When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Author: Kim Chance
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Flux Books/North Star Editions
Page Count: 408
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: Jake Slavik
My Review: ★★★
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
All great wars are fought over power.
While I really wanted to love this book, I just couldn’t find it in me to rate it any higher than three stars. The first 20% sucked me in. Lainey is the typical, everyday girl that is completely unsuspecting. Her observant but sassy character was refreshing and captivating to begin with. Then, the weird and rather creepy encounter between her and the witch takes place, and the plot’s individuality and pacing goes downhill from there.
One of the biggest issues I had with this book was that Lainey persistently believed that she needed to handle these supernatural situations alone–when she lives with her uncle and his obviously “witchy” girlfriend. (view spoiler)[(By witchy I mean, is basically a witch herself) (hide spoiler)] If you live with someone who speaks about your energy regularly, and practices rituals religiously, I’d think that would be a great resource to confide in after an experience like Lainey had with encountering the dead woman. I get that some people might think you are crazy for saying these things, but that’s not the case here. It’s simply too obvious of a solution.
As Lainey continues to deny the fact that she’s seeing a ghost that is trying to communicate with her, the plot drags on for the first half of the book. Lainey meets a mysterious character named Ty, who is of the tall, dark, and handsome sorts. He instantly becomes a love-interest for Lainey, although she tries to deny that as well. Lucky for her, Ty knows more about this world she is encountering than she.
As Lainey uncovers the secret behind these odd encounters with the woman, she realizes she’s very unprepared to deal with the responsibility that has been set in her lap. Too many times these types of characters become overly-capable in an unrealistic time-frame. A crash course in self-defense turns people into super-heroes, which is what happened here. I would have liked to see more of a progression in Lainey’s abilities rather than the instantaneous progression that happened.
Despite its short-comings, this was an entertaining read. It wasn’t as in-depth, or original as I was hoping. However, its characters were likable, had some depth, and the main topic was unique. It simply needed more focus on its uniqueness in order to help it gain some distinguishability.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, but I counted each word I came across.
“You can’t control what happens to you, only how you react to it.”
“Actions define character, not circumstances.”
“All great wars are fought over power.”