A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life!
Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.
Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death.
When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body.
Warning! This review may contain spoilers!
There was the bones of a really good story here, with magic, witches, ghosts and demon possession of other people’s bodies. Unfortunately it was kind of buried under an attempt at what I can only define as chick flick horror comedy?
The first almost 4 hours of this book is dreadfully dull, as we follow Mara through her life in LA, her problems with her landlord, money shortage, going to Wicca fairs, seeing her ominous dreams etc. Then aunt Tillie finally dies and Mara is off to Wisconsin and our adventure starts.
This part of the story was interesting. I loved the story behind the witch house, the house that would protect itself by turning destroyers into plant life, the dead ancestor, the possession of innocent bystanders and the untrained witch trying to save the world.
Unfortunately, there is way too little of the good stuff and way too much of the boring, also there are too many contradictions about the main character, Mara. Her mother left when she was a child – apparently to save her, we never get the conclusion to that bit of story arc, but I presume it will continue in the series onwards – so she was never trained as a witch. A fact that she complains about frequently to aunt Tillie, and yet she somehow knows how to do rituals to switch souls and send the undead to the underworld? That did not make sense to me. Why not cut the boring and mundane parts of the story and use that on educating both us the reader and Mara the witch on the specific brand of magic lore in this universe?
Most of this book would work fine as a YA novel. But there are some graphic sex scenes and some graphic violence in the later parts of the book, that will probably make it more suitable for an older audience. Although there is sex in this story, it is not a romance. The potential love match is spoiled by a demonic possession, so he kind of runs away – understandably so – but again, this is a series, so it is probably not the last we have seen of Paul.
All in all, this could have been great, but ended up only being good. But there may still be potential enough in the ending, that I may continue at a later point with this series.
The narrator did an ok job, but didn’t bring much to the story and there were quite a few glitches in the technical production, where it was clear that parts of the story had been redone as the acoustics were very different for a paragraph and then changed back again.
3 out of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review