Tag Archives: witches

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Book Review: Magical Bureau of Investigation series, by Albany Walker

I picked up a copy of Albany Walker’s Homecoming Homicide as an Amazon freebie and then bought Creeping it Real and Perfectly Wicked.

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“Hey Frankie, we need ya.”

One phone call, five words, and I’m back in the town I swore I’d never return to.

Hill Crest Library smelled bad, and it wasn’t just the corpse in front of me causing it. The once beautiful building had fallen into disrepair over the past few years.

Belinda the new librarian was doing her best to clean it up, but a dead body wasn’t helping matters.

Dad needs help to solve the murder, so that’s what I’m here to do, then get out of town before anyone even knows I’m back

The case should be easy for an MBI agent, even a newly minted one like me, but before I can check into the hotel my three reasons for leaving, corner in the lobby.

My life just got a lot more complicated.

my review

This review covers all three books.

Honestly, I liked this series. But I wanted to like it a lot more than I did; I could have liked it a lot more than I did. It is mostly a series of magical investigation bureau mysteries (almost bordering on cozy mysteries) with a poly second-chance romance subplot. I liked the mysteries. I liked the romantic subplot. I really liked the way the men had an important relationship between themselves. The problem is that the subplot is too much plot for a subplot, and as a subplot, doesn’t get the attention it needs. This means that the reader is left feeling unsatisfied by it. There were a lot of conversations that needed to happen that just didn’t, a lot of groveling and forgiveness that needed to be on-page and just wasn’t, etc. It left the books feeling lopsided and ill-weighted.

The reason I didn’t rate it higher than I did, though, is for a single big reason (and this is a spoiler, be warned). The basic premise is that Frankie and her guys had an “oops” misunderstanding while casting a spell as teens and then, despite being inseparable since they were children (and one being a freaking empath, another reading magical intent), and as a result, she ran away. But she only went 45 minutes away, they knew where she was (secretly checked on her once a month), and she knew where they were (in her hometown with everything and everyone she loved). And I’m supposed to believe, as a reader, that, despite missing one another, they all went somewhere between 5 and 10 years (the exact time is not stated, but long enough to start and finish university, go through bureau training, and get ensconced in careers) none of them ever even tried to make contact. She never had reason to visit home? None of that is even magical bureau of investigation photoremotely believable, especially with the way the men structure their lives around the assumption that she’d be back at some point. That’s the foundation of the book, and it is shaky at best. I tried to suspend disbelief, but it was a struggle. It’s simply that unbelievable and undermined the entire plot.

Despite all of that, I liked the characters and world a lot. I’d be willing to read more of Walker’s work.

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Book Review: Legacy Witches, by Cass Kay

I accepted a review copy of Cass Kay‘s Legacy Witches through Netgalley. It’s just a couple of weeks before Halloween, so now seems like a great time to read a spooky book. Honestly, I probably should have included it in the list of books for my Winter Reading Challenge. But somehow, I didn’t have it marked on Goodreads and missed it. Oh well.

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Coming from a long line of murderous witches hasn’t exactly been sunshine and rainbows for Vianna Roots. When she inherits the family’s haunted house after her mother dies, she decides flipping the rundown dump is her smartest move—but the ghosts that haunt her have a different plan.

When Vianna finds the ghost of her childhood friend Nancy, she’s drawn into the mystery surrounding her friend’s death. Her meddling attracts the attention of the oldest coven in Salem. In order to get her out of town, they make an offer on the house, but Vianna hesitates. She’s no longer sure she wants to abandon the demon familiar who possesses her home, the transgender outcast witch—who may just be the best friend she never knew she needed—and her high school crush, who now wants her in his life.

Vianna must find a way to solve the case of her murdered friend, stay out of the hands of the most powerful coven in Salem, and face the past she’s so desperately tried to run away from.

my review

I enjoyed the heck out of this. There’s no romance. But it’s a fun, witchy, urban fantasy story. After the death of her mother, Vianna returns to the home she fled a decade earlier—her own personal version of hell—then, has to rescue it and herself in the process. There’s a fun cast of characters, both wonderfully diverse friends and smarmy fiends. The writing is clean and easy to read and I was invested in the outcome.

My only real complaint is that I didn’t really feel the murderous part of the murderous coven outside of Vianna’s mother and the villain. Everyone else seemed too lovely to live up the author’s assertion that they weren’t.

The book reads as a stand-alone but ends with an opening for sequels. I’d happily pick one up.

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Review: Legacy Witches by Cass Kay

???? Review: Legacy Witches – Cass Kay

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Book Review: Coven, by Jennifer Dugan

Sooo, funny story about how you can think you remember something and be completely wrong. I knew I signed up to read and review Coven, by Jenifer Dugan and Kit Seaton. So, I wasn’t surprised when it showed up in the mail. Usually, when I receive a graphic novel, it’s from Rockstar Book Tours. So, I set the book aside, waiting for the email to tell me my assigned tour date. And I waited and waited and waited.

Finally, it had been so long that I went to the website searching for the tour dates and was confounded to be unable to find anything listed. That is until a few days later when I received a polite email from Bookish First reminding me not to forget to post my review. Oooooh, that’s where I signed up! Bookish First has no assigned dates; I could have reviewed Coven the day it arrived. So, I dived right in.

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Emsy has always lived in sunny California, and she’d much rather spend her days surfing with her friends or hanging out with her girlfriend than honing her powers as a fire elemental. But when members of her family’s coven back east are murdered under mysterious circumstances that can only be the result of powerful witchcraft, her family must suddenly return to dreary upstate New York. There, Emsy will have to master her neglected craft in order to find the killer . . . before her family becomes their next target.

my review

I generally really enjoyed this. I thought the art was gorgeous, and the book portrayed the volatile, hyper-focused, but not always very logical mindset of teens well. It handled the grief aspect equally as well.

I liked the plot (though I figured out who the villain was very early on). There was a little humor and a lot of diversity, and I thought Emsy coming to accept her coven as family counted as personal growth. I can imagine her, Ben, and Ash as the power trio of the up-and-coming generation of the coven.

I did think the pacing a bit off; the beginning dragged bit more than needed and most of the action is packed into the last third. Plus, I feel like we could have been given more resolution between Emsy and her California friends. But all in all, I’ll call this a win. I’d be happy to read another contribution from Jennifer Dugan and/or Kit Seaton.

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