Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel’s long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother’s soul.Hazel & Holly Synopsis
That simply won’t do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. Nobody wants filthy corpses shambling around, mussing up one’s garden. Hazel is determined to find her father and undo his treachery.
But despite Hazel’s plans of becoming a one-woman army, she can’t do everything alone. It’s not until wild sister Holly convinces her to leave the house for once and go to a party that Hazel finds a pair of unlikely allies in two bickering warlock brothers.
Together, the four of them go on a journey that takes them out of the Grove and into a world where necromancy reigns and the dead won’t respectfully stay in the grave. Hazel will do whatever it takes to stop her father and save her mother’s soul. Even if it means turning to necromancy. Even if it means losing her friends. Because they would never help a necromancer. Would they?
Hazel & Holly by Sara C. Snider showed so much promise with its story but unfortunately for me, the writing really let me down. The pacing was incredibly fast and then would slow down to a snail’s pace as if the writer kept realising this needs to be a novel, not a short story. The characters lacked any depth but were interesting enough. The romance was transparent from the get-go and lacked any mystery.
The book read at times more along the lines of a middle-grade book with its simplistic outlook and writing style. I found Hazel frustrating to read about and she seemed to dominate the book. Holly is constantly belittled by her sister instead of supported. The character encounter problems just to have them whisked away.
The most fascinating thing about this was the world building was stellar, the magic system interesting and quest line neat. The concept of different types of magic and every witch and warlock chooses two, was neat. It had some good humour at times but that was not enough to save the book for me. I struggled to finish this book and am really disappointed as I was really excited about this book and looking forward to it being a favourite.
I give it 2 stars.
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A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.