‘Witchtown’ – Cory Putman Oakes

When I saw this on NetGalley I, along with many others I would imagine, was expecting lots of details about witchcraft and perhaps some focus on exploring how it impacted on people’s lives in this imagined future. I got it, but not quite in the way I expected.

Macie and her mother, Aubra, move into his safe Haven called Witchtown. It is a safe community for those ostracised from the rest of the world when their talents become known. Sadly, it’s the latest mark in this pair’s thieving trail. Only this time, things are different.

Macie has always felt rather reliant on her mother. As a Void (someone with no magic) Macie has depended on her mother’s Natural ability to protect her. This leaves her vulnerable as she can rely on no-one. Yet we are told that in their last residence Macie did exactly that, and it started off what can best be described as an unstoppable source of tension.

Macie is a character who comes into her own in this, with the help of new friends Talya and Kellan. She learns more about who she is, what she wants from her life and what it might cost her to achieve it. Even though her mother is depicted in a rather caricature fashion, there’s something rewarding about watching Macie take a stand against what she’s been told her entire life.

Though there’s some interest in watching Macie learn the truth about herself (which we suspect from quite early on), there’s a lot that just doesn’t add up and this is, ultimately, frustrating.

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