I initially plucked this paperback off my to-read list as a sort of recovery book. You know, a bit of fluff to cushion the more hard hitting stuff. Not serious, not heavy, not Nobel Prize worthy, but fun to read. I had just finished a provoking bell hooks book and was seeking something that would leave me feeling rejuvenated rather than exhausted after I finished it. Believe it or not, I got that and so much more.
So the premise of the series is that Darcy, a recent divorcee and her sister Harper, find out that they’re actually witches, in this case a specific kind of witch called a Wishcrafter. Basically they can grant the wishes of other people. They then move to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts (because witch trials of course) to join their aunt Velma in the family business. Listen, I know this sounds silly, but I promise you, Blake creates such a believable world that even know it seems a little ridiculous, it’s super easy to go along with. What I really appreciated is that Blake didn’t waste a ton of time with backstory, instead letting that surface naturally as she expanded the plot. The plot, of course, being the murder of a particularly nasty member of the community. Again, usually these things are pretty simply. It’s not super hard to figure “whodunnit” so to speak in these kinds of novels, but I was actually pretty stumped up until the end. And there are several surprising twists at the end that set up some great plot points for the next few books. The whole novel is so well constructed I was honestly blown away. Maybe I’m a bit of a book snob for being so flabbergasted at how good this novel was, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that this is an extremely good piece of writing for this genre.
I was expecting your run of the mill “chick-lit” supernatural mystery, but what I got was a very good book. The concept was intriguing and complicated enough to keep me guessing, but not too convoluted. The plot kept me interested, the characters were well developed and relatable, and it was FUN. The first thing I did when I finished was request the second in the series to be put aside for me at the library. I’m genuinely excited to pursue this series! A round of applause for Heather Blake, I’m so glad I picked this series to be my book cushion. (Is “book cushion” a thing? Can I make it a thing?)
(Oh, happy summer everyone! See you next week for my retrospective on my college career, did I mention I graduated?)