Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t remember seeing another book with such mixed reviews quite as this one. By the time I got approved for it in Netgalley, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to read it anymore.
The Price Guide to the Occult tells the story of Nor Blackburn, the youngest of a line of witches, cursed so that they only inherit one of their original matriarch’s powers. But Nor doesn’t seem to have much of a power, except for being able to predict the weather and understand animals. But when her mother, Fern, comes back into her life, Nor and her family have a great reason to be afraid: Fern is practicing black magic and wants Fern’s blood to strengthen her powers.
First of all, despite having given it 3 stars, I actually enjoyed this book more than Ava Lavender, which became so wildly popular on Booktube and blogs in 2017. Perhaps it was because I had an early eARC, but this book had a serious need for editing, and lots of times it felt like there was a chunk of story missing – this could easily have been 50 pages longer, and it would have been a much better read.
Now that I got that out of the way, I really, really liked this book! It was so lush and magical, and I loved Nor’s family. I wish Nor had been able to do more magic, but I enjoyed also watching her discover her powers. Price Guide to the Occult is set in a small island, and the witch-y atmosphere of the place was really nice! I also enjoyed how purely malignant Fern Blackburn was, and the goriness of her black magic sacrifices were very descriptive.
Nor is recovering from the traumas her mother inflicted on her, and does self harm, her arms covered in scars. So please take that into account if you want to read this book, it could possibly be a trigger.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this book! I wish the ending had not been so rushed. I will also read in the future the finished copy (did you see how gorgeous the hardcover is, with its pages’ edges painted red?) and maybe enjoy the read even more!
Trigger warning: self-harm, toxic mother-daughter relationship