Book Review: “B*WITCH” by Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin

Cover of "B*Witch" by Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin
Cover of “B*Witch” by Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “B*WITCH” by Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin! It’s been a while since I read a book involving witches, so it’s fun for me to pick up one that contains such characters and read it.

Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“New girl and secret witchl Iris just wants to get through her first day of school without a panic attack. The last thing she expects is to be taken in by a coven of three witches-soft-spoken Greta, thoughtful and musical Ridley, and fiery and spirited Binx. They may be the first witches Iris has met IRL, but their coven is not alone in their small northwestern town.

The Triad is the other coven at their school. When the Triad’s not using spells to punish their exes or break up happy couples for fun, they practice dark magic. The two covens have a rivalry stretching all the way back to junior high.

When tragedy strikes and one of their own is murdered, the rival covens must band together to find out who is responsible before it’s too late. Someone’s anti-witch ideology has turned deadly . . . and one of them is next.”

Content Warning:

There is murder mentioned, as well as murder that actually happens in this book. Additionally, there is mentioned discrimination against LGBTQ+ characters as well. If you are sensitive to any of this content, please skip reading this one.

Plot Development: 1 out of 5 stars

It took about half the book for anything relevant to the main story to actually happen, which hugely disappointed me. I was also additionally disappointed at the cliffhanger ending. It made very little sense at all and felt far too sudden.

This novel would be better-made into a collection of slice-of-life stories with an overarching main story, rather than how the story was made here. The worldbuilding, the little day-to-day interactions between the main cast, and the many individual subplots gave a great opportunity for this novel to be a slice-of-life collection with overarching continuity. It could follow a format similar to the light novels “Restaurant To Another World,” for example. Had it been in such a format, the book would fare better with the main story’s pacing. It would also help flesh out characters and worldbuilding.

Character Development: 1 out of 5 stars

Many of the characters felt too similar to each other personality-wise. I’m often a fan of ensemble casts in writing. This is because they give good opportunities to show the perspectives and varying personalities of their characters. However, this novel missed the mark on giving the characters distinct-enough personalities outside of being witches and having separate friend groups.

The only character that stood out to me was the one obsessed with Pokémon, but that’s mainly because I am a fan of Pokémon in general. Unfortunately, she also did not get a lot of development, so that did not help my enjoyment of reading her or the other characters.

Worldbuilding Development: 1.5 out of 5 stars

At first, I enjoyed reading the concept of how the main cast (all witches) dealt with their daily lives of growing anti-magic groups, trying to live their lives blending in with normal people for their own safety, and so on. Unfortunately, I felt that some of the worldbuilding (such as introducing witch-hunters) was underdeveloped. Much of the worldbuilding needed a lot more depth than what this book delivered. It’s especially unfortunate since many of the concepts introduced (the history behind witch discrimination, etc.) sounded very interesting to read. However, the book never capitalized on any of them at all.

Overall, I’m rating this book 1 out of 5 stars!

I wish I could give this book a higher rating, but the only thing I enjoyed from this book was the concepts introduced in the book’s worldbuilding. I would not recommend this book if you are looking for more fully-developed worldbuilding and characters.

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