The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
Title: The Price Guide to the Occult
Author: Leslye Walton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Magical Realism
I saw this recommended from a book blogger I respect and was excited to start reading it. I love fantasy and young adult fiction, so what could be better?
The premise of the story was inventive and felt original. I enjoyed the characters and their individual relationships. Nor (the main character) played traumatized well and I was glad she evolved as the story progressed. I loved her grandmother Judd, and how all the families were connected by history. Additionally, I loved the nature components of the story and how Nor was so connected to them.
However, I was a bit disappointed in the overall flow of the story. It felt rather uneventful for about 50% of the storyline. Additionally, there were moments of confusing dialogue and descriptive scenes. I felt they would of benefited from some clarity.
Overall, I appreciated the story and the experience, but I could have liked it more. I do feel like Walton is someone who will grow as an author and in time I could really love her, I am just not there yet.
If you are looking for a creative fantasy story that has a different character struggle than what you are used to, you may find this an enjoyable experience.
You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.
I feel I should warn readers that the story deals with the theme of self-harm, so if you are sensitive to this you may want to steer clear.
Synopsis: From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.
When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.