Sunday, 7 May 2017

Review of Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus (Book 1: Lily Singer Adventures) by Lydia Sherrer

Twenty something Lily Singer is a Wizard, she is the trusted Librarian at Agnes Scott College and also is entrusted with the more mystical books within its basement. She is very much the prim and proper librarian, enjoying plentiful cups of tea, books and of course magic all whilst trying to negotiate the dating game.  Sebastian is a Witch, an enigmatic one at that, and the complete antithesis of Lily, a bold risk taker and the type that trouble always finds and seems to enjoy bringing that trouble to Lily’s door.  Of course he sees it as more of an adventurous business opportunity and despite her best efforts she can’t say no when the promise of more mystical books to add to the library are involved!

I have been meaning to read more from Lydia Sherrer for a while as I really enjoyed reading her short story, Hope.  I was unsure what to expect at first as the brightly illustrated cover suggested perhaps a target to the YA reader (I love YA fantasy btw) but on reading the first couple of chapters it was clear that this story was just outside of that range.  What was also clear from the outset was the quality and clarity of the writing, I was instantly swept up in the beautifully written world of Lily and Sebastian, captivated by both the banterous conversation between the two and the way that everything is laid out and described on the page.  I did read the ebook version which is beautifully put together (so I can only imagine how gorgeous the print version is) each chapter has a hand drawn image linking to what goes on in the pages.

The book is in 3 parts, the middle playfully interjected as an interlude.  The first is a tale of tragic love and it’s filled with a ton of magical information and history (it’s clear that there was a lot of research done and the story benefits from these additional touches.) The pairs trials and tribulations in removing an aged curse from a house is exciting to read and I enjoyed it immensely.  The interlude however takes a darker turn, giving us an insight into Sebastian’s life outside of his time with Lily, and the two couldn’t be more different.  It contains a lot of violence during Sebastian’s attempts to track down an acquaintance, which I wasn’t expecting, but it does then set up part 3 quite neatly.  What the interlude does manage though, is to lighten the situation with a great deal of humour and snark from Sebastian which did make me laugh out loud.  Part 3 manages to be different in its approach yet again as it finds Lily separated from her trusty carpet bag of magical objects, leaving her and Sebastian to take a more trial and error approach to problem solving.  The pair are literally racing against time as the same period loops over and over in groundhog day style. They are also racing against another Wizard vying for the same goal, a Wizard who seems awfully familiar to Lily.  The epilogue gives a few hints of what may be to come in the future books in the series which I will definitely continue to read! I have become completely captivated by their adventures and I hope that the episodic layout of book one continues throughout the series as it keeps each story to a wonderful pace.  5 Stars!

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