Hello, fellow bookworms. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about a light paranormal novel A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey. My thanks to the publisher BHC Press (via Netgalley) for the advanced eBook in exchange for my candid opinion.
Quote from A Witchly Influence
(There were lots of great scenes with Carmen (our protagonist) and her three best friends. It was hard to choose just one!)
“I [Carmen] started coughing as the wine caught in my throat. “You’re a Muse. You’re born a Muse, not made into one. How in the hell could Tess work with you?”
“She could be my assistant,” Siobhan replied.
“What kind of Muse needs an assistant?” I asked, incredulous.
“Sometimes I might not be able to leave a client for lunch and I need someone to get it for me.”
Enid rolled her eyes. “You’re a witch, woman! Magic is your assistant.” She took a long swig from her glass. “Needs someone to get her lunch. The nerve,” she muttered.
“You could work with Enid,” I suggested.
“Enid’s job is boring!” Tess said. “You have to learn history and stuff.”
“Better to have knowledge in that brain of yours instead of air,” Enid said, laughing.
“Is that a redhead joke?” Tess asked.
“It might be,” Enid answered.”
My Overall Rating: 2/5
Plot: 1/5 – Flow: 2/5 – Character Development: 2/5 – World Building: 3/5
What’s A Witchly Influence about?
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Title: A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey
Series: Standalone Novel
Published by BHC Press on 1 October, 2020
Genres: Light Paranormal
No. of Pages: 262
Get ready to have fun and be influenced!
Fate can show up as anything… As a freshly minted divorcee, witch Carmen Devereaux returns to her hometown in North Carolina. With this decision comes another change in her life: Fate has decided that she is to become an Influencer, someone who guides others onto the path that they were meant to take.
When she’s assigned to Abby Windsor, a young schoolteacher, as well as her own stepbrother, Finn Cleary, she soon encounters several obstacles, including getting stuck in her own past.
A quirky, fun, and lovable cast of characters, including Lenny the Snowman—a grumpy, old snowman who really loves trashy reality shows, especially ones about real housewives, Egbert the Lobbyist Pencil—a pompous pencil who lobbies on magic and loves tasty cuisine, and Muse Siobhan Waters, who is thoughtful and down to earth, help guide and inspire Carmen whenever she gets stuck working on her assignment. Along the way, Carmen learns to influence others…and herself.
Humorous and light-hearted, A Witchly Influence is the perfect feel-good book of the year.
I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.Review Format: eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦ Book Depository*
Read: 28th September – 22nd October 2020
What did I like about A Witchly Influence?
I made a request to read this book for several reasons. Firstly, the front cover caught my attention. What? I love paranormal and this looked like a light-hearted read with something to do about witches. Need I say more. 😉 The blurb drew me in. It sounded like the Kirsten Painter books I love so much – fun, engaging entertainment. I loved the idea of a new start for the protagonist and that she’d have supporting characters around to help. Finally, I’m always on the hunt for my next favourite author. Aren’t we all? 😉 I love finding new-to-me authors, especially those who write standalone novels in my preferred reading genres.
Ms Grey’s writing style is light-hearted, humorous, and easy to read.
Nothing too heavy or thought-provoking; a perfect fit with the cosy genre. Her prose is appropriate for the story and she’s obviously an intelligent woman. The world-building was good and added to the story rather than bog it down.
I loved Carmen’s girlfriends.
Siobhan, Tess and Enid each had different personalities but were fabulous and exhibited the traits that I love. The scenes of friendly banter between the four women was hilarious. They were supportive, loyal and had some brilliant ideas to help Carmen out. Just what besties do. There were lots of characters I really liked in this book and liked to hate. 😉
As a self-contained novel, the fact that every story thread was concluded to a satisfactory is also a HUGE plus. I hate loose ends and cliffhangers. 😉
Was there anything I didn’t like?
You can tell by the 2-star rating that this book didn’t grip me. It was OK but there was a lot about it that niggled. I’m not going to list everything; however, I will highlight my main grumbles.
The way magic was portrayed in this book isn’t very sophisticated and it was overused. Think the old 1960s US sitcom Bewitched: no need for spells, potions, or equipment. Just a wiggle of a finger and anything you want just happens. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that show. However, it annoyed me that the characters in this book relied on it ALL THE TIME. Any threats or difficulties in the plot were easily dealt with. This meant that there wasn’t any tension or stakes in the story; there wasn’t anything to grip me on the edge of my seat.
However, my biggest gripe was with the plot. I found myself rolling my eyes and huffing in disbelief and frustration. There were several big twists and elements to the plot that just jarred. Stuff that felt so surreal that it jolted me out of the story with disbelief. I accept that imagination is the only limiter when writing fantasy, however, we’ve still got to believe what we’re reading. It’s the job of the author to create that credibility, to set up the story so that the fantastical is acceptable.
Basically, what I’m saying is…
A Witchly Influence is OK but it’s not my cup of tea. I’m always reluctant to write reviews for books that I don’t enjoy reading as much. However, I feel it’s important to share critiques from both sides of the fence. This novel turned out to be too Nickelodeon and YA-esque for my tastes. It’s a cosy paranormal with that’s already received lots of 5-star ratings from happy readers.
Has my review of A Witchly Influence encouraged you to find out more? It just might be your next favourite read. Click on any of my links to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my thoughts about A Witchly Influence. Have you read this one or any others by Stephanie Grey? Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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Bye for now