It’s strange how one day you just stop reading for pleasure, time passes by, and you look up realising how much harder it has become to read. To just pick up a book, any book. There’s never enough time, you have too much to do and the excuses keep coming.  Until you just do it and then you’ve fallen back in love with reading, forgetting that the relationship ever faltered.

And now that I’ve started, I hope I never lose the momentum I have gained. I am already 37 books in.

This week, I’m reviewing The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. Ideal for a chilly Sunday afternoon, this book met all my expectations. The older I get, the more enticed I am with fantasy and witchy-type novels. I enjoy the escape factor and forever grateful to the person who recommended it. I have become enthralled with following book Youtubers, book bloggers and book Instagrammers – so the recommendation is hard to pinpoint to a specific person. The book itself was really hard to find and after much searching, I found it available on Loot.

With well-defined characters, Ami let us follow Eleanor, Adelaide, and Beatrice. We’re welcomed to the central point of the story, a quaint teashop Tea & Sympathy. The synopsis follows the new hiring of an apprentice, Beatrice. As the teashop becomes spookier, with odd apparitions and other ghostly things, you can’t help feeling that it’s the perfect build-up. Beatrice becomes an asset to the teashop, but Eleanor and Adelaide can’t seem to agree on her purpose or future. Then Beatrice disappears, terror runs through Manhattan for those insistent on the craft and the women must band together to stand up to intolerance and the patriarchy.

I believe Ami has written two books prior (The Birth House and The Virgin Cure) which are linked to this novel, but I didn’t really find myself lost or confused through the story. I’m interested in completing the books in the order Ami has intended but for now, I am quite infatuated with The Witches Of New York. It’s a perfect blend of magic, creepiness and a bit of suspense. I loved reading more on the rituals and practices of these women, the subplots were supportive but I did feel there were extra characters that we needn’t have been introduced too. The book focuses on strong female characters, taking place in the late 1800s, and Ami did well to give us enough detail to keep us interested. From describing Manhattan, to the clients, it was well-written.

I enjoyed the supernatural aspect, snippets from Eleanor’s grimoire and the herbology. It’s strange how we have conditioned ourselves to think that witches are these bitter women hiding in the dark. Where Ami actually brings them to light, humanises them and gives us a different perspective. It’s an exciting feast, regardless of the slow pace I still found myself captured me from the first paragraph. I could not put this down and actually forced myself to stagger my reading so that I could prolong my adventure. The book is well researched, cleverly written and I would highly recommend this to anyone who has a penchant for the supernatural.

Do you have any particular genres that you find yourself drawn too? What are you currently reading?


P.S. the cover art is cleverly trippy, giving it an extra spooky feel.