You ever have those books that you’re determined to wait for the release to read? Yeah, that’s what this one was supposed to be. I’ll probably still wind up buying a physical copy. But I was lucky to have the opportunity to listen to this audiobook before release. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for that.
This is supposed to be an adult book, but it follows a teenager and feels very YA in places. Anna is in her first year of sixth form. Her first year of being in school with boys. Her Aunt has always warned her of the dangers of love and of magic. And as an old friend of her Mother moves into town. She may have to learn to deal with both.
I knew this was going to be a good book. It was the whole reason why I was willing to wait for its release. That and its gorgeous cover. But it’s a thick book, and with my focus recently… Audio seemed to be the way to go. I haven’t listened to many fantasy or sci-fi audiobooks by British authors. So listening to it, it almost felt like I was listening to chick-lit. Which added to the adult vibes. But I think that might just have been what I’m used to. This book can certainly get dark in places though. Some of the descriptions due to magic are grim, and it’s certainly not been written for a younger audience. But it does follow a teenage girl and all the drama that follows when you wind up with a teenage coven. So this is a great book if you love both adult and YA. But you probably won’t enjoy it if you’re looking for a very adult book.
I felt for Anna. I really did. Her home situation was terrible, school sucked for her, and she really did need more good in her life. But I didn’t really like Effie or Attis. Attis a bit more so, but everything there felt overly complicated. I really liked Rowan, and Manda was okay. But Rowan was definitely the friend that Anna needed. I’d love to see more interactions between them in future books.
The romance wasn’t anything I was too keen on. The two crushes were kind of obvious, and I just feel like Anna needs more friendships before she even thinks about romance. She’s not really had anyone in her life before this, and she’s still young. There’s plenty of time for her to find love and not just because of the in-text reasons why she shouldn’t yet.
I did really appreciate the world-building. The way Cari Thomas has weaved magic into our world. The different types of magic. The plants and potions. I really loved it. I want to see more of their magical London. I want to explore it myself. I also want to know more about the history. We get a glimpse into one of the legends, and I do love the addition of fairytales. Especially since the East O’ Sun, West O’ Moon is one of my favourites since childhood. The history and the use of fairytales strangely may the book feel more rooted in our world. And I liked that as then the magic somehow felt more magical.
This was a book I really enjoyed, and it’s definitely one you’ll be able to lose yourself in.
Author: Cari Thomas
Age Range: Adult
Release Date: 27/05/21