Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-To Macie, witches do not mean spells and wands. Witches mean money. Macie and her mom, Aubra, make their living fleecing Havens, government-created communities where witches are allowed to practice and maintain their culture. However, 16-year-old Macie is starting to experience moral doubts about their lifestyle, and when the pair arrive at Witchtown, Aubra assures Macie this will be their final con. As Aubra integrates herself into the town, Macie makes friends with the teenage witches and hesitantly begins a relationship with cute boy Kellen, all the while attempting to conceal that she is a Void, an individual with no magical ability. The story is an appealing combination of the paranormal and romance genres, sure to please older "Harry Potter" fans. However, plot inconsistencies detract from the book. The dramatic impact of the reveal of Kellen's true identity is lessened, as this subplot is only marginally developed. Additionally, Oakes never satisfactorily explains why Voids are such loathsome individuals who are branded and exiled. But overall, this is a creative approach to the witch and wizard genre, and teens will most likely not be deterred by these issues. VERDICT An engaging tale with enjoyable characters. Give to romance fans or those who like their witch books on the lighter side.-Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
After the second inquisition, Natural and Learned witches find safety in havens. Macie O'Sullivan jets from one haven to another with her Natural witch mother, pulling off cons and then erasing the memories of those they left behind. When the opportunity comes to pull off their biggest con at the biggest haven, Witchtown, Macie begins having doubts, which are compounded when she learns that Witchtown is harboring powerful secrets. This genre-blender think Ocean's 11 meets Charmed is an enjoyable coming-of-age tale sure to be a hit with readers who like their romance or mystery with a hint of the paranormal. Its story is clever and engaging, even if some of the plotlines, such as Macie's lack of powers and her romance with the town golden boy, are a bit of a trope. Readers will be willing to overlook these flaws, though, due to the story's charm and eccentric cast of characters. This book stands well on its own, and while it wraps up a bit too easily, Oakes leaves room for more bewitching forays.--Thompson, Sarah Bean Copyright 2017 Booklist