TITLE: Deadly Sweet
BY: Lola Dodge
SERIES: Spellwork Syndicate #1
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery
Told from a first POV of a young witch name Anise (such a great name), I was introduced into a whole new world of magic, of witches and of weirdness. Like in all other witch stories, Anise has a problem with mortals. Though it is a general knowledge that witches exist, still she can’t just be who she is. She’s misunderstood, along with the whole population, to put it lightly. But all she wanted is to study culinary and then succeed in it. But rejection after rejection of college applications, she turned to the person she should be associated with – her great aunt, Agatha Wise and is owner of the most magical bakeshop in the world. As if fated, Agatha needs an assistant, and so Anise went to her after a little mishap with mortals. Now here comes the magical world. Taos, New Mexico, where witches live – peacefully? Arriving in the bakeshop, her Aunt tested her skill and said she’s not on the level she wants her to be so she got to go to school. Seemed like a dream come true, right? But no, bad, mysterious, dangerous things start to happen. Anise also learned about the disappearance of the previous apprentice. Suddenly, her life is in danger and achieving her dream is not really that easy. Like always in her life.
Though I enjoyed reading this and found that I love many aspects of the book, there is always an annoying BUT in the tip of my tongue.
I love the MC Anise she seems really cool and definitely not a quitter.
BUT sometimes, I do see her as weak and lame. I don’t actually know how to explain this better. All I can say is that, she was too uninformed about many things in the book, maybe it added to the mystery of the whole but Anise is not doing anything about NOT-KNOWING. Like accepting that she has a bodyguard, yeah, she somehow complained a little but that’s it. And when others don’t allow her to know more about the situation, she didn’t repulse or something. AND SHE has the right. Even after several danger happened to her, she’s still uninformed about many things. That makes her seemed controlled. A character should be the one in control of the story/plot not the other way around. That makes that character weak and lame as she just get along with the things happening in the book.
I love the characters, most of them seemed believable and this is a magical story so that’s a plus point. BUT I also find them cliche or stereotyped. (Shame on you Steff)
I love the world/magic. The idea was just brilliant and has really huge potential. I mean in Anise’s world, the witches and magic are somehow legal. Not totally accepted but legal. BUT even though there are many interesting aspects of the magic, upon finishing the book, I still don’t understand the foundation of the it that the author is trying to introduce to me. There is this vortex that not everyone can get near and God knows why. And the magical, useful jewels. How do they work exactly and how are they made?
Maybe I just missed that part.
And the Shields and Servants and Hands. If they were explained more , maybe the foundation of the Anise’s world aren’t filled with plot holes in my mind. For example, they get to bake sweets with magic and people just eat them? Ahm, no. Is it safe, really?
I just really wish Anise could be more curious about everything so I, the reader, know more. But no, like I said, Anise seems to just accept everything and ask less because that’s what people told her. I know she’s still naive and new, and inexperienced but still. In the end there was no definite character development too.
I’m still gonna read the next book but hopefully I get more than I get from this first instalment. I guess the main problem here is the MC. She lacked the will of real heroine. I’m not saying that all heroines should all be strong but this is told in her POV, so everything that the readers know depends on what she says and how she acts. If she would’ve been more driven to know about everything, maybe there will be no plot holes, maybe I already understand the foundation of magic, maybe I’d be more excited the next book because I already know the world I’m jumping in. Like I said, she just get along.
Overall, I still recommend this book especially to those who love baking (because there’s too much of that in here). Also this is a clean YA, so definitely recommendable to younger YAs.
Thank you for reading until here. 🙂