Book Review : A Hiss-tory Of Magic
A Wonder Cats Mystery
By Harper Lin
Cath Greenstone, her cousin Bea, and her hippie aunt Astrid live in Wonder Falls, a small town near the mystical Niagara Falls. They run the Brew-Ha-Ha café, and naturally, they’re witches hiding in plain sight along with their three magical cats, Treacle, Peanut Butter, and Marshmallow.
When Brew-Ha-Ha’s baker is burnt to a crisp, along with their beloved café, Aunt Astrid lets out a big family secret: a powerful spell book, a Greenstone heirloom from the Salem days, has been stolen from its secret hiding spot in the café. If it’s fallen into the wrong hands, black magic could destroy not only Wonder Falls but the world.
A secret society… A new detective with a shady past… A once-bullied local returning to town as a multimillionaire.
Who in town could know Cath’s family secret? Cath, Bea, and Astrid must use their witch powers to uncover the deadly truth. Cath communicates with their cats, also magically inclined, and they help uncover more than one secret lurking in wonderful Wonder Falls.
The first novel in a new cozy mystery series featuring modern-day witches and their magic cats. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I have terrible news. I didn’t think I had read this book and so I started it on my Kindle only to realize I had read it about two weeks ago. It is not a good thing to have a book be so forgettable. I gave it a quick scan again to apprise myself of the details before writing the review. I still thought it was nothing special.
1- I did not care for the voice used. Cath speaks directly to the reader because she has decided to write down her experiences.
2- I like cats, but Treacle, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow were too cutsie of an element.
3-I didn’t connect to any of the characters.
4-I can’t decide how it could have been resolved to my satisfaction. I didn’t love the Order as part of the bad guys going after the witches’ spellbook, it was too unrealistic that this cultish group had so many members in such a small town.
5-I’m not sure if this is written for an adult audience, in ways it reads like YA. Also, there is mention of a lesbian relationship. Many of the YA books are throwing in something like this, though this book doesn’t have kissing. It has clean language.
I’ve struggled to not give it 2 stars, perhaps I was feeling generous and landed on 2.5 because at least it isn’t vulgar. This is one I would skip.
2.5 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
For a cozy mystery you could try Crocodile on the Nile by Elizabeth Peters, or the Culinary Mystery series starting with Lemon Tart by Josie S. Kilpack.
If you like the magic try Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley which is a light read, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima which is a full on fantasy novel or Sabriel by Garth Nix for something a little dark.
I also remember really liking the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong, and Wizard of Earthsea by Usula K. LeGuin for some older magic books.