A Wicked Magic - Sasha Laurens (ARC)
"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."
I received A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens for free by the author and the publisher Razorbill in exchange for an honest review. It will be published on the 28th July 2020!
Content/Trigger Warnings: self harm/ anxiety / depression / drug use / brief mention of a relationship between a 17 year old & 31 year old.
In A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens we join our protagonists, Dan & Liss, as they find a book of magic and find a spell that will turn them into witches. However, they soon realise that magic comes with a steep price when a spell goes awry and Liss' boyfriend gets taken by a horrific creature they accidentally conjured. The police have given up the case believing him to just be another runaway, but when more kids start going mysteriously missing, the girls know that they are the only ones who'll be able to save them.
I thought this was a really intriguing concept and I can definitely see why it's been likened to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina! It's a dark fantasy involving witches that doesn't shy away from heavy and important subjects. Another amazing show that this book reminded me of was Charmed and I absolutely loved that. Three young amateur witches who get their spells from a special book and go on magical adventures..right!
Dan and Liss are practically two halves of a whole - the best of friends until the spell that goes wrong. Now they're not speaking, Dan has sworn off of magic whereas Liss craves magic like a drug.
Dan is the more anxious one of the two and the guilt from what happened is weighing heavy on her shoulders. She's got a new best friend, Alexa, and she wants to keep her as far away from the magic world as possible - in fact she wants to forget that magic exists entirely but this will prove harder than it looks. Whereas Liss is determined to do everything in her power to get her boyfriend back. She's strategic, self obsessed and always has a plan for every situation but under the surface we see that there is also so much more to her. Neither of these girls have had an easy life and I really liked that the book showcased that they are young and flawed, they're nowhere near perfect, they're genuine teenage girls.
The magic system throughout the book was unique and enjoyable. There are very interesting differences between the types of witches in the book. For example, Dan & Liss are 'naive witches' as they performed a spell to give them magic rather than inheriting and practising magic like the 'wardens'.
The story has a medium pace and is an easy read, I got halfway through without realising! Plus I really enjoyed the feminist themes, women empowerment and theme of friendship showcased throughout the book!
It is a great story for older teens and YA readers. A story of friendship, fixing what's broken and takes the idiom "be careful what you wish for" to the next level!
Sasha Laurens is originally from Northern California and has lived in New York and St. Petersburg, Russia. When she's not writing fiction and missing the West Coast, she is pursuing a PhD in political science on protest movements in authoritarian states.Find her on Twitter @sasha_laurens.