Saturday, June 13, 2015

Miss Mabel's School for Girls by Katie Cross Review

"Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave."

NetGalley. Thanks for the copy.

Witches. Magic. A school for girls. A curse. Spells. What more do you need? Miss Mabel's School For Girls is the starting book of this duology. Harry Potter fans would enjoy this book, even though these witches don't use wands and the same type of spells. Plus, everything is much more mature (in evil vs good). 

Bianca is cursed by Mabel. A young but extremely determined witch, Bianca is willing to do whatever it takes to take the curse off of herself and her family. The curse will kill Bianca when she is seventeen years old, and the reveal of the curse, which is very, very slow, comes unnecessarily late. It would be much easier for readers if the information about the curse (and other subjects like Bianca's father) comes in the beginning. Anyway, Bianca isn't like the other girls. She is literally fighting for her life, and she knows that she must be smarter and wiser than Miss Mabel. Otherwise, she is dead and gone. 

Miss Mabel isn't the original Miss Mabel who curse Bianca's line. Nope, Miss Mabel is only the granddaughter of the original Miss Mabel. Still, she is as nasty and cunning as the original one. The power play she has with Bianca is very intriguing. No matter how much Bianca tries, she can't get ahead of the smart and devious witch. It is like watching a cat cruelly play with the mouse. Unfortunately, Bianca isn't on the nice end of the stick. 

The magic and fantasy aspect of the book is easy to understand and pick up. Though Miss Mabel is quite nasty and good with her magic, Bianca is good also. The rules of magic aren't complicated at all, and though there is definitely aspects of magic that readers don't know, Bianca (or Miss Mabel or a teacher) would usually explain it. 

The ending of the book is really good, and I can't wait to see what Katie Cross brings next. It closes with a funeral (not telling you whose), and Bianca is left... in an unusual position. She knows her enemy. She knows her task. It is a huge question of "Now what?" 

Overall, Miss Mabel's School For Girls is a magical book. Bianca is a tough heroine, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to save her own family. There is an evil witch, and there is a whole lot of good moments. This book is best for young teens who love Harry Potter and other such stories of magic. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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