Title: A Wicked Magic
Author: Sasha Laurens
Publication Date: July 28th, 2020
Format: Digital advance readers copy, provided by author for blog tour
Synopsis: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft when modern witches must save teens stolen by an ancient demon in this YA fantasy-thriller debut.
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.
During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?
Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.
When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?
Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.
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Trigger Warnings: Depression; Cutting; Abuse (physical and emotional); Death of a Family Member; Inappropriate relationship between an adult and a minor.
Review: A dark, magical tale of friendship, found family, and magic gone wrong.
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. Laurens does an amazing job exploring the complexities of friendship, and the importance of found families. She also creates an interesting world of magic, and witchcraft that doesn’t overwhelm her readers.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the complex relationships between the three main characters. Friendships are messy and complicated, and it was wonderful to see the characters navigate what it’s like to go from friends, to enemies, to allies and finally find their way back to friendship. More importantly Laurens had them really work through those stages so the characters could better understand each other, what happened and why, and figure out how they could move forward and be friends again.
I also really enjoyed how Laurens dealt with depression in this book. It was a very honest look at how depression manifests for some and I appreciated seeing that honest portrayal. That being said it was also very dark and some readers may find this portrayal triggering based on their own experiences.
The only reason this wasn’t a five star read for me is I felt Laurens’ world building could have been a little more flushed out. There’s so much about magic and witches that is not explained and it would have been nice to have a little more information. That being said, readers learn about magic and witchcraft through the main characters and they have very little information themselves, thus the level of world building feels appropriate for this book.
Because so much is left unsaid I would love it if Laurens wrote more books in this world. More books are not necessary but I think Laurens has created a world that could certainly be expanded upon if she chose to.
About the Author: SASHA LAURENS grew up in Northern California, where she learned to drive on Highway 1’s switchback turns and got accustomed to the best weather in the world. After studying creative writing and literature at Columbia University, she lived in New York for years and, at various times, in Russia. She currently resides in Michigan, where she is pursuing a PhD in political science.
Follow the Tour: Today is the last day of the tour but you can check out all the other posts here!