The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Contemporary fantasy, romance
Publishing Info: Audiobook by Hodder & Stoughton Audio, ARC, narrated by Samara MacLaren
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
Thank you so much to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing an audio ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is a very sweet and charming read that drew me in from the start and enveloped me in warmth and magic. Add to your cauldron a house by the sea, found family, a grumpy librarian, some romance, three children in need of a witch to teach them, an adorable dog, a dash of humour, and a sprinkle of magic, and you have the perfect potion for a heart-warming story.
There are quite a few characters but the author paints each of them so vividly that I felt like I was seeing old friends, and instantly fell in love with the charm of Nowhere House and its inhabitants. Of course, with three young witches unable to control their powers, disaster is sure to follow and there were plenty of opportunities for humour which Sangu Mandanna delivered spot on, and I found myself smiling and laughing at many points as I listened.
As well as the warm fuzzy moments, there were also some more serious and heart-breaking parts exploring characters’ past traumas and their journey to heal. This made the novel feel raw and real, and made those happy parts all the more touching. One of my favourite things about this book was the found family. The characters just fit together so well and it was clear how close their bond was, and I loved seeing Mika become a part of that family and finally find a home somewhere.
Samara MacLaren’s narration is spot on. With lots of expression, she captures each character excellently and made the story very enjoyable to listen to.
While there were some surprises and twists, it was in many ways predictable. I didn’t mind that because this is the kind of story where you want that happily ever after. This novel made me smile, laugh and cry, and it definitely warmed my heart. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is the perfect cosy and witchy read for autumn.