Saturday, June 18, 2022

Book Review: The Witch Haven

Do you ever walk through a bookstore and impulse purchase a book solely based on how it looks? I do. I actually do it a lot because I'm that girl.  

The Witch Haven - Sasha Peyton Smith

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?
I have been on some weird witch kick and there was a few weeks last fall that I bought a bunch of witch books but had no idea until I started shelving them at home. I've been reading this one for months and that right there should tell you about it. 

It begins with Frances, who has no idea she's a witch with powers, suddenly discovers her abilities after killing a man (I mean, it happens to the best of us, am I right??). She is quickly ushered from certain incarceration and brought to Haxenhaven, a school for girls to learn about their powers. Her world is suddenly turned upside down but it's really just the start. 

I believe this is going to be a duology, and because I read this one I feel compelled to read that one because there is something wrong with me. This one also ends with a sort of cliffhanger and I am a bit curious to find out what that's about. The story otherwise though, fell flat for me. It was alright, it wasn't anything special, it's pretty much like every other YA series out there. I will say though, I do appreciate when an author injects LGBTQIA characters into the story and there are several within THE WITCH HAVEN

While I was often bored with this one, there were some random twists towards the middle to end of the book, but I really wish there were more. I also wish the majority of the book kept reminding us that Frances' brother died tragically and far too young, and I understand grief has no end, but it was just way too much in this one. It felt more like the author didn't have any other real purpose for Frances (though there are SO many opportunities) so really relied on his death to keep her going. 

Overall, it was alright. It wasn't terrible but it also wasn't great. This is one I'm likely going to forget that I even read. 

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

There have been a lot of witch books lately. Sorry this one wasn't that exciting though. If you end up reading the next one, maybe it will be better?

Lauren @