Book Review: Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis – Black Girl Magic, Poverty, and Raising the Dead Goes Terribly Wrong

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis, reviewed by CW, The Quiet Pond
Synopsis:

Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. Things get worse, when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice. What do ghosts know about eating peanut butter for dinner?

However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.

But magic doesn’t come for free, and soon dark forces are closing in on Katrell. The further she goes, the more she risks the lives of not only herself, but those she loves. Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it’s too late.

If you were living in poverty living with the constant anxiety of housing insecurity and you discovered that you not only could raise the dead but could sell your services for several thousand to bring someone’s loved one back, would you do it? This is a question that is asked again and again in Bad Witch Burning, Jessica Lewis’s dark and phenomenal debut. Bad Witch Burning may be the kind of story that pulls you right in and never lets you go, but it is also, unexpectedly emotionally-charged, heart-wrenching, and utterly devastating story that I loved.

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Book Recommendations – Witches, Monsters, Ghosts and Vampires Galore! 9 Books for Spooky and Non-Spooky Lovers Alike

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

I love the festive spirit of spooky season. There’s something so delightful in living vicariously through those who bring out the pumpkins, put so much effort into spooky-fying their homes, and people who dress up in the coolest Halloween costumes. Here at the Pond, we love celebrating by doing what we love: seizing the opportunity to recommend some awesome books.

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Book Review: Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch by Julie Abe – Our Favourite Witch Returns! Higher Stakes and Thrilling Dangers; A Magical Conclusion to Eva’s Story

Synopsis:

From this day forward, we will believe in the impossible.

Eva Evergreen has fulfilled her dream of earning the rank of Novice Witch, and discovered the chilling truth behind the mysterious Culling — the violent magical storm wreaking havoc across Rivelle Realm.

Revealing the truth, however, proves to be a difficult task and soon the culprit is at large. To make matters worse Eva learns what might be the horrible truth behind her pinch of magic and her mother’s own mysterious connection to the Culling and rogue magic.

With her spirits at an all-time low, Eva must muster up the courage to prove her mother’s innocence and learn to believe in her own magic, if she wishes to put a stop to the Culling once and for all.

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Early last year, I had the privilege of reading Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch, a story about a witch who, with only a pinch of magic, endeavours to follows her dreams (and her mother’s footsteps) of becoming a witch of her own right. Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch was delightful, wholesome, and just so much spectacular fun that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And then, you have the sequel, Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch, which surprised me in more ways than one and elevated the story to new thrilling, dangerous, yet hopeful heights.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Liselle Sambury, Author of Blood Like Magic – On Futuristic Witches, Blended Families & Writing Relatable Teens

Our Friend is

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

If you love stories about witches, then gather around the Pond, friend – because I think you will love our friend who is visiting the Pond today and our interview. And if you love the idea of a story with Black witches living in 2049 living with modern technology, where their magic is tied to blood and ancestry, then I think you will love Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury as much as I did.

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Book Review: Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury – A Dark and Compelling Urban Fantasy About Witches, Family, the Price of Magic, and Love

Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Synopsis:

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything. 

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

‘Woah’ was the word that escaped my mouth when I finished this. Because holy smokes, Blood Like Magic is truly unlike any book that I have read before. With its fascinating take on a not-so-distant futurism blended with witches, a story that explores how far you would go to save your family, the price we pay for love, and the looming question of ‘if you had to sacrifice your first love to save your family, would you?’, Blood Like Magic is undeniably compelling and fascinating. I had such a wonderful time with this book, and I’m excited to share with you all my thoughts on this book.

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