The October Witches – Jennifer Claessen

Published By: Uclan
Pages: 352
Released Ln: 09/09/2022

There’s so much to love about October – Halloween, pumpkin everything and MAGIC. Especially magic. But for nervous young witch Clemmie, this October might see the stars descend on her for the first time, bringing with them a whole month of chaotic new power. She’s spent twelve years watching her mum, aunts and cousin receive their October power and knows that, for the Merlyns, magic can get very messy.

And there are those who want to harness their magic and make it last beyond October. It’s a bold experiment, until Clemmie and her coven find themselves in mortal danger. What price must be paid for magic that never ends? Or for having magic at all?

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and Uclan for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

This was initially a hard sell for me as I cannot stand Halloween. I like autumn and Halloween decor like pumpkins and whatnot, but the actual celebration is not for me. But this book didn’t focus too much on October 31st, it was more just there for context.

It is a little slow at first and felt slightly like a writing-by-numbers. I am aware it’s a kids book and it maybe doesn’t need to be quite so involved, but you still want something to get your teeth into. But I’d say by about 40-45% through it starts gaining a bit more substance.

I like that our main heroes are children. Whilst they are magical, it gives young readers someone they can relate to.

I feel the second half is a lot more visual and I could see it as a children’s Halloween TV show, but the start needs a bit of rejigging to make it as fast paced and exciting as the end.

I generally enjoy kids books, they’re freer and a bit more fun than the general serious adult books, but I think this may have been a step too far for me. It’s enjoyable but, ironically, is missing that magic spark.

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