Publisher: Double Beast Publishing
Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel’s long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother’s soul.
That simply won’t do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. Nobody wants filthy corpses shambling around, mussing up one’s garden. Hazel is determined to find her father and undo his treachery.
But despite Hazel’s plans of becoming a one-woman army, she can’t do everything alone. It’s not until wild sister Holly convinces her to leave the house for once and go to a party that Hazel finds a pair of unlikely allies in two bickering warlock brothers.
Together, the four of them go on a journey that takes them out of the Grove and into a world where necromancy reigns and the dead won’t respectfully stay in the grave. Hazel will do whatever it takes to stop her father and save her mother’s soul. Even if it means turning to necromancy. Even if it means losing her friends. Because they would never help a necromancer. Would they?
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The characters I dislike to read about the most are ones with zero self-awareness, appear to act intentionally against their own interests, and just generally behave stupidly. Unfortunately, Hazel and Holly was full of those characters.
Hazel and Holly follows two witch sisters, Hazel and Holly, as older sister Hazel attempts to hunt down her missing father in order to restore her mother’s soul and younger sister Holly …exists. Mostly, my problem with this book was with Holly and her utter lack of any self-awareness. The first several conflicts Hazel gets into (or anything before the 20% mark) are pretty much all due to Holly insisting Hazel do something potentially life-threatening, probably illegal, and definitely rude task for her. There’s stealing buttons and other trinkets from another witch’s house because Holly doesn’t think her own supplies are good enough and hiding a (cellar?) gnome from guards after he and Holly go on a looting trip in a warlock’s mansion just because. It was borderline painful to read about a 17-year-old who has such little maturity and an older sister who, admittedly, raised her this way.
Overall, I rate this a 1/5. I very very rarely DNF books, but I found myself counting down to the 20% so I could put it down. The author appeared to correlate whimsical behaviour with nonsensical behavior and I simply couldn’t stand the characters.