The book follows 16-year-old Voya Thomas and her family of witches. Her family uses their abilities to make money and maintain the house they all share except for Voya’s favourite cousin Keis. Voya has finally hit puberty and gotten her period, in the witching world that means that she will be called upon by one of her ancestors to do a task because she can get her abilities.

The Good:

  • The description of Voya’s anxiety is done well and throughout the book, you get the sense of fear and tension she feels as she gets closer and closer to the due date of her Calling task.
  • The dynamics between the families of pure and impure is well done. Voya often questions her family on how they can turn their back on impure families when they require help. Especially as Voya wants to help because her friend Lauren has gone missing. This was great because it is not uncommon for younger generations to question the values of the older generation especially when it comes to light how the impure families keep them safe and are the ones who protected them from Justin years ago. It’s one of those things where pure families get to reap the benefits of impure magic but still get to look down on those who practise it.
  • The book does a fantastic job of describing the technology being used cause this is set in a not too distant future where people can get genetic modifications to change their face or skin or body. Like surgery but I think it can actually be passed down. Public transport and communication have advanced and yet the power/class dynamics are not that different.

The Bad:

  • Look I think this book would have worked more for me if they made that final decision a little bit more gut-wrenching cause as far as the Luc storyline goes, I was not invested. I think it’s hard to get invested when their entire interaction is fabricated because she HAS to pass her Calling task. It’s not like she met him, liked him and then found out what she had to do. I also think it is ABSURD that no one thought that her first love didn’t have to be a boy that it could have been a family member. The whole time I thought it could’ve been Eden because she was the drain on the family, making their abilities weaker. THAT choice between which family member to pick or which one she loved first would have been a lot more interesting and given us a lot more to invest in because we care about her and her family. Especially because this book spends a lot of time telling us how much she cares for her family and it even brings her sadness to see the possibility that Keis might move out of the house. Which makes her decision even worse because she picked Luc over her favourite cousin. She spends 95% too emotional to make a decision and then all of sudden she figures out her task and then makes her choice based on logic? Like where in the book did that character trait get explained?

This book really disappointed me because it had such an obvious twist with the first love, obvious villain emerging and I think the author then tries to counter that by making Voya make decisions she never would have made so there is a surprise for us. Did she trust Luc? Did she love him? I just don’t buy it.

This book is a bit of sci-fi as it is set in the future but mostly fantasy as magic is the biggest part of the book. It is good if you want to pass the time but it is in no way unique or game-changing. If you are an avid fantasy YA reader like myself, you can get bored and will figure out the twist early on. There is going to be a second book but I am not sure if I care to carry on the story but I will see. Maybe it will be better.

Rating: 6.3/10

Chapter breakdowns
  • Chapters 1 & 2: A literal bloodbath, what a way to start a book. We meet Voya and her family, who are witches. The family uses their abilities to make money except for Voya’s cousin Keis. Voya has finally hit puberty, gotten her period, and in the witching world, that means that she will soon be called upon by one of her ancestors to do a task before she can get her abilities. I think the book has done a great job, so far in detailing her anxiety over the whole thing because Voya sees herself as a screw-up and she fears that if she cannot do the Calling trial she will be ostracized by her family because they have made it clear that they value those who contribute to the family using their abilities. Voya is also trying to get Keis to get an internship for a job, so she can still make money, without using her abilities.
  • Chapters 3-6: Okay so Voya is terrible at making decisions this is something that is hammered a lot through these chapters. Voya tries to help Keis get an internship but embarrasses herself in front of one of the interns there Luc. She doesn’t like him but it’s okay because she is not the only one, the main has a terrible public/social rating (think of the Black Mirror episode Nosedive, where people can rate other people but this also allows you to leave comments). Voya goes through her calling and is given the difficult task of deciding whether she rejects her ancestor’s trial and every witch born after her will never get powers or take the trial and if she fails, every witch in her family will lose their powers. This seems like such a terrible choice to make, and honestly unfair but I cannot be the only one to think that considering her ancestor’s story and Voya’s tendency to be indecisive that the trial was just that she had to make a decision? Voya tries to plead with her ancestor but fails the trial, although her ancestor makes it clear that Voya will get a second chance, and this time she cannot fail.