Keeping up the spooky this week with Ghosts of Witches Past by Corinne O’Flynn. Unlike the last two reviews, this one is safe for all ages. Though, I will warn you, there is an act of betrayal that got me all kinds of emotional, I wanted to punch the book. Props to O’Flynn for making me feel all the feelings!
Ghosts of Witches Past by Corinne O’Flynn, Book One of the Witches of Tower Hill
GENRE (ACCORDING TO ME):
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural
4.5/5: This book earns the SIR Seal of Approval
FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE:
magic, female protagonists, mysteries, betrayal, series
IN A NUTSHELL:
17 year-old witch, Wavy McClintock, decides to help societal outcast, Niall Tobin, in the wake of her mother’s death—despite her family’s wishes. On their journey to save Niall’s magic soul, the pair face dark magic, constant disapproval, and the mystery of a death both their families have been entangled in for years.
WHY I LIKED IT:
The magic in this book is refreshing! People aren’t just waving their wands and piling on broomsticks—not that I have anything against those tropes at all, I’m a huge HP fan. I just really enjoyed a fresh take on how witches do their voodoo. O’Flynn injects traditional elements of witch lore so everything feels grounded and reasonable. She also never uses magic to “conveniently get her characters out of tight spots”. These teens have to use their brains and rely on their tenuous friendship to survive.
Honestly, my favorite part was that this is not about lovesick teens. I don’t know about you, but I get sick of female characters requiring a love story to make them interesting. PUKE. Again, I am not hating on love stories—I’m a huge fan of love and a good romance; I think there’s plenty of that out there and it’s nice to read YA with a female heroine who is actually more concerned with the death of her mother and the imminent danger they’re constantly in. She’s a virgin and too young to have learned to cope by relying on boys or sex as an emotional crutch; to me, a romance would have been for the sake of it and a gimmick to sell books. O’Flynn shuns the gimmick and just writes a good freakin’ story.
I gave it 4.5 shits simply because there were some grammar things here and there. I am not being a snob—all books, even the previous two I reviewed this month, have these things. It’s part of the character of a book. Hell, both my books have their fair share. This one had enough I noticed, which is why I docked half a star. That said, it wasn’t enough for me to lose interest in the book or make me put it down. I read the thing in two nights!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corinne is a prominent member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) group, which I recently joined. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times and damn is she funny! She is seriously one of my favorite authors. This was the first book of hers I read. I don’t typically pick up this genre of book anymore. My tastes tend to lean toward horror, sci-fi, and thriller…but she is just so awesome, I had to try it out. I do not regret it and would not hesitate to pick up another one of her books.
Oh, and she loves tea as much as me.
More about Corinne from Goodreads:
Corinne O’Flynn is a USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and mystery books. She’s the author of The Expatriates fantasy-adventure series, Witches of Tower Hill paranormal suspense series featuring the award-winning Ghosts of Witches Past, the Aumahnee Prophecy urban fantasy series, which she co-writes with Lisa Manifold, and the Half Moon Girls murder-mystery series. She is also a publisher with Wicked Ink Books, whose titles include the award-winning TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time and their latest release, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song.
Corinne is a native New Yorker living in Colorado who wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She is a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and she has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea. She serves on the board of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers as the Chair of the Colorado Gold annual conference. When not writing, she can be found hanging with her husband and their four kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea).
If you’re looking for more books like this in nature or more specifically for clean YA (no sex or intense violence), then hop on Corinne’s newsletter by visiting her website. She and other authors do a lot of giveaways and recommend great reads all the time.
Never stop reading,