Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: The Witches of Echo Park

The Witches of Echo Park (The Witches of Echo Park, #1)Author: Amber Benson
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Ace Trade
Series: The Witches of Echo Park # 1

Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…

Things were always a little wonky at Eleanora’s house.

Eleanora grinned. “Science and magic are very much the same thing. The ‘magic’ stuff is only called that because science doesn’t have an explanation for it yet.”

Eleanora had vowed then and there to place this child’s needs above her own. She was going to love Lyse with the fierceness of everything she possessed.

It was only now, as death approached and the future remained uncertain, that she realized Lyse would be the greatest gift she left the world.

This was a wonderfully written coven story full of beautiful female characters who are witty, powerful, rich, and seem so real to the mind’s eye. Elyse, or “Lyse” for short, the main character, captivated me with her story and the story of her coven. Not only Lyse, but the other characters in this story were so well thought out; I felt like we were all friends. By the time I had finished reading the book, I felt like I was going to miss these characters. I am so glad that I stumbled upon this series. It is sure to be one that I follow for the next few years. I am so excited to see what is next for Elyse and all the other witches that I was introduced to in this fascinating new novel from Amber Benson!

Since this was the first novel in a new series, Benson spent a lot of her time building the world that is Echo Park. I think this is what has thrown some readers off and made them feel that the series got off to a “slow” start. I, however, feel right the opposite. I love reading background about a world and all the magic and wonder that it is filled with. Now don’t get me wrong, there were a few parts that I found to be slower than others, but none of them revolved around the world building. I was so pleased to learn all about Echo Park, the coven, and Elyse’s great-aunt Eleanora. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about witches and has a large imagination!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Ace Trade in exchange for my honest review***

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