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The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders. Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final g The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders. Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final goodbye. But this magic comes with a price: for every hour that a ghost is brought back, Catherine loses an hour from her own life. When Catherine is given the unusual task of collecting a timepiece from an old grave, she is sure that the mysterious item must contain some kind of enchantment. So she enlists Guy Nolan, the watchmaker’s son, to help her dig it up. But instead of a timepiece, they find a surprise: the body of a teenage boy. And as they watch, he comes back to life—not as the pale imitation that Catherine can conjure, but as a living, breathing boy. A boy with no memory of his past. This magic is more powerful than any Catherine has ever encountered, and revealing it brings dangerous enemies. Catherine and Guy must race to unravel the connection between the missing timepiece and the undead boy. For this mysterious magic could mean the difference between life and death—for all of them.


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The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders. Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final g The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders. Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final goodbye. But this magic comes with a price: for every hour that a ghost is brought back, Catherine loses an hour from her own life. When Catherine is given the unusual task of collecting a timepiece from an old grave, she is sure that the mysterious item must contain some kind of enchantment. So she enlists Guy Nolan, the watchmaker’s son, to help her dig it up. But instead of a timepiece, they find a surprise: the body of a teenage boy. And as they watch, he comes back to life—not as the pale imitation that Catherine can conjure, but as a living, breathing boy. A boy with no memory of his past. This magic is more powerful than any Catherine has ever encountered, and revealing it brings dangerous enemies. Catherine and Guy must race to unravel the connection between the missing timepiece and the undead boy. For this mysterious magic could mean the difference between life and death—for all of them.

30 review for Magic Dark and Strange

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    This book was an excellent read! Definitely in time for a Halloween read because six chapters into the book and I have been spending a lot of time with the main character at a cemetery. I liked learning bits of history in books, like how Catherine worked at the newspaper building and lived there full-time. Also interesting that there were lamplighters with their poles and ladders to light the street lamps! The odd jobs teens do back in the day was interesting. I liked the slow burning romance. I This book was an excellent read! Definitely in time for a Halloween read because six chapters into the book and I have been spending a lot of time with the main character at a cemetery. I liked learning bits of history in books, like how Catherine worked at the newspaper building and lived there full-time. Also interesting that there were lamplighters with their poles and ladders to light the street lamps! The odd jobs teens do back in the day was interesting. I liked the slow burning romance. It's definitely cute when a guy attempted at love. 
This story followed Catherine, 17, told in the third person point of view, as she and a co-worker were out in the cemetery digging a grave in the night. They were watched on by Geoffrey, an older brother to Mary who lay dead six feet under. He's here to say farewell to her, where Catherine's job provided. Catherine has some magic that can wake Mary up for an hour so she can be with her brother. Her boss Ainsworth wanted Catherine to retrieve a timepiece from the public cemetery that has the magical power to bring the dead fully back to life. She brought along the watchmaker's son, Guy Nolan, from down the street to analyze the timepiece. But when they dig up the grave, the timepiece was missing and the person laying dead there was fully restored. Catherine now has a big problem on her hands because the guy couldn't recalled who he was and her boss seemed to have been murdered for wanting to find the timepiece. There's an epilogue to end the story. 
Magic Dark and Strange was well written! The characters were well liked. The mystery and different magic was intriguing. I liked historical fiction for the proper way everyone spoke to each other. It was cute how Owen asked for a last name so that others could call him by it. Now people are asked if they want to donate their bodies to science after their death but it's a surprising feature to learn of what others do back then after a person's funeral. I liked how the mystery came together in the end. I recommend everyone to read this book! xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for inviting me to host a blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    ARC received via publisher!

  3. 5 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    thank goodness I've been working around books for years so my arms are strong enough to hold all these new YA fantasy releases LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFULLY HAUNTING COVER thank goodness I've been working around books for years so my arms are strong enough to hold all these new YA fantasy releases LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFULLY HAUNTING COVER

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    MAGIC DARK AND STRANGE is a YA historical fantasy set in the Victorian-like city of Invercarn. The main character is 17-year old Catherine Daly who works at a print shop by day, and by night she raises the dead for grieving families who just want a few more moments with their departed loved ones — for a price. She and Guy Nolan, a watchmaker's son, end up entangled in a mystery involving a charmed timepiece said to be buried in an unmarked grave. Catherine's boss wants her to retrieve this item MAGIC DARK AND STRANGE is a YA historical fantasy set in the Victorian-like city of Invercarn. The main character is 17-year old Catherine Daly who works at a print shop by day, and by night she raises the dead for grieving families who just want a few more moments with their departed loved ones — for a price. She and Guy Nolan, a watchmaker's son, end up entangled in a mystery involving a charmed timepiece said to be buried in an unmarked grave. Catherine's boss wants her to retrieve this item at any cost, but she and Guy get more than they bargained for when the coffin is opened. There was much to enjoy in this Gothic mystery — dark atmosphere, creepy cemeteries, slow-burn romance, clever characters, and a Victorian setting. I was disappointed, though, with the lack of world-building. All of this amazing magic, and no explanation of where it comes from and how it works. Why is Catherine magical? Has she always been that way? It almost felt like this was book two of a series. Some backstory was missing. MAGIC DARK AND STRANGE had a lot of potential, but it needed to be fleshed out more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Briana Cohen

    What even happened in this book? The premise was so amazing and yet...it was so boring. The characters talked like they were forty year olds instead of the teenagers they supposedly were, and it wasn’t nearly as mysterious or magical it should’ve been. I’m struggling to write this review as I truly cannot recall a single plot point, but I know enough to tell you not to read this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Magic Dark and Strange was such a fun book to dive into. In it, you will meet Catherine and Guy. Now Catherine was pretty interesting all on her own. She kind of lives two different lives because during the day she works for a printer. By night she visits cemeteries and wakes up the dead so that their loves ones can say goodbye. Of course, there is a catch to what she does during the night life and I'm not even sure how to process it. While reading this book, I had endless questions being formed Magic Dark and Strange was such a fun book to dive into. In it, you will meet Catherine and Guy. Now Catherine was pretty interesting all on her own. She kind of lives two different lives because during the day she works for a printer. By night she visits cemeteries and wakes up the dead so that their loves ones can say goodbye. Of course, there is a catch to what she does during the night life and I'm not even sure how to process it. While reading this book, I had endless questions being formed in my mind. The reason why is because the whole magic thing wasn't really dived into. Yeah, we know that some people have it and others are just muggles. We just don't know why. Then there's the twists throughout this book. Again, I'm not going to lie - I was confused as to why certain things happened. Other than that, the romance was okay but felt a bit random to me. I came for the magic and mystery but somehow got more romance and confusion than anything else. In the end, it was a pretty good book that had potential to be a lot better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    What a delightfully captivating tale, despite the lack of world-building. Rather than explain the magic, it just was. I have so many questions!?! While we understand the cost; we learn nothing of the world and how this magic came about. I would have liked a longer story with more depth. Having stated that, the characters and mystery were delightful, as was the twist on necromancy. The more Catherine and Guy looked for answers, the more danger arose. Catherine was quite clever in pulling together What a delightfully captivating tale, despite the lack of world-building. Rather than explain the magic, it just was. I have so many questions!?! While we understand the cost; we learn nothing of the world and how this magic came about. I would have liked a longer story with more depth. Having stated that, the characters and mystery were delightful, as was the twist on necromancy. The more Catherine and Guy looked for answers, the more danger arose. Catherine was quite clever in pulling together clues, and the red herrings and twists kept me listening. This has all the details one would expect surrounding historical graveyards, including grave robberies in the name of science. Karissa Vacker narrates, and her voice suited this historical tale. She provided unique voices for each character and helped set the tone. I found after listening to the first chapter that the narration felt slow. I increased the speed and finally settled on 1.5x. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    When I first saw that gorgeous cover, I was in love and I was hoping for a new favorite book. And while I was interested and entertained for the most part, a part of me is a little bit underwhelmed but I want to focus on the positives here. Magic Dark and Strange follows a girl who left her home in the country to work. There, she also finds out that her job will include resurrecting dead people for a short time so that their loved ones can say good-bye (for a price). Every hour given to that per When I first saw that gorgeous cover, I was in love and I was hoping for a new favorite book. And while I was interested and entertained for the most part, a part of me is a little bit underwhelmed but I want to focus on the positives here. Magic Dark and Strange follows a girl who left her home in the country to work. There, she also finds out that her job will include resurrecting dead people for a short time so that their loved ones can say good-bye (for a price). Every hour given to that person is taken out of her own life. That part of her magic was interesting but I feel like it wasn't really developed as much as I thought it would. However, when a dead boy resurrect in front of them when she's looking for a timepiece her boss is looking for, she doesn't know what happened or why since she had nothing to do with it. The timepiece is also missing and she'll have to figure out what's going on. The ending/reveal of who did it wasn't surprising.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    When I was pitched this book, I couldn’t resist it. Between the synopsis and cover, I was intrigued. I liked Catherine. She’s smart and good and wants the best for the people she cares about. Guy is a charming, adorable marshmallow and Owen is filled with awkwardness, but rightfully so. Plot wise, it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a story I should already be familiar with. There isn’t any mention of why magic exists or why only certain people have it and the explanation of a person’s a When I was pitched this book, I couldn’t resist it. Between the synopsis and cover, I was intrigued. I liked Catherine. She’s smart and good and wants the best for the people she cares about. Guy is a charming, adorable marshmallow and Owen is filled with awkwardness, but rightfully so. Plot wise, it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a story I should already be familiar with. There isn’t any mention of why magic exists or why only certain people have it and the explanation of a person’s ability and effect of using it was very glossed over. The thread about the timepiece and the resulting murderer didn’t quite have the sense of urgency I was expecting, but I did enjoy the ending and brief epilogue. Overall, I was interested in the characters and their journey. This story had loads of potential, but I could have done with more world building and details. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ Magic Dark And Strange is a gothic-style YA Fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead & a watchmaker's son who team up to solve a series of murders when a boy comes back to life! Powell delivers an atmospheric, immersive tale perfect for those who enjoy more quiet and character-driven mysteries! ↠ Magic Dark And Strange ARC Review 💀💜 Having read and adored Powell's debut, I was so happy to have an early copy of this sent my way. I definitely think her books a Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ Magic Dark And Strange is a gothic-style YA Fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead & a watchmaker's son who team up to solve a series of murders when a boy comes back to life! Powell delivers an atmospheric, immersive tale perfect for those who enjoy more quiet and character-driven mysteries! ↠ Magic Dark And Strange ARC Review 💀💜 Having read and adored Powell's debut, I was so happy to have an early copy of this sent my way. I definitely think her books are underrated and would be perfect for those who enjoy Margaret Rogerson's standalone YA Fantasy novels too! (*tbh was hoping to finish this 2 months ago, but life got busy and I just had to finish it before the end of 2020 XD) Catherine works at the local paper in the magical city of Invercarn, when she's tasked with finding a magical timepiece by her boss or risk being fired. With no other leads, she heads to the local watchmaker's shop to ask for clues where she meets Guy Nolan, watchmaker's son who joins her on her adventure! This leads Catherine to use her necromancy to bring a boy back to life. When the boy awakens, he has no memories of who he is and doesn't know about a timepiece. Taking up the name Owen, the three of them hangout at the watchmaker shop while they try to gather more clues. But when rumors of this powerful timepiece begin to leading to murders, Catherine is under even more pressure to find the watch without being detected. As with Powell's previous book, I love how friendship is such a core element of the story and shown through the dynamics between the trio! Romance is there, but is very much left to the side which is really refreshing in YA Fantasy. Guy, Catherine and Owen are always there to support each other, offer advice, and just show their vulnerability (especially the male characters) which I thought was really nice. The world's that Powell creates are no doubt unique, immersive, and carry such a whimsical quality to them, it's one of the many great qualities of her novels that has made her an underrated fave! Within the city of Invercarn, it's clear magical side businesses are what keep many places open...however, I felt while it was established, there's little to no exploration beyond the basics--What other kinds of odd magical jobs do other places do, how do the different layers of this magic system work? We sadly never really get those answers. Another major issue I had was the build-up of the mystery, which itself is fascinating! Who was Owen in his previous life, what happened to him and whose responsible? These are all fascinating questions the book is trying to solve. However, while that's happening + the trio is trying to find the timepiece, it mainly goes back and forth between different places or characters, where they are kind of left wondering what to do next. It isn't until over 1/2 way through the book where more clues begin to appear. I think the slice of life moments were nice, but with how interesting the mystery itself is, there could have been more urgency. Powell's writing makes this book so readable and just fun! The writing could be repetitive and simplistic in some areas, which doesn't add too much detail to the world itself, but for the specific atmosphere and setting we're given, you really feel like your in Invercarn. The print shop, victorian-esque architecture, clothing, and even way the characters speak give it a very particular quality that stands out. Despite my critiques, I'll absolutely be reading Powell's next inventive, creative YA Fantasy because no matter what I always leave each of her books feeling like I was on a grand adventure! Magic Dark And Strange is an immersive YA Fantasy with necromancy and a murder-mystery set in a Victorian-esque, gothic setting! Although quiet, the story delivers a compelling plot and mystery, alongside enjoyable characters that will leave you turning the page! Powell's YA Fantasy standalones are perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson! [ Read from Oct. 25 - Dec. 28, 2020] Originally read as an ARC, which was sent to me by the publisher!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suhailah

    This was a quick and engaging magical mystery set in the Victorian era. I absolutely adored the historical setting as I'm fascinated with this time period. Lanterns, cobblestone drives, horse carriages, bonnets, chiffon, and apprenticeships! Oh my! But I do have to agree with most of the reviews in that the book did lack world building and character background which would have most likely fulfilled its expectations from that captivating front cover (which is why I felt compelled to drop a star). This was a quick and engaging magical mystery set in the Victorian era. I absolutely adored the historical setting as I'm fascinated with this time period. Lanterns, cobblestone drives, horse carriages, bonnets, chiffon, and apprenticeships! Oh my! But I do have to agree with most of the reviews in that the book did lack world building and character background which would have most likely fulfilled its expectations from that captivating front cover (which is why I felt compelled to drop a star). Overall though, it compensated for this by being very focused instead on the present predicament, leading the reader on a trail of clues to solve a unique kind of mystery. Now just a little forewarning, the character's ways of speaking may seem strange to start with due to its formality, but just remember this was how people spoke in the Victorian era—even young people. Informality was treated with politeness. So, if you are looking for a little magic in your life surrounded by an intriguing mystery, I recommend this story!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy N

    Unfortunately I didn’t click with the story. In my opinion, there’s a lack of description on the time period, the culture, the surroundings and the clothing. These details are much needed for me to ‘see’ the world where the story takes place and I simply couldn’t make it happen. Also, I think the characters cry quite a lot in this book, like I’m never seen before. It was a bit too much. The plot had a lot of potential, however. It was quite original and refreshing. It was just lacking in importan Unfortunately I didn’t click with the story. In my opinion, there’s a lack of description on the time period, the culture, the surroundings and the clothing. These details are much needed for me to ‘see’ the world where the story takes place and I simply couldn’t make it happen. Also, I think the characters cry quite a lot in this book, like I’m never seen before. It was a bit too much. The plot had a lot of potential, however. It was quite original and refreshing. It was just lacking in important parts for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    "I can't help but wonder," he said, "if more dreadfulness is yet to happen, if we've only just stepped into the dark." I really wish I could've given this more than 3 stars. The book started out strong and atmospheric but quickly plateaued. I kept waiting and waiting but nothing ever really happened. I wanted more magic, more romance, more something...the characters spent a lot time just walking around investigating, it got old fast. I think this had an interesting premise, some beautiful prose, "I can't help but wonder," he said, "if more dreadfulness is yet to happen, if we've only just stepped into the dark." I really wish I could've given this more than 3 stars. The book started out strong and atmospheric but quickly plateaued. I kept waiting and waiting but nothing ever really happened. I wanted more magic, more romance, more something...the characters spent a lot time just walking around investigating, it got old fast. I think this had an interesting premise, some beautiful prose, and a potentially cool magic system. Unfortunately things weren't fully fleshed out or expanded on and the plot seemed to drag. Not a bad read, just expected to like it a lot more than I did.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I received and ARC copy of this from Margaret K. McElderry Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review This was a really atmospheric historical mystery series with fun magical elements! It was a super quick and easy read that I absolutely flew through. It's just not a story I see sticking with me long after putting it down. This had a really fun magical twist on a classic feeling historical mystery. I love mysteries set during the Victorian era and this definitely fit that bill. The char I received and ARC copy of this from Margaret K. McElderry Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review This was a really atmospheric historical mystery series with fun magical elements! It was a super quick and easy read that I absolutely flew through. It's just not a story I see sticking with me long after putting it down. This had a really fun magical twist on a classic feeling historical mystery. I love mysteries set during the Victorian era and this definitely fit that bill. The characters were likable but they didn't feel particularly robust or developed. Overall I had a really good time reading this and think it's a perfect quick read for fall or the spooky season. It's definitely something a wide range of readers will enjoy! It's just not something I will come back to again and again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have to say, I really enjoyed this novel. But it could have been better. This novel had a gorgeous story of a world where time is borrowed, given, and stolen, whether it's for a few more hours with a loved one whose passed or a few hours to live a bit longer for your family. It shows how normalized for this entire world that this transaction has become, even though it still invokes fear in it's users from time to time. This story also did a great job at instilling the idea that men have weakne I have to say, I really enjoyed this novel. But it could have been better. This novel had a gorgeous story of a world where time is borrowed, given, and stolen, whether it's for a few more hours with a loved one whose passed or a few hours to live a bit longer for your family. It shows how normalized for this entire world that this transaction has become, even though it still invokes fear in it's users from time to time. This story also did a great job at instilling the idea that men have weakness and emotional desires and issues, portraying both Mr. Smith and Guy as very emotional beings, but still strong in their own mannerisms. That being said, the main character's emotions were a complete mystery the entire time. I do not believe I recall a singular time that I completely knew how the character felt.

  16. 5 out of 5

    rein larue ☾ new bio ☽

    First book of 2021! I picked this up because it was short, had a pretty cover and mostly because it seemed so intriguing! I was expecting to love this but that wasn't the case. I liked the beginning and the ending but it dragged in the middle. I feel like if it had more twists I would've liked it more. A pretty solid read and would recommend it to people but no the best book for when someone is in a reading slump! First book of 2021! I picked this up because it was short, had a pretty cover and mostly because it seemed so intriguing! I was expecting to love this but that wasn't the case. I liked the beginning and the ending but it dragged in the middle. I feel like if it had more twists I would've liked it more. A pretty solid read and would recommend it to people but no the best book for when someone is in a reading slump!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    probably my most anticipated october release. THAT. COVER.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Meh. The idea for this book is so interesting and holds so much promise, but it ended up boring and devolved into a romance. And if the male lead could stop crying enough to do anything useful, the plot would be a lot faster. Pass.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    The book was so boring. No character development. No plot. Really all the characters were doing was running around looking for a watch. No mystery or suspense.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate Mersch

    This book honestly didn't have a lot of development and nothing really happened. The description made it sound a lot more interesting then it was. This book honestly didn't have a lot of development and nothing really happened. The description made it sound a lot more interesting then it was.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Alyesa

    2.5 stars - I was very excitedly received this beautiful arc from the lovely people at Simon and Schuster UK. I feel in love with this book when I saw the cover; then reading it is said to be a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and The Bone Witch.....how could you not want to read this! I was bouncing up and down waiting for it to arrive (even setting the cover to my phone background in anticipation). Seeing it in person the cover was even more beautiful and re-reading the blurb I could not hold myself 2.5 stars - I was very excitedly received this beautiful arc from the lovely people at Simon and Schuster UK. I feel in love with this book when I saw the cover; then reading it is said to be a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and The Bone Witch.....how could you not want to read this! I was bouncing up and down waiting for it to arrive (even setting the cover to my phone background in anticipation). Seeing it in person the cover was even more beautiful and re-reading the blurb I could not hold myself back and went straight into the story...... Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The blurb and cover promised so much but the writing just did not feel like it captured me. The base of the story and characters is really good and I loved! I just felt like the story was missing so much that could have been included to make it amazing and honestly a 4 or 5 star book. If you had said to me this is a middle grade book it would be a 3.5-4 star as the writing and way the story is set out would fit with that. I am sorry in advantage for the negativity so I am first going to say the positive things about the book; the cover, the concept and I would recommend this for a beach read. The kind of book you take on holiday and easily read on the beach while enjoying the weather. So to be short and sweet about the negative side.....the story is very slow, the writing did not flow and there was no depth to the world and no real explanation for the magic or anything that happens. It was missing so much depth that I was reading words rather than reading the story and my mind getting involved in it. I am disappointed because as I said it had the potential to be so amazing and truly a 4-5 star read.....but it just did not even grip me a bit. I still do not know how the magic in this world works or the rest why the villain did what he did.....he was not mentioned enough. I am sorry....I wanted to love it....but I just can't. :(

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)

    34% into the book and I can’t continue. I literally fall asleep reading this. Twice. At 250 pages this should have taken me a few hours to read but here I am on day 2 struggling. It’s boring. Like really boring. Nothing happens. Just lots of chatter and talk about finding this missing time piece. And lots of searching and asking around for it. Maybe things pick up? I don’t know. I don’t feel anything for these characters either. I was shocked to find they are young. They act like middle age men 34% into the book and I can’t continue. I literally fall asleep reading this. Twice. At 250 pages this should have taken me a few hours to read but here I am on day 2 struggling. It’s boring. Like really boring. Nothing happens. Just lots of chatter and talk about finding this missing time piece. And lots of searching and asking around for it. Maybe things pick up? I don’t know. I don’t feel anything for these characters either. I was shocked to find they are young. They act like middle age men and women and it doesn’t have anything to do with the time period either. The setting is also neglect. I get an idea in my mind of what it should be but there hasn’t been anything to bring those images to life. I’m totally going off my memory of history books and other books with the imagery. Anyway, this gets a DNF from me. I’ve got way too many books to read through to spend anymore time on something that puts me to sleep.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Vera

    First off, I just want to say that I love the premise of the story, however I do wish there was more in depth description of the setting that the main character, Catherine is in. If the novel centers on magic and how people use magic throughout every day lives, then why isn't there more discussion to highlight on side of the story? It was frustrating to see how Catherine and her new companions made their way through each obstacle (if you can call them that). None of the road blocks appeared to b First off, I just want to say that I love the premise of the story, however I do wish there was more in depth description of the setting that the main character, Catherine is in. If the novel centers on magic and how people use magic throughout every day lives, then why isn't there more discussion to highlight on side of the story? It was frustrating to see how Catherine and her new companions made their way through each obstacle (if you can call them that). None of the road blocks appeared to be too difficult or made a way for character development. All the characters were flat and one dimensional; unfortunately I felt that the book could have been better if it had explored more of the magic world, dug deeper into who the mysterious boy was (he's story felt too simplistic and uncharted as a character), and lastly, the watch itself was a let down. Wish I could have enjoyed the book and had something more positive to say but the novel left me unimpressed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Actual rating 3.5 I enjoyed the story and the characters since this had a different take on necromancy. I found it was too short (just reaching over 200 pages) and wish the story had been lengthened to include more mystery and twists surrounding the aspect of magic. I couldn't rate this four stars because of the magic. It wasn't explained at all and the end of the book left me with so many questions. Does everyone possess magic or only a few people? Are there different kinds of magic besides resur Actual rating 3.5 I enjoyed the story and the characters since this had a different take on necromancy. I found it was too short (just reaching over 200 pages) and wish the story had been lengthened to include more mystery and twists surrounding the aspect of magic. I couldn't rate this four stars because of the magic. It wasn't explained at all and the end of the book left me with so many questions. Does everyone possess magic or only a few people? Are there different kinds of magic besides resurrecting the dead and stopping time or are those it? Can anyone perform magic with the right accessories? And magic took up so little of the story. Despite what the summary states, there was never any dangerous enemies or powerful magic. That also reduced the rating since I kept waiting for something intense to happen. The story progressed slowly as well, due to the characters never finding answers to their questions until over the halfway mark. Despite the unanswered questions regarding magic, I still enjoyed the story and will read Powell's next work. Thank you NetGalley for an ARC.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deanie Nelder

    This book had a lot of potential. I like Catherine, and her talent for waking up the dead for a brief period is interesting. Reminds me a little of an old-fashioned Anita Blake (without the monster slaying). When she's sent to unearth a grave and find a watch that can bring back the dead permanently, she accidentally brings a boy back to life (with no memory). Now she, the boy, and her friend Guy (the son of the man who made the watch) need to solve the mystery of the watch because people are be This book had a lot of potential. I like Catherine, and her talent for waking up the dead for a brief period is interesting. Reminds me a little of an old-fashioned Anita Blake (without the monster slaying). When she's sent to unearth a grave and find a watch that can bring back the dead permanently, she accidentally brings a boy back to life (with no memory). Now she, the boy, and her friend Guy (the son of the man who made the watch) need to solve the mystery of the watch because people are being killed for the information. So, how does a book with interesting characters and a potentially compelling plot end up with a three star rating. It's boring. It's just blah. Even the exciting parts of the book don't seem exciting. The romance is similarly bland. Unfortunately, this book juts doesn't live up to its potential.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kittin

    32% DNF this never got more interesting. boo.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I initially began listening to this book with some high hopes. From its description, it sounded like it had a lot of the things I enjoy in a book - magic, mystery, and a world reminiscent of our own, at a time not unlike our near past. However, with lackluster characters and an investigation that took much longer than it should have, I found myself quickly growing disappointed with the book and waiting eagerly for it to end. Catherine, the main character, has little to no personality. Her entire I initially began listening to this book with some high hopes. From its description, it sounded like it had a lot of the things I enjoy in a book - magic, mystery, and a world reminiscent of our own, at a time not unlike our near past. However, with lackluster characters and an investigation that took much longer than it should have, I found myself quickly growing disappointed with the book and waiting eagerly for it to end. Catherine, the main character, has little to no personality. Her entire purpose in the novel is triggered by her employer’s demands, and for some time it barely feels like she is doing anything of her own conviction. Even when it felt like she should be feeling something - frustration, fear, worry - there was nothing. Her reactions were a slight blip and then she moved quickly on to the next task. Normally I would not consider the part of the audiobook narrator in a review, but this one affected the enjoyment of listening greatly. She was unfortunately extremely breathy while speaking, and kept whispering whenever she spoke Catherine’s dialogue. This placed this strange countenance on Catherine that gave the impression that she was soft-spoken and timid, which, considering her lack of personality, might actually be true, but I couldn’t know for sure. Now, usually I am here for some soft boys - it often makes a nice change from all the dark/broody alpha males that seem to exist in YA. But these two were...cry babies. Owen seemed constantly on the verge of tears and Guy only slightly better. I understand the circumstances but still, it was not flattering. Annoying at times, actually. And in comparison, Catherine's reactions were nothing. She just spouted platitudes and patted them on the arm. The mystery was aggravatingly slow. It took them THREE times going into the church to actually put an effort into searching it. Sorry, but just staring at the place isn’t going to make a timepiece magically appear. You have to physically move things. Whoever hid it wasn’t just going to set it down on the floor for you - they would have actually buried it or something. (view spoiler)[Guy literally stopped time for 3 hours and all they did was go into the tower, glance around, and then leave. It took them 3 hours to do this? (hide spoiler)] I just felt like it was a poor way of forcing the plot to take longer than it should have. (view spoiler)[And it took Catherine nearly to the end of the book to even think about asking the person who had given Ainsworth the information about where the timepiece was in the first place. I know that these characters aren’t actual detectives, but that was actually close to being pathetic. It was obvious that it was left to the end because if they had followed that lead in the first place, the book would have been a lot shorter. Instead the dilly dallied around staring at ruined churches and hoping for the timepiece to jump out at them. (hide spoiler)] The motive itself was disappointing and standard. There was no real twist to it, honestly. It made for an unsatisfactory ending. And there was also some sort of semblance of romance between Catherine and Guy that I honestly did not care one wit about. It was all light touches and blushing cheeks. It felt...expected. Just because they are the two leads of the story does not mean they actually need to fall in love. Unfortunately, this book just did not work for me. Poor plot work, bland characters, too much description of the weather, and a mystery that was not handled well or left with a satisfying conclusion. 2 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Zimmerman

    Actual rating 3.5/5 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Margaret K McElderry books for this ARC. All opinions are my own. This book was cute! It had a bit of mystery, a slow, friends to lovers romance and a great friendship. I think my biggest issue with this was how confusing it could be at times. A lot of people are introduced in a small amount of time. But, the concept was interesting! I love a good paranormal mystery. It just lacked a little on the execution. But, it had great writing, character Actual rating 3.5/5 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Margaret K McElderry books for this ARC. All opinions are my own. This book was cute! It had a bit of mystery, a slow, friends to lovers romance and a great friendship. I think my biggest issue with this was how confusing it could be at times. A lot of people are introduced in a small amount of time. But, the concept was interesting! I love a good paranormal mystery. It just lacked a little on the execution. But, it had great writing, character development (for the main characters) and pace. This book follows Catherine, a young woman working at a print shop, tasked with finding a magically enchanted watch by her boss. When she can’t find the watch, but the person in the plot it was said to be in comes back from the dead, Catherine gets nervous. Enlisting the boy just risen from the friend and the watchmakers son, they start to look for the watch. But when people start winding up dead, Catherine, Guy and Owen realize that maybe everything isn’t as it seems. This was a cute Sherlock Holmes-esque novel and a pretty quick read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Kent

    A nice, atmospheric read, though I had to knock a few stars off for lack of magical world building. I understood that the magic worked in a way that reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist's "Equivalent Exchange" a bit (in a give something up to obtain something way), but there's no explaining if this magic is available for everyone, or if it's only for certain people. Is it related to bloodline, or random? Anyway, a fast read. Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC. A nice, atmospheric read, though I had to knock a few stars off for lack of magical world building. I understood that the magic worked in a way that reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist's "Equivalent Exchange" a bit (in a give something up to obtain something way), but there's no explaining if this magic is available for everyone, or if it's only for certain people. Is it related to bloodline, or random? Anyway, a fast read. Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Scheid

    Audio book (Didn't like the narrator and I didn't like the story) Maybe I have been reading books that are a little over-the-top and I am in the wrong to have held this book in the same high expectations, but I hated this book! The summary for this book, comparing it to The Bone Witch and Sherlock Holmes, gives the reader hope that this will be a stunning mystery with action throughout the adventure. I did not think this was much of an adventure at all. Catherine, Guy, and Owen are all whiny chara Audio book (Didn't like the narrator and I didn't like the story) Maybe I have been reading books that are a little over-the-top and I am in the wrong to have held this book in the same high expectations, but I hated this book! The summary for this book, comparing it to The Bone Witch and Sherlock Holmes, gives the reader hope that this will be a stunning mystery with action throughout the adventure. I did not think this was much of an adventure at all. Catherine, Guy, and Owen are all whiny characters with boring personalities. Do not base this book off of the description or off of the beautiful cover art.

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