The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
Published March 13th, 2018 by Candlewick Press
Genres YA, Fantasy
The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight “original” settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns’ supernatural powers. That’s perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Nor hopes the curse has played itself out through enough generations that she’ll finally be spared the drama. But when a mysterious book comes out promising to cast any spell for the right price, Nor senses a dark storm headed straight for Anathema—and straight for her.
This is the first book I have read by the author and I really enjoyed her writing style. I am going to have to add her first book, which I’ve heard good things about, to my TBR. This book takes place on a foggy island in the Pacific Northwest and I immediately liked the atmosphere that the author laid out. I enjoyed the main character, Nor and all of the witchery throughout the book, including healers and spells. I also enjoyed the other characters in the book and their sometimes complicated relationships. However, this book did feel more like the start to a series to me then a stand alone book and was surprised when I read the epilogue and realized it was not indeed the beginning to a series. I do want to mention a trigger warning for self harm in this book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, along with the author’s writing. The plot moves along at a pretty steady pace throughout and we follow Nor as she tries to figure out who is and what she wants with the shadow of her family hanging over her. I imagine that fans of the author’s first book will most certainly enjoy this one as well.
Thank you to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book.