The Witches of Blackheath, Book 1
by Gabriella Lepore
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Ellmes is dogged by a case of chronic bad luck. She figures that’s just her lot in life—that is, until the psychic at Blackheath’s annual carnival reveals that Maggie’s problems are caused by more than just ordinary misfortune; she’s actually been cursed.
Desperate to shake the hex, Maggie has no choice but to seek out the help of Joel Tomlins, a rebellious classmate who’s descended from Blackheath’s most powerful line of witches. After breaking all of his coven’s conventions to help her, Joel discovers that the curse isn’t as bad as Maggie fears. In fact, it’s much, much worse.
This book is written from two different stand points--Joel, a seventeen-year-old witch who lives with his father and brothers, and Maggie, also seventeen, former friend and current classmate of Joel, who is as human as human can be. The story flip-flops between these two, making it easy to follow both sides.
The story starts with Joel and his brothers as their father excitedly moves them into their new house, a run down creepy thing. I enjoyed this introduction as it gave Joel a familiar feel right away. The bickering with his brothers, oddities of his father, and not so orderly house made the entire fact that they are also witches seem as natural as if such powers were a normal thing. The problems Joel has, although some are supernatural, are fairly normal for teenagers and make him believable and sympathetic right away.
Maggie, however, comes across as prickly as a porcupine. She's a teenager with an attitude and spunk, and not necessarily always the good kind, which made it that much easier to like Joel. But as the plot thickened, she grew on me, and by the end, I was rooting for her too. At times, she acts a bit immature but her concerns and reactions are usually understandable.
This is an easy story to read. There's never a dull moment, and the tension constantly mounts. Not only do Maggie and Joel find themselves ever deeper in trouble, but their own relationship has confusing twists and turns. I had no trouble reading this in one sitting and didn't have the urge to set the book down until the very last page.
Summed up, this is a great read for urban witch fans and one of those books, which is simply fun to dive into. There are a few overall ideas which hopefully will be a bit more explained in the future books, but nothing which ruined the adventure in any way. I can't wait to see where book two will take Maggie and Joel next.
And here she is. . .
Gabriella Lepore lives on the coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. She began writing at an early age and grew up with a passion for all things supernatural—
especially witches! She currently has six Young Adult books in print: Evanescent, The Blackheath Witches, How I Found You, Secrets In Phoenix, and The Witches of the Glass Castle books 1 & 2.
Want to follow the tour? Find out more here!