The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton | Review

Pages: 270

Genre: young adult fantasy, witch


A century ago, Rona Blackburn made Anathema Island her home. She was a witch and her neighbors didn’t want help from her skills. Fear led the original eight settlers to turn against her, which led Rona to curse them. A century later Nor Blackburn is still living with the remnats of that curse, she doesn’t want to be a witch and her mother is horrible. Or was, before she disappeared. Her mother has a special control of people, that Nor doesn’t want to have inherited. As her powers seem to grow and signs of her disappeared mother is everywhere again, Nor tries to be a normal teenager, as long as it will last.


The Audiobook

The narrator Whitney Dykhouse did a great job, and her voice is very calming, but also brings out tension and perfect for the varying tone of this book, which switched quickly betwen light to dark and calm to trouble. 


My thoughts

Rating out of five: two


I started this book wanting to like it. The plot sounded a bit average, but I liked the originality brought in Leslye Walton’s other book “The strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender”. “The price guide to the occult” is a fantastic name and the book is full of witches, living on an island and their magical abilities starting to fade with each generation. I should love this book. I didn’t, for a series of reasons.

the writing and plot

The book started out great, with vivid descriptions of the inhabitants of the island, mainly the history of Nor’s family of witches. The writing changed as more “action”, mainly Nor being a teenager and noticing a few a bit out of the place things, were happening. It was obvious in what direction the plot was going, but I was waiting for a surprise, some kind of twist or creative addition. It didn’t come. There were a few bright moments, where I really felt Nor’s and her friend’s emotion was conveyed well. I almost felt that near the end, where Nor is taken in for questioning, was the highlight. It was funny, which would’ve been a nice twist on a much used story of powerful witch trying to take over the world.

the setting

Aside from the introduction that is basically separate from the whole rest of the book, I got to know barely anything about this island the whole plot was bound to. Things like the forest coming alive could’ve been done better.

the characters

I couldn’t buy into the characters either, the main character Nor has some fears that make her more real, but she over-justifies even those. The first time I heard she was afraid of becoming like her mother, especially with her similiar powers, I found it interesting and wondered how it would play out. But you get constant reminders, to justify why she isn’t using or practicing her powers, instead of showing her really being afraid. The other characters mostly lack depth. On a smaller island like this, or in any smaller community, you should play more on the together-ness or icecold enemies living together. Everything that was promised from the start was sacrificed for the sake of having a story of a more “normal” teenager, dreaming about the cute guy, having fights with her friend and very understandably fearing her mother.



3 thoughts on “The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton | Review

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