Title: The price guide to the occult
Author: Leslye Walton
Genre: YA paranormal fiction
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Publication date: 1 March 2019
Synopsis from Walker Books Australia:
From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting tale of magic and murder. When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island’s residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them. Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author – Nor’s own mother – seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice. A storm is coming. It’s coming for Nor.
*Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*
Just reading the blurb of the book made this seem like it was right up my alley! A dark paranormal with Witches, the promise of trouble and magic that comes with a price?? Yes please!! For the most part the blurb did deliver! I liked learning about the history of the town and Nor’s family and all the past witches. I liked that the atmosphere seemed darker. This one would be a great Halloween read if you ask me! However, as I don’t normally do much more research into a book other than reading the blurb, I was a bit surprised at just how dark some of the scenes and content were!
Luckily for me I have not had issues with self-harm, so I was able to read the entirety of the book no problem. However, for those who consider self-harm or the mention of self-harm a trigger than please do your research on this one before deciding if it’s for you or not. As it is not an issue I have had myself I also can not really comment if the author depicted this well or not. For me it seemed a bit odd at times as in it didn’t add a whole lot to the story but other times, I felt it gave more depth to nor as a character as we got more insight into her feelings at those moments.
I thought the pacing was very up and down. As in I always wanted to keep reading even though for the most part it felt very slow and a lot of build up to the final few chapters. Having said that though I overall mostly enjoyed it and those final few chapters had me on the edge of my seat! I also loved that the ending lead to the possibility of a sequel. I am unsure if this is actually happening or not. But I kind of hope it is as the way it left off seems like the sequel would be very high stakes and fast paced which would be awesome!
In conclusion, I enjoyed this one for the most part. The paranormal aspects and the darker mood were great. However, there were some issues with pacing and the way some things were represented. Overall if this sounds like something you are normally into, I would definitely recommend giving it a go and that is why I am rating it 3/5 stars. Have you guys read this one? What are some of your favourite darker witch reads? Until next time happy watching and reading!