so far the foundation for the story is just showing tidbits of who these characters are, not their goals/objectives/purpose for what the plot is about. Because it’s contemporary times, the dialogue feels authentic and realistic but there’s a lot of ‘telling’ in between the lines. 

I don’t have a good grasp on the main hunk of the story. What was the war? When was it? Why did it end? Who was it between? Why is Travis Smythe important? I’m assuming nonmagical people exist? And that they know about witches and warlocks? Is is accepted or is that what the war was about? 

So after chapter 4 we’re still just getting to know the characters and there’s not much else going on yet. Niamh is interested in a guy but won’t date him even though it’s been 8 years since her fiancé was killed. It sounds like her sister was also injured from the war and is in a coma maybe? That sister is Ciara, who was one of the original 5 in the prologue. There’s nothing “happening” so far, just dialogue to inform the reader of who these people are. There needs to be an event or something soon to give the story a purpose. 

We also met Elle, who is married to a mundane and doesn’t know about her powers, which is a problem because one of their children seems to be coming into her witch magic. 

When they go to see the oracles and witness the prophecy, this is when the story should’ve begun. So a rarely powerful warlock is on a path to destroy their world and help the beast, Leviathan, will rise. 

This is the second book in a row to use Leviathan. I wonder why authors use the same mythological names instead of creating their own. 

Alright now that they’ve visited the prison we’re getting somewhere and pieces of the holes are being filled in. I wish I knew some of this earlier such as most witches only have one power, a few rare ones have multiple. They’re all required to register like a drivers license and less than one percent of the population end up being witches or warlocks. Naimh is a great main character and I wish all the chapters were from her point of view. 

Elle has her first point of view in chapter 7 and I wish we were jumping to different characters so often. 

Why does Theo remind Niamh of Ciara? In what ways? Did Ciara go dark? 

I like the date with Luke but it feels like we’re mixing genres now. It’s like we were taken out of the story. How does that specific scene move progress toward the climatic scene at the end of the book? If it doesn’t impact that directly, then it’s not needed. 

The idea for Snow to spy seems a bit juvenile lol 

It’s unclear when they can hear each other’s thoughts and when they can’t. That seems inconsistent. 

I love that I understand some of the references because of the musical, Six.

At the halfway mark my prediction came true with talk of transgender witches and what that means for their coven. No spoilers though. 

The elixir potion was a cool scene but the genre is still pretty gray. Is this an “end of the world” fantasy because a demon is coming back to wreck havoc or is this a contemporary/ with family/friendship drama with relevant social relevance put in the spotlight? 

In chapter 29, it’s a bit confusing that they’re having ice cream right before an “end of the world battle.” Sometimes I think the outline of the story needed a little work before drafting. 

The climatic scene feels pretty chaotic since it’s jumping all over the place between locations and points of view. 

Oh my goodness, the last chapter was NOT expected. WHAT JUST HAPPENED! That was probably the best, no worst, no definitely best cliffhangers I’ve ever read. I was on the fence about reading the sequel and now I MUST read the next one no matter what. But I have no idea what the title or release date is of the sequel.

Check out another book with magic in Scorched, releasing in March!

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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