The Curse of the Bruel Coven by Sabrina Ramoth

Received from NetGalley for review.

Quick disclaimer: this is by no means a brilliantly written book, but it is fun and easy and that ultimately won me over in the end. Don’t expect too much action or character development, but it is an entertaining little read.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven centres around Vivienne, who discovers that her birth mother is a witch, and so is she (try not to cringe too hard at how quickly she masters her powers *eye roll*). It’s set in New Orleans and the descriptions and atmosphere of the place was one of my favourite parts of this book, although I wasn’t completely invested in the characters I found the setting very vivid. There’s a bunch of covens, a supposedly ‘bad’ coven, Bayous, magic shops, all the things you would expect from a quick witchy New Orleans story. There’s a pretty strong Beautiful Creatures vibe, too.

Weirdly, there is very little character development with Vivi. She’s the main character and should stand out but she doesn’t – I found it very hard to get a sense of who she was as a person and she didn’t really have a personality, she was just someone who found herself in a situation and went along with it…after a day. I can’t imagine immediately going along with a bunch of people who claim they’re witches and my family, and feeling so drawn in that I had to help them find a birth mother I didn’t know, proclaiming it was something ‘I [had] to do’. Yeah, okay. I’m not sure why she was so bland as the other witches were brilliant and you quickly got a sense of their characters, especially Grand’Mere.

The story itself is a bit of an info-dump in places – lots of people and ideas are introduced really quickly which left the story feeling rushed. It’s only around 150 pages long but it could have done with more to flesh out the plot and the characters – I wanted more, more development of everything so that I could immerse myself in the story fully as there is a lot of unexplored potential. I just have to say that I found it hilarious that everyone was saying ‘gosh’, because saying ‘god’ is really so appalling in a book about witches and magic and curses. Go figure.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven is a silly, fun, and underdeveloped but ultimately entertaining read about some pretty cool witches in New Orleans. If you enjoy light hearted witchy stories I would definitely recommend you give this a go.

Read: May 14th-15th 2016

3/5 stars


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